Monday, November 29, 2010

Central Book Exchange

Central Book Exchange
2017 S. 1100 E.
SLC, UT 84106
(in Sugarhouse)

Remember the 1998 movie “You’ve Got Mail” in which Tom Hanks plays the CEO of a large corporate book chain at war with Meg Ryan’s character who owns a historic, individually owned bookshop? Whether you sympathize more with Tom Hanks’ character or Meg Ryan’s, you’ll find what you need on 11th East in Sugarhouse. Since I identify more with Meg, I bypassed Barnes & Noble on 23rd south and walked down a block or two to Central Book Exchange, the original used book source in Sugarhouse since 1968.

When you walk into a well-tended used bookshop, you know you’re entering the inner sanctum of a true booklover. There’s no need to present your official bibliophile identification card; your initiation and acceptance is immediate.

Used bookstores always have the most unique titles on display, and Central Book Exchange is no exception. One of the first books I spotted had a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the front and was entitled “Terminator & Philosophy: I’ll Be Back, Therefore I Am.” I was also seriously tempted by a gorgeous coffee table book in the Foreign Language & Travel section, "This Spectered Isle: A Journey through Haunted England.”

Another great thing about used bookstores is that they cater to a local audience. In the Nature/Adventure/Outdoors section, I spotted “Best Hikes with Children in Utah” as well as the national bestseller “Into the Wild.”

In the children’s section I found a gorgeous illustrated version of the children’s classic “Wind in the Willows.” I couldn’t leave without it. It appeared to be brand new, but I got it for a steal at $9. I also treated myself to the first in a recent detective series entitled “Maisie Dobbs.” Original cover price: $15. I paid $8.

Lastly I chose two books on tape (both mysteries) to listen to while I paint my living room. One of the workers saw me squatted in the audio book section, sorting through their piles, and offered to bring out still more audio books they had in the back. This is one more thing I love about used bookstores…the owners are always glad to assist and offer personal recommendations.

At Central Book Exchange, I found books in almost every category to satisfy anyone’s literary appetite. Avoid the madness of holiday lines and pseudo sales. Make your shopping experience a satisfying one; visit your cozy Central Book Exchange in the historic Sugarhouse shopping district.

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