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Mourn for Bygone Used Book Stores Here!

Extollager

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6,139
I thought we had a thread along these lines already, but can't find it.

Here, History of The Hobbit author John Rateliff remembers Renaissance Books in downtown Milwaukee. I visited it once, in 1987, and might be able to find some notes of the experience. It was loaded with atmosphere; and I found some good books there, too.

Sacnoth's Scriptorium: Bookstore Lost (Milwaukee's Renaissance)

So write in here with your elegies of bookstores gone and bookstores doomed.


 

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
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Oct 5, 2011
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blah - flags. So many flags.
We did, somewhere.. Anyhow, the old Queens bookshop in Belfast - bastion of the Troubles, it was a source of calm for years. And Easons in Ann Street - a treasure trove of all things interesting.
 

Extollager

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By the way, this blogger says:

-----I still found some fun things, including a 1928 copy of "The Passion for Life" by C.S. Lewis.----

The Leatherwoods: September 2009

Must be a different C. S. L. than the famous one, or else she found a fabulous rarity at Renaissance Books.
 

Vertigo

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Okay, so I'm not mourning here but rather praying that I won't be mourning in a few years time. Here in Inverness we have Leakey's; housed in an old church it really is everything a second hand bookshop should be with masses of books from serious collectors items to classic era pulp sf paperbacks, and tea, coffee and armchairs to relax in.

It even has it's own tripadvisor entry with some great photos: Leakey's Second-hand Bookshop (Inverness, Scotland): Hours, Address, Specialty & Gift Shop Reviews - TripAdvisor
 

svalbard

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Lee Bookstores on the river front in Cork. It was a small, dark hole of a place but you could find anything there. The books were piled high, no organisation but the place was a pure treasure for my young mind at the time. It is gone close to 15 years now and I still miss it.
 

Extollager

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Here's another: the Bartlett Street Bookstore in Medford, Oregon, which closed in 2009. It was a small business around the corner from a downtown business district. The owner made the most of the space available.
bartlett.jpeg
 

WaylanderToo

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Jul 18, 2015
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not lost (to the best of my knowledge) but it is from a bygone era I guess. Last time I was in Florida I visited here



loved it - not a huge section for our genre (though not too bad!)
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
There was a place called "Grumpy's" in Chattanooga until a few years ago.

Its first location:

download (1).jpg


Its second (and last) location:

download.jpg


It was roomy and pretty easy to browse, compared to some places which are a total mess, with books piled up at random in the tiny corridors.
 

hitmouse

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So many. The dark dank overfilled British second hand bookshop, previously found in every town, often located on a dubious row, has largely disappeared. This was a seminal part of my pre-internet literary development from the late 1970s-mid 1980s, the major sink of my teenage pocket money, and I regret their passing. The various online retailers, in particular ebay, have paradoxically made oop pulps much easier to find, but the pleasure of browsing is gone, the randomness of new discoveries is changed, and the value of everything is known.

Hay-on-Wye is much the same as it was 30 years ago (apart from the Festival.) Charing Cross Road is sanitised and atrophied.

Gone but not forgotten, in Southampton, England, for the record:
  • Northam Books, Northam Road. A big dark rambly place, which in latter years became so overstocked that it was hard to get into. Had an astonishing collection of old SF, for pennies. One had to dig through stuff, but it was generally worth it. I got most of my Mayflower Michael Moorcocks there. Shut around 2000.
  • 2 used bookshops on St Mary's St, just round the corner from Northam Rd, names forgotten. This street used to be very seedy indeed. The shop at the top was chronically untidy but had a small and sometimes useful selection of 2nd hand SF, and a fat old guy who used to sit in an armchair in the window all day, never seeming to move. Large back room full of used jazz mags. Then there was a strange dark place at the lower end of the street, with a life preserver hung outside. The owner had a buy-exchange scheme. Both gone by the millenium.
  • At the bottom of East Street, opposite Paperback Parade (RIP, new books) was a used book store with a large wall of SF, and importantly, a whole shelf of 50s and 60s SF magazines, which I plundered, for about 25p apeice. This shop underwent a curious reorganisation, where the SF was moved uptairs, and shelved in a totally random order: useless. Closed late 1990s.
  • At the other end of the town centre, in the more refined Bedford Place, there was a multi-room used bookshop with serious chops, run by someone who knew a thing or two about antiquarian books as well as having a wide and well-organisedstock of everything else. Spent a lot of time and pennies in there. It later relocated to Lodge Rd. Probably in 2001-2 that also closed, possibly relocating to Andover.
 
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Victoria Silverwolf

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Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
On-line news article and video:

Chattanooga's oldest book store closing after 40 years

download.jpg


This isn't the kind of place I usually go to. It seems to be at least half Romance novels. However, I happened to be there today; the very last day. All books were fifty cents. I grabbed a few things, and filled a plastic bag for $7.10. (I wasn't counting, but that means I got thirteen books, plus sales tax.) Details in the Book Hauls thread.
 

Extollager

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I watched the TV report to which you provided a link; yeah, the inventory in general wouldn't quicken my pulse, but still ...
 

