Cindy and I were over at Rita's Italian Ice (where they were once again out of my favorite flavor, strawberry) last night when I saw my two favorite words on a nearby sign: Used Books.
We soon discovered Re-Reads: A Used Bookstore at 2133 Defense Hwy, Suite 4, in Crofton, MD. It's a great looking place, filled with floor-to-(almost) ceiling bookshelves, but these are nice bookshelves, not the typical used-bookstore ratty-looking units that look like high school wood shop rejects. And the books themselves were the best looking used books I'd ever seen. The guy running the place must have extremely high standards. None of the books I saw had wrinkled spines. None. Every book looked as if it had been handled maybe once or twice. Only when I pulled down a couple did I see any signs of edge wear, and even then not much.
All of the mass market paperbacks went for $2, but again, they all looked pristine. I bought one trade paperback (Jim Thompson's The Grifters) for $3.50, a couple of others for $4 and one for $5.
The guy behind the counter (also the owner) said he's been there since December. I never knew it, but then again I hardly ever go on that side of town. I really hope this store makes it. If you're in the neighborhood, drop in.
(The store's bookmarks carry this quote from Andrew Ross: "The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television.")