Monday, May 07, 2012

Book shopping in Augusta

Two weeks ago I went to Augusta, GA for work and while I was there I decided to visit all of the bookstores in the immediate area.  Turns out there are just a few and some of the bookstores that I'd seen listed online had closed down.

But a few were still open for business and on a hot Saturday afternoon, I jumped in the car tracked them down.  My first stop was to The Book Tavern, located in downtown Augusta and just a few blocks from the statue of James Brown.  It's a small but cozy shop with a great selection.  They were in the middle of getting new shelves, so it was a bit disorganized - but isn't that part of the charm of an indie bookseller?  There are some nice pictures of the place on their facebook page, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

I managed to get out of The Book Tavern with only one book, Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon, which was originally published in German in 1940.  It's been on my to-read list for a long time, so I was happy to find a copy in good shape!  There were lots of books in there that I wanted and I was pretty happy with myself for exercising some self-control.
My first purchase
After driving around for a bit I saw a sign that said "Good Books" and thought it was odd that I didn't see it listed anywhere in all my Google and Yelp searches.  I pulled into the parking lot and realized that it was part of the Goodwill store next door.  I've never been inside a Goodwill before, but I thought it was interesting that they had a bookstore (and cafe!).  I was really surprised when I went inside.

They had a lot of really good stuff.  It was (mostly) well organized by author and there were a lot of really great titles.  There were even a few ARCs of books that had recently been published, as displayed in the photo below:

Oh, hello Gods of Gotham ARC!
I had very limited time before they shut down for the night, but I managed to get out of there with three books for a grand total of $11!  I got The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2004 National Book Critics Circle Award and Pulitzer winner), Michael Chabon's 2004 detective story novella The Final Solution and finally Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go.

The Goodwill has the goods.

I've talked to a few people since my trip that are avid Goodwill book-hunters and they told me that I overpaid for my three books.  Apparently, a typical Goodwill sells hardcover books for $1 and the paperbacks for even less.  But they also told me that a typical Goodwill doesn't have any organization in their "book section" and I think that the extra few dollars I paid essentially covered the cost of sorting and organizing the shelves in the Augusta location.

Overall, a fun trip to Augusta.  I'll be back in a few weeks and I'll probably hit up the same bookstores again.  I'll definitely give myself some more time at GoodBooks!  It also got me thinking that I haven't really hit up the great indie book shops in St. Louis in a long time. So I think that over the next few months I'll make a pilgrimage of sorts and write about it here on the blog.  Should be fun!

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