Every now and then I let slip in print what a geek I am, and Friday is one of those times, as I write in praise of used bookstores. As I say there, they really are among my favorite places. Visiting them on out-of-town trips is a habit ingrained since childhood, and my parents didn’t discourage it; my mom can happily spend an hour in a bookstore.
I love the vast number of sections in the larger used bookstores. While doting on Fiction, Classics, Sci-Fi, Journalism, Humor, Music and Comics, I always get a kick out of the arcane sections full of dusty hardcovers: Military, Railroads, Sailing, British History, Metaphysics, Linguistics, whatever. (Patrons in those sections tend to be dusty, too.) At Brand Bookstore in Glendale, there’s a shelf devoted to Hobos. Amusingly, it rubs patched elbows with a section on Wealth.
The occasion, or rather excuse, for Friday’s column is that Acres of Books in Long Beach closes Saturday. That could have merited a column of its own, as I’ve been there eight or 10 times over the years. (When I was there a couple of months ago most of the good books were already gone, so I wouldn’t encourage anyone to make the trip at this point.)
Instead, I wrote, mostly, about our local bookshops. Did you know the Inland Valley has five used bookstores? Me neither. They all get a plug with their address. Join us Friday for the story, and if you’re reading the print version, be sure to dogear the pages and underline favorite passages.
Any favorite memories of used bookstores?