The Appeal Of Used Bookstores, Ctd

by Matt Sitman

Gracy Howard visits the pleasantly ramshackle Capitol Hill Books, which claims on its website that “[e]very bit of space in the store has a book, and there really is one here, somewhere, for you”:

The store’s sections are handwritten notes taped to the shelves, often with special “directions.” So often, these little notes anticipate my own thoughts. As I searched the fiction’s “D” section for Dostoevsky, I met this paper note Scotch-taped to the shelf: “If you’re looking for Dostoevsky” – with a friendly arrow pointing to a special section just a few shelves away. The whole store is like this: with unanticipated rabbit trails and person recommendations, all footnoted with a personal touch. If you want to discover a new unknown author, this bookstore is a perfect place to browse.

And those aren’t the only notes in the store:

One of my favorite notes in his bookstore offers the “Rules,” i.e. words prohibited on the premises: “Oh my God (or gosh),” “neat,” “sweet,” “like” (underlined several times in emphatic permanent marker), “you know,” “totally,” “whatever,” “perfect,” “that’s a good question,” “Kindle,” “Amazon,” and “have a good one.” [Owner Jim] Toole says when people use these words, he tells them to “get a thesaurus and stop being so mentally lame.”

Recent Dish on used bookshops here.