August again, and pretty soon I'll be updating my report about thrift
shops in New Mexico. But a recent visit from my young nephew, an
aspiring writer and book fiend, led me to research used book stores
in Arizona. I wanted to plan a short trip to visit stores in
Flagstaff, Cottonwood, and Prescott.
discovered used book stores when I was a young teenager, and my
introduction to that dusty realm was a revelation. Like most kids, I
didn't have a lot of spending money, and I had thought I would have
to rely solely on the library to satisfy my book cravings. The
library is a great place for a kid who's still learning what she
likes to read.
eventually you know which authors you like, and buying their books at
retail can be expensive. So when I realized there were used
book stores, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I've been
visiting used book stores ever since, but I admit there had been a
long gap between my last visit to a used book store and the ones I
took recently with my nephew and my husband. I noticed only one
change during that gap, and it's a logical one – the prices are a
bit higher than you might expect.
makes sense when you consider the internet. One of the things that
connectivity does is make people aware of what things are worth.
Some people believe a book should only cost 50 cents if it's used.
After all – it's used. But
if there's demand for that title, it's worth more. So the lowest
price we found on any book during our Used Book Store Crawl was
$2.00. But we still came home with a trunk-load of books. (Fair
warning to those of you who were hoping to lighten your bookshelves
instead of running to Ikea to buy a new one so you can store the
was the first city on our stop. We found an inexpensive hotel that
(coincidentally) backed onto the rear lot of the Galaxy Diner, our
favorite restaurant in Flagstaff. I love their pot roast sandwich;
Ernie usually goes for the meat loaf, and Miles had the chicken-fried
steak two days in a row. (You get 10% off your bill if you wear the
Galaxy Diner T-shirt.)
had done a google search for good used book stores in Flagstaff and
had come up with a page of possibilities. But as it turned out, when
we actually hit the streets, we only found two of the book stores
listed in my search. (NOTE: I didn't put Bookman's on the list.
It's a fairly big chain, and even though I would recommend it to
people looking for used books, I wanted to explore small, indie
of the things I like about Flagstaff is that the people who own
and/or work in the small businesses there are very representative of
the West. They're knowledgable about what they're selling, but
have a low-key style. If you ask them questions, you can learn quite
thing I like is that you can also find used books in a lot of the
antique stores – and there are several. So if you really want to
do a proper book crawl in Flagstaff, google the antique shops too.
are the two book shops we visited:
N Leroux St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
66, near old town shopping, between Beaver and San Francisco Street
one is an old-fashioned used book store, and one of the easiest to
find. All three of us picked up several titles each. Here's a photo
of our haul:
N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Old Route 66, North on San Fransisco, in the old shopping district.
Side Books sells new books, but it's a wonderful shop with an
eclectic selection. I bought some Where the Wild Things Are socks
(ones like the monster feet in the book). You are going to miss
something special if you don't visit this shop.
was just the first day of our trip, and already we were filling up
the trunk of our car with books. But there was more to come, my
friends. Much more . . .
TIME: Getting Lost in the Stacks in Cottonwood