My Best Thrifty Shopping Tip: Deli-Fresh Books By the Pound

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For all the readers on your gift list, this store is your secret weapon. Fresh, popular titles at used book prices, a children's book room and a room devoted to cookbooks...and free just-brewed coffee at the front counter.
Books by the Pound, a used bookstore just opened in Evanston, lines its
shelves--not with the old and antique--but with fresh best sellers and
the most popular current titles. You buy them "Deli-Style" by the
pound, which means, instead of paying an individual price for each
book, you put it on the scale and weigh the price base based on $3.99 a
pound. 

How does that compare to new prices?  A hard cover copy of Remember Me?
by Sophie Kinsella ($16.50 on Amazon) weighs in at $3.99. The average
paperback weighs in at $2.39.  And since Books by the Pound stocks
"good" or "better" Amazon graded books, they look as if they're new. No
dog-eared pages, jacket covers still smooth and glossy. 

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Paul
and Susan Frischer, who are online booksellers, opened the store as a
test concept to see if people would like buying used popular titles in
a brick and mortar store vs. ordering them online. To give it their
best go, they've created a like-new atmosphere with good lighting and
modern wall colors. "We're hoping the store more resembles Barnes &
Noble than a typical used book shop for the customer," Paul said.
 
As
the parents of four school-aged children, Susan and Paul have also made
the store friendly to families.  Meander your way through the front
room of best sellers, past the Harry Potter shrine and into the kids'
room.  Books here are thoughtfully arranged in boxes of, say, Junie B.
Jones (66 cents by weight) or Nancy Drew ($2.21 for hardcover). 

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"Parents
can come in and find Level 1 readers in a box and choose ten books for
around $6.50, " Paul said as he showed me around. He pointed out the
corner tables and chairs that are actually comfortable for parents and
children to sit and read. The kids' room also features LeapPad and My
First LeapPad books, premium games and puzzles at $3.99 a pound.

 

Past
the kids' books is the cookbook room. Yes, a whole room of cookbooks,
organized by genre from desserts to Weight Watchers. There are serious
anthologies and old school favorites along with the beautiful coffee table styles by
celebrity chefs.  There's also a shelf of fundraiser cookbooks by
churches and organizations, a meme of Americana and where you can find
the best brownie recipes.

One more room, still in the setting up
stage, is lined with non-fiction lifestyle and reference, such as a
shelf full of current pregnancy books like What to Expect When You're Expecting. A set of old encyclopedias there is a throwback to the way we used to buy books.

The
store also might just have something for the person on your list who's read
everything. By the front counter it features journals, picture frames
and photo albums you can put on the scale for $3.99 a pound.  A journal
from Urban Outfitters, orignally $36, wieghed in at $12.07. 

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Books on tape are by the pound at $10.99.  Paul pulled out an audio
series on Truman he just finished that sells on the scale for
$4.18.  Audio CD's are $24.99 per pound, which translates to an average
$5.37 for one, depending on the liner notes. 

Books by the
Pound, Market Fresh Books "Deli-Style" is located at 602 Davis Street,
just west of Chicago Avenue in Evanston. It's close to the Davis Street
Purple Line and Metra stops.  On street parking and parking in the city
lot at 1800 Maple(free for the holidays) is available.  
 
 

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  • Nice. I'll go to browse and drink the coffee! It's right by Comix Revolution (a favorite Evanston shop) so I'll make an afternoon of it!

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