2DaveWixon

Shocked and Appalled!
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Mar 13, 2016
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Minnesota
So many. The dark dank overfilled British second hand bookshop, previously found in every town, often located on a dubious row, has largely disappeared. This was a seminal part of my pre-internet literary development from the late 1970s-mid 1980s, the major sink of my teenage pocket money, and I regret their passing. The various online retailers, in particular ebay, have paradoxically made oop pulps much easier to find, but the pleasure of browsing is gone, the randomness of new discoveries is changed, and the value of everything is known.

Hay-on-Wye is much the same as it was 30 years ago (apart from the Festival.) Charing Cross Road is sanitised and atrophied.

Gone but not forgotten, in Southampton, England, for the record:
  • Northam Books, Northam Road. A big dark rambly place, which in latter years became so overstocked that it was hard to get into. Had an astonishing collection of old SF, for pennies. One had to dig through stuff, but it was generally worth it. I got most of my Mayflower Michael Moorcocks there. Shut around 2000.
  • 2 used bookshops on St Mary's St, just round the corner from Northam Rd, names forgotten. This street used to be very seedy indeed. The shop at the top was chronically untidy but had a small and sometimes useful selection of 2nd hand SF, and a fat old guy who used to sit in an armchair in the window all day, never seeming to move. Large back room full of used jazz mags. Then there was a strange dark place at the lower end of the street, with a life preserver hung outside. The owner had a buy-exchange scheme. Both gone by the millenium.
  • At the bottom of East Street, opposite Paperback Parade (RIP, new books) was a used book store with a large wall of SF, and importantly, a whole shelf of 50s and 60s SF magazines, which I plundered, for about 25p apeice. This shop underwent a curious reorganisation, where the SF was moved uptairs, and shelved in a totally random order: useless. Closed late 1990s.
  • At the other end of the town centre, in the more refined Bedford Place, there was a multi-room used bookshop with serious chops, run by someone who knew a thing or two about antiquarian books as well as having a wide and well-organisedstock of everything else. Spent a lot of time and pennies in there. It later relocated to Lodge Rd. Probably in 2001-2 that also closed, possibly relocating to Andover.
Do I remember rightly that there used to be a store called Foyle's in London? I stopped in once, whilst backpacking around Europe -- but that was a long, long time ago, so forgive if the memory has blurred something...

Dave
 

2DaveWixon

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Foyles still exists but has recently moved premises.
Thank you for that information; somehow, it's comforting.
I have (as I'm sure is common to all of us in Chronicles) rummaged through many bookstores in my lifetime -- in addition to working in a couple of them, one of which I managed. But in general I find that I seldom remember their names (principally, that's the case for the non-chain stores).
Oh, well...
 

Extollager

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Just the names of some of the bygone bookstores from my experience have an evocative quality -- Blue Goose Books, Thieve's [sic] Market, Old Oregon Book Store, Blue Dragon Books, Green Dolphin Bookshop, Shakespeare and Company (not the famous one in Paris), etc. I wish I'd taken pictures of all of them.
 

psikeyhackr

Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
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Sometimes the Internet is so frikking amazing:

Science-fiction Store Has Books And More

Science-fiction Store Has Books And More
September 09, 1988|By Barbara Emrys.``I don`t have everything-yet,`` says Alice Bentley, co-owner and manager of the Stars Our Destination science-fiction bookstore, recently opened at 2942 N. Clark St. The 8,000 or so science-fiction, fantasy and horror titles currently in stock are just a start on Bentley`s goal of gathering every

``speculative`` (another name for the genre-just don`t call it ``sci-fi``)

book in print plus rare and out-of-print works.

Two walls of the long, narrow store are given over to high, book-filled shelves. Central racks hold more paperbacks, with the latest titles up front. Posters, advance book covers and inflatable rockets surround the manager`s elevated post between the display window and a wide case of small science-fiction art objects.
When I finally discovered them they were at a different address.

The Stars Our Destination in Chicago, IL | LibraryThing Local

They had the biggest selection of new and used SF books that I had or have ever seen. And the used books were in alphabetical order by author. That was Frikking SHOCKING! I don't recall when it was exactly but I showed up to buy some books one day and they were GONE.

I just found this:

The Stars Our Destination - science fiction, fantasy and horror bookstore - all about stars

Now that is a blast from the past, like 20 years.

psik
 
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2DaveWixon

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Minnesota
Just the names of some of the bygone bookstores from my experience have an evocative quality -- Blue Goose Books, Thieve's [sic] Market, Old Oregon Book Store, Blue Dragon Books, Green Dolphin Bookshop, Shakespeare and Company (not the famous one in Paris), etc. I wish I'd taken pictures of all of them.
Me, too -- taking pix, I mean.
For one, I should have taken a picture of the original Uncle Hugo's (Minneapolis) -- if not least because I was the one who painted the sign above the windows...
So, that proves I can remember some names...there was, and still is, Uncle Hugo's, and its mystery company Uncle Edgar's. And then Dreamhaven, now in its second or third location...
 
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