Best Budget Bookstore - 2009
Thrifty Joe's Books & Music
When you're looking for a new copy of Lolita in Tehran or the latest Stephen King thriller, there are a dozen big-box bookstores waiting to suck up your hard-earned cash. But if you don't mind a good treasure hunt for your new-release book, Thrifty Joe's is the place to go. This used bookstore is less picked-over than the competition and is jam-packed with cheap golden oldies, like the Black Beauty sequel we'd been coveting since we were 10 years old. Newer fiction titles are harder to find. Thrifty Joe's buys books daily, though, so if you paw through the countertop stacks of new arrivals, you just might score a slightly dog-eared copy of that James Patterson novel. Amid the maze of small cubbies, there's also an extensive selection of self-help books and romance novels, an entire bookshelf dedicated to Star Wars and Star Trek, and rare treasures like VHS tapes and vinyl, from Coltrane to Zappa, averaging about $4 to $5 a pop.