Local bookstores provide relief from textbooks

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Sarah Brookbank

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On a college campus, most talk about books revolves around the expense of textbooks. While plenty of students don’t take time to read their textbooks until right before exams, reading for fun can be much more rewarding. Luckily, Lexington has plenty of local bookstores that carry something for everyone.

Sqecial Media

Sqecial is a store for many things other than books. They also have purses, incense, pipes, tarot cards, magazines, origami paper and jewelry, to name a few.

Located at 371 S. Limestone, across from the construction of new north campus dorms, it isn’t surprising to see people in the store browsing their large collection of items and books.

They have both classics and new publications, ranging from topics like graffiti and art to religion and the occult — Sqecial once had a book on lesbian astrology. They also sell cookbooks.

Morris Book Shop

Morris Book Shop at 882 E. High St. sells new books, graphic novels, notebooks and greeting cards.

“In our case, we take this sort of local and neighborhood bookstore really seriously,” said Wyn Morris, the owner of Morris Book Bhop.

Morris said because they don’t have the shelf space like Amazon or a Barnes and Noble, they are selective about their book choice. From day one, Morris said, they listened to what the customers wanted and tried to keep that up.

Despite the fact that their small shop doesn’t have a coffee shop inside of it, Morris said they try to make it a place where people can hang out.

Morris Book Shop has author signings, typically local and regional — Morris said these writers are the store’s ‘bread and butter.’

Morris’ book recommendations are Ron Rash’s ‘Above the Waterfall’ and a graphic novel, Saga volume 5.

Friends of the Library Book Cellar

Located in the basement of the Lexington Public Library at 140 E. Main St., Friends of the Library Book Cellar provides hardbacks, paperbacks and plenty in-between.

Bill Bowden, a volunteer who has worked for Friends of the Library for two years, said the variety is astounding and totally eclectic.

The shop is typically open from Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Next month, Friends of the Library will have their Annual Book Sale from Oct. 17 to Oct. 25. The sale will be at the shopping center off Reynolds Road next to Office Max. The Annual Book Sale is will be open to the public from the 18- 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. Sunday the 25 is bag day, when shoppers are given a paper shopping bag and allowed to fill it up. A bag will cost $2.

“You fill up a paper bag with as many books, cds or dvds or whatever we have and it’s just a couple of bucks. It’s a total bargain,” Bowden said.

Bowden said that the annual sale will include upwards of 100 thousand books.

“It’s way, way more than what’s in the actual store,” Bowden said. “It’s a huge extravaganza of books.”

Unique Books

Unique Books, at 227 Woodland Ave., specializes in classic paperback fiction, coffee table books, and rare and unique books. Brandon S. Bowker, one of the two employees at the shop, said 98 percent of their inventory is used.

Bowker said they get their books from ordering, yard sales, donations and their buy-back system, which brings in everything from Ninja history, Appalachian religion, and horses to Chinese cutouts.