Posted by: Matt | May 18, 2007

Searching for Local Bookstores

In the last two days I’ve visited a couple of independent bookstores. One just happens to be across the street from my dentist, so I dropped in after my cleaning. “Frost Books” is the name, they sell new books, it’s a small store and the books are kind of scattered about. They have quite a few of the more popular trade paperbacks and a decent selection of classics. It is a store that I would visit again, unfortunately it’s not very close to my home. Maybe I’ll save up some money to visit after my next dentist appointment.

I visited the second store on my lunch break today. This one, called “Central Book Exchange”, is a used book store with maybe a smattering of new books. It was hard to get my bearings upon entering, difficult to get an understanding of the way everything is organized. Once I figured it out I came to a disappointing discovery, the books are overpriced, or at least I feel they are. I am the type that thinks a used book should be fairly aggressively priced to justify buying it over a new copy. And I don’t feel that the prices are good enough, especially for the condition some of the books are in. This store was pretty disappointing, but I have hope for a few other used stores in my area I have yet to visit.

I am continuing my search for more good local bookstores, now if only I had money to spend when I find them.



  1. The saddest thing about the town I live in is that there isn’t a single bookstore, independent or big box. Of course, it’s a symptom of being just outside of nowhere so there isn’t much of anything here. As a result, I have to do most of my book shopping online and admit to liking it a lot. The prices are generally better and free shipping from Amazon makes it a whole lot more convenient than driving 20 minutes to the nearest bookstore.

    Whenever I go into New York, I try to work in a visit to The Strand. It’s a used bookstore with miles and miles of books in every subject you can imagine. If you’re ever there, I highly recommend checking it out.

  2. Do you know, that in the entire city of Peoria (not that it’s that big or anything!) there is not one independent bookstore aside from the handful of used book stores?? To me that is so sad (although I do really like to go to B&N). When I was little, my grandmother used to take me ever Saturday to a place on the square in Taylorville. It was called The Little Professor Bookstore. And I LOVED IT!!

  3. Bookstores are always opening and closing in my area. They crop up like mushrooms, you visit them once, and the next time you look for them, they’re gone.

  4. I’m with you on not buying seconhand unless it’s a good deal. I work in a chain bookstore, but mainly shop secondhand. However it annoys me to sometimes see titles seconhand at more than their original, brand-spanking new price.

    It was fun to hear about your exploration of bookstores. I love the thrill of exploring a new bookstore. Usually I do it alone otherwise the person who I’m with has to endure the repetition of ‘I won’t be much longer’ for about an hour or so. Sorry about the disappointing finds though.

  5. Marydell – There is only one bookstore within 20 minutes of me. But I enjoy walking through the store and the immediate gratification of bringing home a book to do all my shopping on Amazon. Though you can get very good deals through Amazon. I visited New York for the first time last year but was not so into books at that time, if I go there again sometime I will make sure to visit The Strand!

    Stephanie – I think I may be lucky to live in a place with quite a few independent stores. It’s funny how somethings are shaped so much by where you live.

    Dewey – That must be very frustrating, especially if you find one you like!

    Literary Acquisitionist – I know exactly what you mean. I often find old books with a price printed on the front, maybe $.75, and then look at the back and see that the store has priced it at $4.00. How does that work? I also spend much more time in bookstores than I originally plan.

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