Archive for January 19th, 2012

2nd and Charles

peopleschoice. bhamaddys. com

I mentioned 2nd and Charles the other day when I wrote about the brain book I have been reading. I wanted to tell you more about 2nd and Charles. In these times where attention is focused on reusing and recycling, a store by the name of 2nd and Charles sprung up in the location of a Books-A-Million store (Books-A-Million actually owns 2nd and Charles). BAM had been there for years and years. In the past, we usually have had 3-4 chain bookstores around the area but in these times of digital convergence, book stores have become an endangered species. Rather than close the Books-A-Million store, the owners turned it into a used book store. Before you get the idea it is like one of those you see on the street corner in many towns where some books have been on the shelf since the beginning of time (or since it opened) and are looking faded and non-enticing, let me say that 2nd and Charles is not like that. When it was converted, it was still a rather new concept to take a big box store and convert it into a used book store and make a chain of them. In fact, many people around here were turned off by it. I was excited and wanted to check it out.

This location was the second 2nd and Charles and opened just after the first one opened in Birmingham (Alabama). I don’t know how their bottom line is at the present, but I see more people in the store and there is always a wait to check-out. This is a good thing. And, it gets people into recycling our books, though I have bought more books here than anywhere else without taking any books in to be traded. Don’t get me wrong. The store will not accept all books. In fact, they are very choosy. I think this is good. If there is a wait to trade/sell books, you drop them off at the counter and are assigned a number. You then wait somewhere in the store until it is your turn, in the snack area provided or you can browse the inventory.

2nd and Charles has been opened for over a year now and I wish them well. Hey, I have to mention that they buy/sell/trade more than books. I like it because things change-their inventory is not stagnate. If things are not moving along as quickly as they want, the books will be marked down—like a sale. It is almost like going to a yard sale or flea market but with only la crème de la crème to choose from. And, one has to visit frequently to stay up to date.

Some people were sad to see the coffee shop go, but the focus was put back on books. And, that’s a good thing. So, check 2nd and Charles out if you have the chance. I cannot vouch for other cities, but our bookstore is a good one, and there is only one chain bookstore left that sells new books now. I think it was a great decision to convert.

Happy Gardening in all of your reading!


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