Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot
I am a huge fan of used bookstores. I absolutely love them. There’s something about the smell of old musty books; the thrill of discovering hidden treasures; and the pleasure of spending a fraction of the price for a great book that brings so much delight to my inner nerd.
There is something magical about wandering the isles and sifting through a pile of books, hoping to find rare and unexpected treasures. Time seems to escape me as I read though book jackets, excerpts and notes. Sometimes I’ll find forgotten notes, receipts or an event ticket stub stuck between pages with handwritten scribbles. I often find myself wondering about the history of the book and of its previous owner. The idea that someone else read this book, probably enjoyed it and took the time to underline passages they thought were important fascinates me.
Endless shelves of history–that’s what I love most about used bookstores. It’s not so much about the book itself, but the journey and entertainment of finding that hidden treasure. No purchase is necessary to attain this experience, just a few minutes (or in my case, hours) of your time and a willingness to explore.
As more people are turning to the internet, Kindle, iBook or Nook as a source for reading information and entertainment, the number of local bookstores are dwindling. It’s a sad reality, but fortunately for the residents of Hawaii Island there are still a few options available for used book-lovers like myself. There’s the State Public Library, and of course, my personal favorite, Kona Bay Books–Hawaii’s largest used bookstore with over 2 miles of books, CDs and DVDs.
If you haven’t yet discovered the pleasures of a great used book, I highly recommend a visit to your nearest local used bookstore and discover what hidden treasures await.