Secondhand Wonderland:

The World of the Used Book

By PopMatters Staff

17 June 2008

Secondhand books and the emporiums they inhabit affect book lovers in different ways. In this four-part PopMatters special section, we step inside the world of secondhand books and demonstrate the diversity of the experiences it contains.
Let the Buyer Beware: Bookstore Caveat Emptor Will Not Go Quietly Into That Good Night

Thirty-seven years and still going: Justin Dimos dissects Bloomington's historical secondhand bookstore.

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Saint Vinnie

Deanne Sole journeys Melbourne's charity outlets, exploring the fundamentals of the down under St. Vincent de Paul outlet: Bargains, surprises, drunks.

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Book Arbitrage

Joan Didion once wrote, "the hippies scorn money -- they call it bread." Rob Horning explains how best to reap the benefits of the secondhand bookstore's cash-or-credit system.

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The Delicate Ecology of the Used Bookstore

You know, it's not easy rummaging through your trash. Ian Mathers takes a look at the secondhand bookseller's world from the inside.

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The Book Barn

Kirby Fields revisits Joplin, Missouri's Book Barn, and poses the question: What does it mean to be the cultural center of a community that has no culture?

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The Dust Test

Let's face it: the way that someone interacts with a used bookstore suggests some things about how he will interact in other, slightly more intimate venues... Erika Nanes judges her potential dates by the way they handle their secondhand books.

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Rates of Exchange: The Law of Conservation of Literature

"What is a hardcore book buyer of simple means to do when faced with the discovery that books have effectively consumed all available space?" David Pullar explores the book culler's dilemma that is Cash vs. Store credit.

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Bibliotherapy

Secondhand bookstores are about more than literary treasures. As Diane Leach explains, they contain personal histories that connect readers through the ages.

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