The Book Room

The Book Room is my local Used Book store of proximal and least-amount-of-traffic-to-get-there convenience. The photo yesterday is of The Book Room. Many of you have received books from me that were once in The Book Room.

They are the most stereotypical Used Book Store I have ever been in, it’s almost surreal. But! I’ve been a Book Room patron for two years so I thought I’d give them a shout-out.
So, what’s so stereotypical?

So many books you can’t hardly catch your breath just walking in the door.


Treasures! under piles, mid-pile, and behind-pile. I didn’t know I was looking for a copy of Grimus by Salman Rushdie until I uncovered it, diving into this pile for the book on the bottom.
The kids’ section–totally unsorted–is fun to plow thru for reading material for my ESOL students or books for friends’ kids.
who has National Geographic anymore? Cool! Also unsorted. 1957, 1987…
Where you find stuff depends on who had been shelving last. This pile is: Edward, Steinbeck, Dickens, Miller…This is the classics and literature shelf, there’s more Steinbeck in the “oversized paperbacks”.

And so forth. The finest thing about this store is the way their un-sorted-ness invites serendipity. To be fair, they do sort in a very macro way: romance, science fiction, mysteries, non-fiction, etc. but again, “po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to”, what I might have shelved in humor someone’s put in paranormal romance. (sorry, that could be taken as snark: actually that example was Christopher Moore, You Suck.) Sherlock Holmes is in Kids’, Mysteries, and Literature. What a treasure hunt!

Plus they have a lot of turnover, so there’s always something new, even for a semi-monthly regular like me.

The book sellers actually know their shit, too, which is a boon over B&N and other impersonal box stores. Patrons’ questions are always preceded with the caveat, “Well, if I were the owner, which I’m not, we’d find that book…”

The booksellers have their quirks, which always cause me a smile while hiding behind the Literature stacks. This one has a chip on her shoulder concerning poli-sci books, that one hides the Hardy Boys and will only admit to their existence to patrons 4′ and under, that one is, um, loud. But they are all super nice, love and devour books, and love chatting books with their customers.

And they do credit. Remember all those books I was de-booking two years ago? I just zeroed out my $300+ in book credit today. Whew! Achievement Unlocked!

6 thoughts on “The Book Room

    • Oh man. We used to spend all day in Albuquerque exchanging books at all the bookshops. There was one that did books on tape (back when that was a new concept!). I still have books from Barbara’s Mystery Den. Page One Two was the latest aftershock of rocking our world. I don’t guess any of those stores are still there, now. Charlottesville VA prides itself as being a bookish community, but of all the places I’ve lived, nothing compared to ABQ for book shops.

  1. thanks for the photos! The Book Room reminds me a little of Dawn Treader Bookshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. books, books, more books, books piled to the ceiling and piled in front of shelves, and a staff that loves reading as much as we do!

    • I love the staff. I –actually stumped in a bookstore– asked about where is Christopher Moore. She turns bright red and stammers, “Uh, I bought them all.”

  2. Hey darkcargo, next time you’re in Richmond, seek out Book People over by U of R. A whole house piled floor to ceiling for with books. I just love going in and taking in the smell of the place!

    Most of my scavenging for books these days is the at the big thrift store near my office in Northern VA – also convenient for finding cheap board games that usually have most of the pieces still intact!

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