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Open Discussion > How many books stores are in your area, and which do you prefer?

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message 1: by Ashley (last edited Mar 20, 2013 06:56AM) (new)

Ashley (icecheeseplease) I've lived in St. Louis for most of my life and there are quite a number of book stores around here, but from what I understand, in smaller cities/towns you have to go pretty far out of your way to get to the nearest book store.

In my area all of the Borders went out of business, I believe there were 3 or 4, possibly more in the Greater Saint Louis area. There are two Barnes & Noble still around (maybe a third), Left Bank Books which is one of the larger stand-alone used book stores, and a handful of adorable hole-in-the-wall used bookstores about.

I like Barnes because they seemingly have everything you could ever want but at the same time used bookstores have a charm that the chain stores could never have. Basically, if I want a brand new book asap I go to Barnes and if I'm content with browsing I'll go to one of the used book stores. How about you all?


message 2: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (icecheeseplease) Frank wrote: "I think all of the Borders everywhere went out of business. They're no longer a thing.

Umm I do go into B&N sometimes, but Half-Price Books is my go-to. I don't know if they have those everywhere,..."


The German Village store sounds like a dream, if I'm ever in the area I'll definitely be checking it out.


message 3: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (icecheeseplease) Scott wrote: "Ashley wrote: "I've lived in St. Louis for most of my life ..."

I was in St. Louis for a time, and I remember a great store called Library Ltd. It was in Clayton; are you familiar with it, and is ..."


I have not heard of that one but upon googling it seems to still be there. Thanks for the heads up, I will be checking that out asap :).


message 4: by Darli (last edited Mar 20, 2013 09:56AM) (new)

Darli (parentheticals) | 92 comments I live in Southeast Asia so we don't have any of the American bookstores here (sadly). Imported books also become very, very expensive when they arrive in the country because of import tax + value added tax, so I usually buy in secondhand shops. Thankfully, there are a lot of secondhand stores here with lots of good collections.

My favorite is La Belle Aurore Bookshop. It's a fairly new shop put up by a lover of books and it has amazing collections + beautiful interiors. Here are some pics:




A second branch also opened and there's a piano that musicians can use when they drop by. A monthly poetry reading (open mic) and some acoustic sessions by local bands are also held regularly. Here's a pic from one of the poetry reading events:




message 5: by Darli (new)

Darli (parentheticals) | 92 comments Welp! That was a long post. Anyway, I just want to add that when I do buy American/English books (e.g. specific covers, new releases or first editions) I usually order from Amazon. I pay a bit for the shipping but it's worth it! I also have a Kindle so.. yeah.


message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (icecheeseplease) What a wonderful shop! That reminds me that I recently started taking pictures of book and comic book stores where ever I go. There aren't many yet but I made an album on imgur.


message 7: by Rose, Mod (new)

Rose (rtrinh) | 153 comments Mod
Seeing as I live in Canada in the Greater Toronto Area, it's common to see Chapters/Indigo/Coles which is essentially Barnes and Noble... but Canadian. There are definitely a few great used bookstores in the downtown TO area but living out of downtown, it's hard to find a bookstore with...soul.

I'm from Calgary and I recently went to a bookstore called Shelf Life Books which had some incredible warmth to it. By that I mean, you walk in and it's like you're walking into someone's home library with a large oak table. I could have spent all day in the store especially after they asked me to help myself to complimentary apple cider/tea/coffee and shortbread cookies. I had never had such a pleasant experience in another bookstore and I look forward to going there again one day.


message 8: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (icecheeseplease) Rose wrote: "Seeing as I live in Canada in the Greater Toronto Area, it's common to see Chapters/Indigo/Coles which is essentially Barnes and Noble... but Canadian. There are definitely a few great used booksto..."

If you do go back there you MUST take a picture for us. I need to see this place, it sounds amazing.


message 9: by Darli (new)

Darli (parentheticals) | 92 comments I like your photos, Ashley. They all look like wonderful shops.

@Rose: Shelf Life Books sounds amazing! Take pictures when you go back! I'm planning to take pictures of bookstores I visit in the future, and share them with you here. It looks like a good project to start.


message 10: by Brooks (new)

Brooks The library in our town is expanding, so while the construction is ongoing, they have moved into the building that used to house Borders before it shut down. My friend now calls it "Free Borders". Which I love.

I live in a college town so there are multiple indie bookstore/coffeeshops around. It's pretty great. My favorite is "The Raven" which is just packed with books.


message 11: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (icecheeseplease) Brooks wrote: "I live in a college town so there are multiple indie bookstore/coffeeshops around. It's pretty great. My favorite is "The Raven" which is just packed with books. "

I can't resist.




message 12: by Ashley (last edited Mar 22, 2013 10:40AM) (new)

Ashley (icecheeseplease) Scott wrote: "Ashley wrote: "I've lived in St. Louis for most of my life ..."

