Yesterday, I was looking for some rare books that I intend to use for research for an upcoming project. Magus Books had one of the books I was looking for in the first place I went to look for it. In fact, I can't recall a time I've been to Magus Books where they haven't had exactly the book I was looking for in the right place on the shelf. Anybody who's worked in a library or bookstore can tell you that that is no mean feat.

Then, because there are other rare books on my list, I stopped in to Spine and Crown. They didn't have any of the books I was looking for, but they did have something just as good: Stacks and stacks of comics everywhere for eight to twelve dollars, as well as a huge selection of pulp paperbacks. I talked with another customer named Max who bought an awesome collection of Shmoo comics. It turns out that Max works with yeast cells in a lab, and for decades, scientists have referred to budding yeast cells as Shmoos. Most scientists don't even know the root of the word, and so Max was buying the Shmoo book to bring in and show his coworkers. Eventually, I left Spine and Crown with forty bucks' worth of books.

One of the tough parts of my job is that there are so many bookstores in Seattle that I can't cover them all with any regularity, and it's hard to focus on used bookstores because they don't have the readings series that our new bookstores and libraries have. But our used bookstores are always there, doing their jobs really well. Magus Books is a comprehensive used bookshop, and it's a great resource when you're looking for particular books. Spine & Crown is better for an afternoon when you want to come home with a book you didn't previously know existed. Both of those are really important services for readers; I should do a better job of pointing them out, and you should go give them your business.