Writing Babble

5 Things to Know When Visiting a Used Bookstore

1. Take a momenttake it in

When you first step inside, you need to pause and let it all sink in. For once you pass the threshold, your senses are bound to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of shelves stacked with books surrounding you on all sides. Fiction, nonfiction, cooking, history, biography (and that musty thing in the corner that you aren’t quite sure what it might be, yet you’re still intrigued). If you’re not careful, the experience might well overload your senses and consume you into the void of literature where so many poor souls have been lost before.


2. Fair trade offers

agents of evil

Most used bookstores will offer to buy any books that you might own to add to their collections.


These people are agents of evil looking to steal away your precious books and leave you bereft of your precious friends. Hold tight to your treasures and if one of these fiends approaches–they will wear kind faces and seem human–hiss at them to rattle their senses (we all know agents of darkness hate cats) so you can escape. Remember, books are the only earthly possession that we can bring with us into the afterlife; therefore they are sacred.


3. Don’t underestimate a used book

old book smell

Keep in mind that while these are used books that can no longer offer their reader the pleasure of a freshly broken spine, these books still have something else, perhaps more enticing, to offer: the beautiful aroma of a life well lived. Carefully peel back a book’s cover and breathe deep of its scent. Imagine the many, grasping fingers that have passed their oils onto the yellowing pages…mmm…


4. Self-control is key


No matter what you might believe, you must remember that you cannot take the whole store with you. The sheer physical impossibility of such a feat aside, where are you going to put t hem all, eh? Another free-form stack next to your bed? Wait, is the bed made of books? Oh dear…


5. Treat them with respect


Finally, and most importantly, treat books with the respect due an honored elder. They have been through quite a bit and deserve some rest in a safe home. There is no need to hasten their end through carelessness. Each and every volume still has–



I said you CAN’T take the store!




(Thanks for reading! All photos in this post are either public domain, or were taken by me.)


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