Used Bookstores: Gateways to Unknown Worlds

My greed for adventure and wonder led me far from easily available stories

New Bookstores were Not Available — or Up to the Job

I grew up in a small Illinois city on the outskirts of the St. Louis Metro Area, and no new bookstores considered us a market worth pursuing.

Fortunately, Many Used Book Store Owners Didn’t Let the Poor Business Prospects Stop Them from Opening Their Doors

I believe a lot of used bookstores flourished in small towns and cities that were ignored by the new bookstores because many people, like me, wanted to read more than the books they could buy at the local drugstore or grocery.

The “Big City” Used Bookstore

Sam Amitin was also crazy, but like a fox. He operated a large used bookstore in the heart of downtown St. Louis. Unlike many used bookstores, it was well-lit and fairly well-organized.

A New Generation Takes Over

I’m not sure when Sam’s son Larry took over the business. I believe I went there just one time.

The Insanity Continued

When I went off to school at the University of Missouri in Columbia, I quickly found Rock Bottom Books. It was pretty well-organized as I recall, though the owner spent most of his time with gun customers.

Finding Delightful Treasures Sustained Me

I just noticed what I’ve written so far hasn’t sounded romantic or nostalgic.

The Australian Movie Picnic at Hanging Rock Cast a Spell on Me, and I was Writing an Article on It for the First and Only Issue of Catenary Tales, from the St. Louis SF Society

I told Barb Then-Fitzsimmons (don’t know her current last name) I felt that Miranda, the main character who vanished that day, had turned into some kind of Earth goddess symbolized by the swans.

Current Recommendations

These days I’m too busy to be a self-appointed expert, but if you’re in the St. Louis area . . .

As Befits a More Digitized World, There’s a Lot Less Serendipity These Days in My Buying of Used Books

Or maybe I just don’t accidentally run across interesting new books and authors as much as before because I’m older and have a wide knowledge of what’s available.

Copywriter, financial writer, editor & unconventional thinker. Check out Income Investing Secrets newsletter

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store