If There Was an Aftershave Scented to the Essence of “Used Book Store”…

if there was a aftershave scented to the essence of “Used Book Store” then I would be first in line to buy.

I read this in the foreword in a book and immediately tweeted it.  I would do the same. I love old bookstores.  I think every street or two should have them. They are the places where you can simply get lost and be happy that you did. This got me thinking about old bookstores  and countless hours I spent in them. I don’t see that many old bookstores any more. That is kind of sad. I used to literally live in them. I also used to live in coffee shops with old books in hand.

In early 70s it was India Coffee House in Bangalore and Bombay and Irani restaurants, in Hyderabad.  In ICH you can pretty much stay forever, watching people, reading books. The Irani restaurants were different. You get some great tea and small samosas and endless supply of jukebox music.  They were all really inexpensive reading spots.

When I first visited US (in 1977),  I lived for 4 months in Maynard, (I was getting trained at Digital Equipment Corporation aka DEC). It was towards the end of 1977.  Besides the training, the only thing I remember about Maynard was a  used bookstore in Main St. It was a SciFi bookstore and the owner was nice to visitors. He used to give us heavy discounts. I loved that store. I recall returning to India with lots of used SciFi books and a particularly heavy one – a hardbound copy of The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov.

Every city I go to, I go looking for quaint and sometimes used bookstores. When I am in the bay area,  I hang out a lot in the one on Castro St in Mountain View (right next to Books Inc.) In fact, I set up a lot of meetings in coffee shops and bookstores or coffee shops near bookstores.

One thing sad about Chennai is that many coffee shops are not conducive to reading. Too bright and  with lots of loud music.  But there are a few like Amethyst and Chamiers, but we need a lot more.