I love browsing libraries and book stores. I love Barnes & Noble, it’s hard not to find what you’re looking for there. With the growth of chain stores, it’s hard to find other, smaller book stores anywhere anymore. I’d heard about a used book store here locally, in Norfolk, and until last week I had yet to check. I don’t know why I waited so long, probably because in getting to the store, I passed two Barnes and Nobles. For me, it was a bit out of the way – but I finally went, and discovered it was well worth the drive!
It’s called the Book Exchange, and in the store you can do just that. You can bring in used books (movies, CDs, even records!), and get store credit for anything else you might find in the store, which includes both new and used items. It was actually bigger than I expected it to be – with a great selection of classics, mysteries, kids books, and new releases. So, I wasn’t able to sip a pumpkin spice latte while browsing the books there, but I still really liked the store. I’m planning to bring a big stack of books the next time I go in – and exchange them hopefully for an equally big stack of books.
Here in Virginia Beach, which is quite large, there aren’t any good independent book stores. A few months ago my daughter and I went to check out a similar used book store. We were both disappointed. There wasn’t a single children’s book that was less than 10 years old and the entire store smelled like mildew. My husband and I lived in Jacksonville, Florida briefly (a brief stop in his military career). We lived close to the coolest book store I’ve ever been to. And actually one of the most disappointing things about leaving Jacksonville was knowing I wouldn’t be shopping there anymore.
This store isn’t exactly unique. Finding (good) independent bookstores can be challenging – but they’re still out there!!