Bookstore Review: Encore Books

Recently had the opportunity to check out another useed bookstore in Toledo, Ohio. It’s called Encore Books and it’s off Heatherdowns in a little strip mall that is most widely known as the former home of House of Golf.  On the exterior, it’s pretty easy to find and the parking is ample since the strip mall is fairly small  (in other words, there isn’t much else around there that would draw a lot of people).

Upon entering the store you are greeted by a familiar site at used bookstores: piles of books everywhere. Here the problem is compounded a bit by the fact that the space itself isn’t exceptionally large. the combination of a lack of actual space with how space intensive a bookstore is (those things take up an unexpectedly large amount of room very quickly), makes the space allowed for walking seem very very tiny. At the time I was in there with my girlf friend there was just one other couple in the store and we still ran into eachother a few times.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad or uncommon thing. Unless you happen to wander into a used bookstore that is fairly well established within a community, which usually means it does a fair amount of business to have stayed in business longer than five years, I have found most used bookstores to be a bit on the cramped side.

Unfortunately, the tiny space was further hindered by a somewhat haphazard organization. The fiction was in two spots and the floor space was somewhat haphazardly divided up with standing racks and shelves.  Looking at the various racks and stands, I think they were put up from a feeling of necessity – the nature of a used bookstore results in a crapshoot assortment of whatever people bring in. However, some of these might have been better off left in the box rather than forced onto a shelf.

The selection itself was fair. They had a lot of the expected stuff from Grisham to King to Rice, etc.  Oddly enough their scifi/horror racks seemed quite a bit larger than the rest of the genres/literature. And there were very few of the larger format paperbacks that have come to dominate conventional fiction publishing. This is also means that you’re less likely to find that new work of fiction that’s been in paperback for just a few months. You might luck out and find it, but I think it’s unlikely at this store.

It also runs into what has become a pretty common irritant for me: variable pricing. I still don’t understand why all used bookstores, especially if they aren’t dealing in rare/collectible books, don’t move to a set pricing scheme. It makes it easier on the customers and easier on the people who work there.  there’s just no sense in going through and individually pricing a bunch of john grisham paperbacks.

In the end, it’s not a bad little store. If you have the time, and you’re in the area, you may as well check it out and see if you can’t find a deal. However, if you’re looking for something specific and/or new, I think you’d have better luck trying a couple of the other used bookstores in the area.

 

Encore Books

4400 Heatherdowns Blvd # 5
Toledo, OH 43614
(419) 389-1155

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