Visit most any city in the world and you’ll find a used book store, typically small, usually family owned, and all with the familiar scent of old paper. They have many things in common: books fill every available space, usually categorized by what’s most popular in that city, town or village, then by category or author. There are many, many titles – a highly diverse selection – far more than you’ll find at your local big-box retailer.
These mom and pop stores are a dying breed, and are slowly fading out of existence – some are able to hang on, against all odds, surviving the giant on-line sellers and local retail giants. The Paperback Trading Company, in Oak Lawn, Illinois is one such business. The walls are festooned with just about anything you can think of, from an old sled to excess cloth, and it’s all for sale. Books? Thousands of titles, from the classics to old text books, lust-in-the-dust to architecture, Asimov to Zelazny, Sapir and Murphy to Twain and Cicero – you’ll find them all resting on sagging shelves, stacked on tables, filling mystery grab bags – everywhere you look. If you want diversity, just look on the shelves. I frequent the SciFi section - it's almost 20 feet wide and over six feet tall, with several hundred titles (probably a couple of thousand - I don't feel like counting them all!) – you’ll find some of my favorites in this pano, stacked on the floor and sideways on the shelves.
And, no, they don't have a website!