Thursday, December 29, 2011

Second Hand Bookstores, Henceforth Known as SHBs

I'm on vacation in the ever-wonderful US of A, enjoying Christmas and soon New Year's Eve here, too. At the moment, I'm exploring Washington DC and I've come across a phenomenon that I wish wish WISH we also had in Germany: The Second Hand Bookstore. I used to picture these fantastical places - I honestly have never come across one in Germany - as tiny, dark and dinky, filled with ancient books, so old in fact that they are falling apart or written in hieroglyphs or plain boring.

But, ho, I couldn't have been more wrong.

I stumbled across this one SHB called Idle Wild Books and was at first reluctant to go inside. But, me being me, I couldn't just walk right by it, either. So I went in and came out barely fifteen minutes later, proudly carrying a paper bag - because nobody uses plastic here, how cool is that?! - with four new books, books that had been released only this year, books I'd been contemplating on downloading onto my kindle and which I now got for half-price. 

What I especially loved about this SHB was that it was a little like unpacking a Christmas present, or maybe Forrest Gump's infamous box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get. Idle Wild Books had a LOT of books, but of course not the whole selection you'd find in any of the big shops or even an indie store. But they had lots of books I have at home myself and that alone tells me that SHBs indeed aren't the stuffy, dinky places I always imagined them to be. 

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