I was in St. Louis for a time, and I remember a great store called Library Ltd. It was in Clayton; are you familiar with it, and is ..."


So, I was making plans to go check out the Library Ltd that you mentioned when I came across this article from 1997. So yeah, Borders bought out that store quite a while ago and now Borders has died too. So much for that idea. :P


message 13: by Eric (new)

Eric Hinrichsen Jr. (ehinrichsenjr) | 33 comments Well I don't really have any awesome book stores in my area. We have Labrynth Books 10 minutes away, but I usually find their books kind of overpriced (it is the main book store for Princeton...). My girlfriend lives near a place called Bargain Book Warehouse which I enjoy. I actually just bought three from there two days ago. I wish I had an awesome trendy bookstore... anybody in Jersey know any? Haha


message 14: by Megan, Mod (new)

Megan (maptree) | 198 comments Mod
The only bookstore here is Barnes and Noble. I was never really a fan, Borders was my favorite but we all know what happened to them. There is a used store I go to sometimes, but it is mostly paperbacks and those are usually romance which is not my thing.

I remember the big one in Toronto, took up a whole city block, used to take a whole Saturday and go to the used shops and U of T bookstore as well. Loved it. Las Vegas doesn't seem to have that and I miss it so most of my buying now is online unfortunately.


message 15: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Dog-Eared Pages Used Books | 4 comments I own an indie new/used bookstore in Phoenix, Arizona. A few weeks ago, we realized we were not going to be able to stay open much longer. We sent an email to our customers advising them to use their trade credit quickly.

Then, the strangest things began to happen. People began shopping in our store and telling us they didn't want us to close. The media picked it up and ran several articles in major papers and magazines. Then a company, Scott's Marketplace hosted a cash mob for us last Saturday. It's been an amazing few weeks. We've almost caught up on our back rent and the store's been busier than ever.

I know we're not the only indie bookstore who is struggling. Please support your local bookstore. If yours has already closed, I'm sorry for your loss. Please feel free to visit our online store until you get a new one. A $20 order gets you free shipping. www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com

But please shop local first and keep your bookstores alive. It will be a sad day if they all disappear.


message 16: by Stephanie, Super Mod (new)

Stephanie (lastnightsbook) | 346 comments Mod
@Melanie, I'm happy for you and your fight to keep the book store alive. This is the first I heard of in a long time where a book store wasn't bought out or had to close.

Do you have any book clubs that meet in your book store?

Also welcome to our group!


message 17: by Rose, Mod (new)

Rose (rtrinh) | 153 comments Mod
Melanie wrote: "I own an indie new/used bookstore in Phoenix, Arizona. A few weeks ago, we realized we were not going to be able to stay open much longer. We sent an email to our customers advising them to use the..."

Good luck! That's really, truly amazing what the community has done for your store! My family actually owns property in Phoenix so I really hope that next time I'm down there that I'll be able to drop into your store!


message 18: by Lee (new)

Lee I live in the suburbs of a city so there are a few bookstores near me but they're all rather expensive compared to some online sites. They're all rather large chains so I don't feel bad about not using them in favour of bookdepository.co.uk

There is one second hand bookshop that I know of but their library isn't very well populated and the books there are in a not so nice condition. I get that second hand books aren't always in great condition, but some of these looked like they were put through the washer and left out to dry. I still pop by now and then though but they rarely have the book I'm looking for


message 19: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Dog-Eared Pages Used Books | 4 comments Annie wrote: "@Melanie, I'm happy for you and your fight to keep the book store alive. This is the first I heard of in a long time where a book store wasn't bought out or had to close.

Do you have any book clu..."
Thanks, Annie. It looks like an interesting group. Yes, we do have books clubs and many other events. They're all listed on our website http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com


message 20: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Dog-Eared Pages Used Books | 4 comments Lee wrote: "I live in the suburbs of a city so there are a few bookstores near me but they're all rather expensive compared to some online sites. They're all rather large chains so I don't feel bad about not u..." That's truly a shame Lee, these little places add so much more to a community than simply books. Ours is a place to slow down, meet your neighbors, and sit down on a stool and have a chat at our counter. We promote local authors and local artists and generally have fun meeting intelligent people every day. Where else do you get to do that in person anymore?

I'm hoping you get an indie owned store in your hood soon.


message 21: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Dog-Eared Pages Used Books | 4 comments Rose wrote: "Melanie wrote: "I own an indie new/used bookstore in Phoenix, Arizona. A few weeks ago, we realized we were not going to be able to stay open much longer. We sent an email to our customers advising..." Hi, Rose. It was amazing. We had no idea people still cared so much about their bookstore. I hope other struggling stores can do the same thing. We'd love to meet you next time you're in town!


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