Where do unwanted books go?
A friend of mine posted on his Facebook page that he wanted to know where he could go to “get rid of unwanted books”. I found his choice of the word ‘unwanted’ caused me to immediately imagine a pile of sad books who had nowhere to go. I responded to his post and demanded to know what the books ever did to him to make him no longer want them. I thought of the book I finished not too long ago that many fellow bloggers suggested to me; The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and its ‘cemetery of forgotten books’. I thought they could go there but then realized it wasn’t that these books were forgotten, they were unwanted. So where do unwanted books go?
He got numerous suggestions from other people – all of them suggesting second-hand stores which were great. I realized then that second-hand stores were the orphanages of unwanted books and that they provide a very important service.
One of my favourite second-hand stores shut down (it is coming back though – soon I hope). Aqua Books. It used to be across the street from where I worked so I would go in my lunch hour and browse and take my sweet time – surrounded by the books that have been read, re-read, lost, forgotten, unwanted, used and hopefully, loved. I loved discovering old, new, weird, awesome, wonderful, crazy, mean and dark books that you normally wouldn’t be able to find in a new bookstore. Inside Aqua Books was beautiful dark oak beams and ceilings. It was old and looked antiquated. The owner himself was a little eccentric but he loved culture, art and books. He had a room upstairs in the building that theatre groups or musicians would rent out and put on a show. The store was neat and clean but always cluttered and that is what added to its charm.
What are your favourite second-hand book stores and why? Do you prefer second-hand over new?