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The great thing about reading is it takes you places you’ve never been before or never thought to go. And there’s no place where that’s truer than in a great secondhand bookstore…

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It’s a place where tattered best sellers from a decade ago
merge with books that defeat time…

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And literary journals are mixed with foreign magazines…

Read Books

Like some perfect literary alchemy…

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So this is my favorite hangout…

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It’s called Read Books and it’s in Eagle Rock, a neighborhood in Los Angeles.


Lately I’ve been buying a book and a magazine (requiring much restraint), and then heading a block down the street to Auntie Em’s for coffee and a chocolate cupcake.

Added bliss: sitting at an outside table, reading and watching
the sunset over the Santa Monica Mountains.

ADD: I just realized that this post has received comments from readers in six countries: the US, the UK, the Philippines, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. So lovely to know that the love of wonderful old books is global!

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17 Comments on My Favorite Used Bookstore

  1. Gorgeous! I adore 2nd hand bookstores, they have so much character. Found some cute little ones in Wellington a couple of weeks ago, that I am dying to return to!

  2. I miss my favorite used book store, back home…books filling shelves, stacked on shelves, stacked in piles, filling every little space imaginable in its little building. My small town has no bookstore, but we do have the county library in an old church building, and it's quite lovely in itself.

  3. Swoon. Oh, I want to go to this bookstore, and then the coffee shop after.
    I'm new to your blog, but just wanted to say hi, and tell you how much I'm enjoying all your posts. I am a used book store junkie. This one looks fantastic.

  4. That sounds like absolute bliss.

    There is a little secondhand store down the road from my house called the Bookworm and I love wasting away my Saturday mornings there.

  5. My favourite second-hand bookshop has OS maps from the 20s and 30s in as well which I just love – how to choose one only?!

  6. my favourite thing to do too!! we have a book exchange down the road (Freshwater, Australia) sometimes on my way to buy a grocery or two I sneak in & it's like my secret happy place!

  7. Yes, love it! My favourite for second hand books (plus chai tea and banana bread) is Gertrude and Alice in Bondi:)

  8. Oh, I love used bookstores. I also have a thing for the ones that mix old and new, like Spoonbill and Sugartown in Williamsburg, NY. But anything goes, really!

  9. … and Bulgaria :)
    That sounds like the best routine ever! Definitely what I'd be doing in a perfect afternoon :)

    I wish we had used bookstores here. They are not so popular. You can find old books being sold by random people on the street though, but it's mostly textbooks and dictionaries :)

    It's been a while since I was last here (or on any other blog for that matter, including mine, lol) It's nice to "see you" again, dear :)

  10. Thanks for the tip! I live only a few miles from Read Books, and yet I've never been! I'll definitely pop in….and then I'll head straight for Auntie Em's!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Oh my! There is nothing so wonderful than crouching on all fours, seeking every nook and cranny just to sniff out literary dust! This is a wonderful, wonderful find. I’m from the Philippines and we also have similar stores, all too eclectic, too random and too exciting. I wish you could visit my blog. I am just starting out and you serve as a dippable inspiration.