On Friday I had the chance to visit a new-to-me bookstore in Albany, Oregon: Browsers’ Bookstore. Although I only stopped by between errands with a friend to drop off some used books she wanted to get store credit for, I had enough time to wander the overflowing store and the huge variety of books the store offers. They also have a location in Corvallis, OR, which I may check out when I’ll be visiting a friend at Oregon State University in April.

Browsers’ Bookstore had a great location, right off the interstate–and most important, it shares the parking lot with a coffee shop! The store appears very small from outside, with a low roof and small windows, but the outside appearance could not be more wrong. Inside the store it is floor to ceiling shelves, with additional boxes of overflow books on the floor (I only tripped over half a dozen of these boxes, but it was great to see a used bookstore with more books than they had room for). The variety of books available looked good, with many different genres seemingly shoved randomly into the shelves and piles on the floor. I spent most of my time in the Classic Lit section; there were three copies of each Jane Austin book, and really cheap paperback and beautiful leather-bound copies of many great classics. My favorite part was a section called “Old Children’s” that featured antique and vintage children’s books. If I ever have children, I know where I’m going to shop for their books!

There was also a fun and unique feature in the store: on the end of several isles they had letters from authors listing their favorite books. There was also the traditional “if you liked XX author you would also like YY author.” But the letters added personality to the store, and made it much more personal. They had letters from a wide variety of authors in several authors, and really helped to show the stores dedication to quality.

The prices really seemed to embody the store’s position: Where low prices meet great quality. One paperback cope of An American Tragedy was $3, a worn copy of a Sherlock Holmes book was $.80 and a leather bound copy of The Man in the Iron Mask was $6. My friend got $25 in store credit for around 15 books, and bough three books that looked almost brand new for $8.50.

The only complaint I have about the store was the customer service. There seemed to be only one woman working that morning, and a long line of people wanting to buy books or sell their used books. She was understandable busy and slightly flustered, but we did have to wait in line around ten minutes. Normally this would not be a problem, but we were in a bit of a hurry and had other errands to run that day. Once we did get to the front of the line, however, she was extremely friendly.

If you’re ever in the Albany area, I would recommend stopping by Browsers’ Bookstore. The book selection is constantly changing, and the prices are perfect. I wish I’d had more time for browsing (or money for buying), and plan on visiting again soon. If you’ve ever been to Browsers’ Bookstore, either location, share your experience in the comments!

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