The Last Bookstore - Downtown

September 13, 2013 – 09:43
Exploring . michigan ave . south western michigan » here

And then there's The Labyrinth. Head upstairs (the staircase is in the northeast corner, next to another entrance)(there's also a yarn/knitting store up there, which I didn't check out) for even more books than downstairs. Walk through shelves upon shelves of sci-fi and fantasy books, go into a little vestibule that used to be a bank safe (the open door is a safe door) and check out the books in there. And then, go through a tunnel constructed of books, towered and curved over (drilled through, put rebar in the middle? How? How did they make it?) and end up in a gigantic room, several times the size of my entire apartment, with dozens of tall shelves full of $1 books. A few shelves are organized by color, which is roughly about as organized as most of the shelves are (although here and there, you can recognize themes; against the very back, by the windows, seemed to be a health section). There are also maybe eight crates of $1 records. And The Labyrinth is easily a place where you could spend a couple hours. Maybe more than a couple. I was trying not to spend more than a half hour in the whole store, so I didn't really look, but will certainly explore another time. I didn't see any baskets at the entrance to carry books in, but they really ought to offer those.

I bought six books for the paltry sum of $27.25. Checking out was the only thing I didn't like, as the employees at the counter were MUUUUCH too cool for me (so I'm not an *artist*, nor do I ride a fixie)(ok, I don't even own a bike). The customers in front of me had questions, and despite there being two employees at the counter, the one uninvolved in the conversation didn't take up register duty, just let the line stand there. Once it was my turn, the employees didn't bother saying hello, but continued their conversation until my books were totaled and I was asked for payment, then if I wanted a bag for my books. I'm not asking for Trader Joe's-friendly employees here, but, you know, it'd be nice to be acknowledged as standing right there having an interaction with them!

The store also buys/trades for your own books and vinyl. Personally, trading my books is far more terrifying than selling music at Amoeba; I might worry that the buyer at Amoeba thinks I have bad taste, but the book buyer would be judging my intelligence, my personality. I'm not ready for that. You go ahead and I'll buy the books you drop off.


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