I haven’t been to a used bookstore since I left Durham. I used to go to Nice Price Books when I lived down there, but lately I’ve been deprived. I missed the smell of old books and browsing through stacks, not knowing what I’m going to find. That’s the major appeal of a used bookstore: you don’t know what you’re going to find there. Books over a hundred years old, pulps from the ’50’s, that one VHS tape that you have to have even if you don’t have a VCR anymore; it could all be there, so long as you take the time to look.
So I went looking for one in the stupidest way possible: I opened the door to my apartment, picked a direction and started walking. An hour later I was in Oak Square and standing in front of Diskovery, which promised CASSETTES, RECORDS and USED BOOKS. Glory be praised, I had found a used bookstore and it’s the best bookstore EVER.
When I walked in, I quailed at the sight of so many books. There were shelves crammed with books. Books were piled knee high on the floor. There were boxes of books stacked on other boxes of books with piles of books on top of the boxes of books. The shelves were packed full two books deep. There were pulps and new hardcovers and old hardcovers and Starlogs and so much vinyl that I developed a vinyl allergy on the spot.
I picked my way past the books, trying not to knock over the piles and I saw a glass case filled with cassette tapes. I noted this, stepped forward, paused and turned back. There was a cat sleeping with the cassettes. Nonplussed, I continued deeper into the store, only to find my way blocked by another cat. I scratched its head and it let me pass.
There was so much to see that I know I missed three quarters of what’s actually there. It’s a store filled to the brim with books and it’s even organized, though not labeled. I would bump into a section and realize I was in true crime or religious studies or music.
I need to go back. I MUST go back. It’s right on the 57 line in Oak Square. Go check it out if you’re in the area.