For the Love of a Used Book

So I went on another bookstore adventure. This time only an hour away to visit a friend from college. We saw a movie and went shopping until our feet hurt. They literally hurt, but you guys don’t wanna hear about that. You guys wanna hear about the bookstore.

So I heard from a friend that I needed to go to this bookstore in Birmingham, AL. It’s a used bookstore, and according to her they had an insane selection. I’ll be honest as much as I love going to bookstores, the thrill has been lost on me a bit since I’ve had to budget all my money and have little left for book necessities. However I said okay, and when I found myself in Birmingham I made a point to take a trip over there!

The store is 2nd & Charles, and the best person to explain what they are about is themselves or at least their website. “At 2nd & Charles, our passion for reading, writing, listening, playing and watching has helped us take the idea of recycling to a whole new level.” Here is my favorite part, “Our inventory changes every day, you’ll always find something different here, too.*”

And this is what I saw…

Bookshelves at 2nd and Charles

Isn’t it marvelous? Well I certainly think so. Lately I have read a lot of blogs and articles about the merits of e-books vs. hard copies and whether there is a place for used books at all anymore. I can tell you that for me it’s never a question of which form is my favorite, because I honestly don’t care. I just want the book. I want to read in whatever form I can. Whether I can mark notes in the pages (I’m more for putting a sticky note in to remind myself of a passage) or if I am marking comments and highlighting quotes on my kindle. It really doesn’t matter to me.

I will say that if I really love a book I will buy it in multiple forms. A hard back to cherish, and a digital copy to take with me, so I can read it no matter where I am. Seeing as this can get pretty expensive there are only about 3 books I’ve ever bought in more than one form. Back to the matter at hand….

I love used books. I like that they have a history and a smell, but what I really love is the price. When I went to 2nd & Charles I wandered from aisle to aisle grabbing books I didn’t even know I’d been looking for. Automatically I assumed I’d spent $50. Wrong. I only spent $20 and I got 5 books. Some might say that $20 for 5 books isn’t very impressive, but I’m not sure that’s ever happened in my life so it’s pretty impressive to me. The sales associate who trekked all over the store looking for a C.S. Lewis book for me (apparently he is housed in many different sections) won my heart when he found the book.

There is also a lot more to 2nd & Charles than just books. They have used Books, CDs, DVDs & Blu-Ray, Video Games, Game Systems & Accessories, Comics, iPads, iPods, eReaders, Vinyl Records, and Audio Books. They have a bunch of locations, and if they are anywhere near you make sure to take a trip.

I would love to talk about how my friend spent 20 minutes looking at cook books or how I got lost in the comics, but I feel you guys are getting the point so I’ll just end with this: FIND A STORE NEAR YOU AND GO!!!!!

Here are the 5 lucky winners from my trip to 2nd & Charles

I would love to discuss in detail why I chose each book, and whether they are worth reading (I certainly hope they are) but that is a post for another time.

Where are your favorite local bookstores or used book shops? Why do you love them?

*head over to to find a location near you.

One response to “For the Love of a Used Book

  1. I absolutely love this store! I prefer an actual book in my hands, but I think there are definitely occasions when e-readers would come in handy. I’m so glad you had fun on your trip and loved the store! Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it myself! I hope you can come back soon! 🙂

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