McKay's Used Books

Posted on September 10, 2007 by Steve

William Gibson seems a bit unnerved at the way "every class of human artifact is being sorted and rationalized by this economically driven machine," referring to eBay.

I suppose if I wanted to blow a few hundred dollars I could locate and accumulate fondly-remembered childhood toys and scratch all the book titles off my To Buy list. But there's still something to be said for the serendipitous find.

McKay's has long been a favorite haunt and source for reading material, and I was disappointed when their nearby location shut down. This weekend we tried a local alternative and found that any ratty paperback was $7 or more, so we trekked on down to Manassas. Within minutes of walking in to McKay's, I found a pair of books that had been on my list for years. Both in dust jackets, in very good shape, ten dollars total. Oh, both were signed by the author as well.

There were many other books for one to three dollars that I might have picked up in the days of shelf space and leisure time, but for now I just grabbed one, and later realized that I had already read it.

So it appears it is still possible to be a "picker."
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Posted by Tony | September 11, 2007 | 08:43:11

Thanks for the tip on McKay's. Sounds like a good place of which there aren't nearly enough these days. Worth a drive out to Manassas. And both Tufte books for ten bucks?! I'm impressed. He sells them new for some obscene amount of money.

Posted by Steve | September 11, 2007 | 10:17:16

One was four and the other was six dollars. It was a bit of an anomaly, because there were two copies of each title, and both of the other titles were marked $20 (each), half of the cover price.

McKay's is well-organized, with sorted books and printed price labels, but they don't seem to have a strict price schedule like many places. When there are several copies of a book, you can often find one cheaper than the others, perhaps due to condition, perhaps due to chance.

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