A good friend of my brother recently visited St. Louis. He is an avid reader and used book collector. Although I like to read too but I have to admit I am not at his level in terms of reading breadth and expertise. Neverthless, we spent quite some time in two of the used book stores in St. Louis. The first one is The Book House at Manchester Road. It’s a family owned operation, a two story building full of all kinds of used books. We spent about an hour and half there and my friend picked up 6 books. I think the cashier was quite happy with his big spending. It seems to me not many people here will buy that many at one time. After that we went to the Left Bank Books at the Central West End. Left Bank is a larger (but independent) book store and it has both new and used books. I remember I saw the late Chinese American writer Iris Chang at the store a few years ago. We also picked a few books there.
Besides the brick-and-mortar stores. We can also look for books online. These are nothing new: one can search on ebay and Amazon for those used books. What interested me is I found some new ideas about the exchanging used books. Two web sites, bookins, paperbackswap, are helping people exchange used books online. It seems the former is more business oriented (creating profit), the latter is more service oriented. But I like the idea very much. Unlike my friend, I am not a book collector. And I want to read more books without owning them. Library is a good source. But this online exchange thing is also interesting. I may try this in this holiday.