Friday column preview

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?

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • I also like when those bargain Crown Book Clearance stores pop up…they always have good deals.

  • Dee

    I remember, many years ago, going to a used bookstore with my father. It was in downtown Whittier, and I remember picking up some kids’ books and my dad picked up a couple of old National Geographics. I didn’t think too much about it until after he died and I found them. One of the articles was about Poland…1939 Poland. In the background of some of the pictures you can cleary see Nazi stormtroopers. Creepy. There’s a lot of history in used bookstores that you can’t get in the new ones, if you know what I mean.

    [Incidentally, I only learned yesterday that Whittier has The Little Old Bookshop, in business since 1976. I’ve gotta go sometime. — DA]

  • Linda

    A few years back there was a used book store in Laguna Beach, Fahrenheit 451. I spent a least one day of my vacation there, soaking up the knowledge these books offer. I was sorry to see it close.

  • Roberta

    I am really disappointed in you for not delving into the treasure this community has at NEWSBOY BOOKS in Downtown Ontario. We are not a used bookstore, but rather a nostalgic trip into what a real bookstore used to be before the chains!

    We have brand new publications, both books and magazines, as well as unused but older editions of books in myriad categories, at great prices. Just as you overlooked downtown Ontario when the Golden Web Antiques asked you to stop in, and you finally acknowledged them, we feel slighted, too. You could at least have given us a nod when you mentioned Borders and Barnes & Noble.

    Every day, we get people in our store that say some variation of “my father used to bring me here when I was young,” or “I moved away, but whenever I am in the area, I just have to stop in.” New residents and many of the young have lost out on what we are still here trying to save: the Independent Bookseller. Come see us and our poster in the window that tells people why they should “Love Your Local, Shop Independent!!!” We are a proud member of the Southern California Independent Booksellers Assn. (SCIBA).

    [Such is the journalist’s lot; whatever we do, someone is disappointed in us. Newsboy’s name is now on my dry erase board of things to write about. — DA]

  • RichP

    Is the Newsboy in Ontario related to similar shops in RC (Foothill W of Archibald) and one perhaps at Arrow in Claremont, some years back? I liked those stores.

    [That will be a question for the owners. — DA]