My favorites stores are the ones where I have to dig for treasure. I love thrift stores and sales racks. I love the feeling of The Find-- you know, that perfect whatever that's 93% off.
But books, now.... it's hard to find a fun bookstore any more. I don't like the big chains; they're dull and soulless. I want the tiny, scrungy local-owned places with hardcover editions of my favorite out-of-print something or other. Preferably with all shelf space used up and the excess stacked up in wobbly piles. But of all the things Las Vegas has to offer, the just-right second hand bookstore is one that's missing. Or I just haven't found it yet.
So, most of my book shopping happens at thrift stores. Or sometimes ebay, if I hate the current editions' cover art (His Dark Materials) or the current (sacrilegious) order of a particular series. (*coughcough*Narnia*cough*). Mostly, I save my book shopping for when I visit my folks in Tucosn.
A block or two from their house, there's the perfect hunt-n-peck bookstore. I love it. My dad and I have a standing date to comb the sci-fi section whenever I'm in town. The whole place is about the size of my living room and kitchen combined and absolutely crammed with books. If they run out of room in one section, they stack overflow onto the nearest shelf. This leads to curious juxtapositions like Anne Frank ending up in True Crime.
I like to rearrange the books while I'm there. Not a lot, just-- you know, moving Tao of Pooh out of the children's section. Jonathan Livingston Seagull frequently turns up there too; sometimes I leave him, depending on my mood. Once I found him in animal books. Also: The Five People You Meet in Heaven is not a biography. The Historian does not belong in historical novels. And The Time Traveler's Wife is not sci-fi.
But the funny just adds to the whole experience. And finding a particular treasure-- a hardcopy edition of Illusions, for example-- is all the more sacred for the effort I put in. Just like everything else.