I love used bookstores. I love that they are so down to earth and un-glitzy. I love that there are piles of books in corners and under chairs, that the attention is on the story line more than on the story line being in hard cover. I love that typically the people who work there have read most of what they are selling and offer running commentary on things I've chosen as they ring them up.
I love the inherent thrill of the treasure hunter, the sense of adventure in finding a book you're interested in reading. Anyone can just order something - it takes patience to find what you want in a bookstore that can never be considered completely organized or fully stocked.
I like the illusion of virtue in making a contribution to putting something back into the world. A book I buy there is not being wasted, is not sitting on a shelf somewhere, stagnant, cast aside. Its life is a kinetic journey that I'm a part of.
And, used books are such a steal. A used book in excellent condition is at the very least half the price of a nearly identical new one. I read a lot so it's good to find a cheaper way to finance my number one habit (OK, number two after making sure all doors are locked.)
I took a photo of the actual stack of books I found and bought during our last road trip (above). If you see something you like and can wait until I finish it, I’m happy to let you have it.