Letter: In praise of local bookstores

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Graphic by Lori Deaton

I spend way too much of my waking hours prowling the shelves of Downtown Books & News and The Captain’s Bookshelf. I have credit at the Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, so I can either pick up a “previously loved” novel, or my wife can sink down in a black leather sofa, and we can sip on a bottle of Champagne in the heart of Asheville, for free!

The most unusual place I’ve found is [Morrison’s] Paperback Palace on Possum Trot Road, across from Discount Shoes. One side of the store has a fabulous array of used paperbacks, mostly popular fiction, but I’ve found some good, serious literature there as well. The other side of the store, run by the same guy, is Morrison’s [Ammo & Gun Specialties]. Not being much of a gun guy, I don’t spend any time on that side of the store, but if I ever get invited to go duck hunting, I’ll know where to pick up my shotgun cartridges. And just in case I get bored sitting in the blind all day, I’d choose a few Nordic Noir paperbacks to take with me.

So, here’s a big shoutout to the Paperback Palace and all the other local purveyors of gently used poetry and prose.

— Charlie Miller
Asheville

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5 thoughts on “Letter: In praise of local bookstores

  1. Big Al

    Check out “Books for Good” in Fletcher. A MASSIVE number of paperbacks covering 3 walls of a small warehouse for starters. And the proceeds go to local charities.

  2. Tothedogs

    I love all of the local independent bookstores and record shops too. Not many small cities have such a broad selection, from the Radical-Anarchist Firestorm, to the ever interesting Downtown Books, to the used book section at the Library. Literature seems alive and kicking in Asheville, but we have to remember they rely on our support to stay in business. As the first comment states, Amazon has essentially swallowed up the book industry and now controls a large percentage of it. If we don’t want Amazon to control everything, we should spend a little more at our local shop. Money well spent, since it flows through our community and not into the coffers of Bezos & Company. I should also add that local book stores, and record shops, also pay reasonable amounts of money for your used collections, and have put many a meal on this writer’s table. If there’s anything truly special about Asheville, I’d argue it’s not the beer, it’s the books.

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