Sure, other stores cater to the hard-core bibliophile in search of rare first editions (and willing to pay dear prices), but for casual book collectors like us -- and for book lovers in search of no more than a good read -- nothing satisfies like this supermarket of recycled treasures in Mesa.
From the outside, the place resembles a big retail joint, anchoring a strip mall along Country Club Drive. Bookman's is huge, and, even better, the store stays open much later than others -- until 10 p.m. every day of the week.
Naturally, you'll find row after row of hardcovers and paperbacks in all the usual varieties. But Bookman's also has a large selection of magazine back issues (particularly Arizona Highways going way back), used video games, CDs, videotapes and DVDs. Best of all, Bookman's has such a healthy volume of trade-in, you're almost guaranteed to find new items every time you visit.
Readers' Choice: Bookman's Used Books, Music & Software
Readers' Choice for Best Bookstore -- New Titles: Borders Books & Music
Crystal octagonal knobs? Pewter library pulls? Hand-painted ceramic handles shaped like wee soccer balls? Our decision was made easier by knob-savvy staffers who can recite knob styles and dole out warm advice about what to buy. The friendly, knowledgeable staff treated us as if we were old friends who'd dropped in with good news. We had: We found our thrill with Clyde, and can't wait to return.
So imagine our delight when we discovered that we can have our very own fog, on demand, any time of year our damp little hearts desire. Thanks to the folks at Arizona Fog Wizards, all it takes is a high-pressure pump and motor module connected with high-pressure, 1,500 psi hoses, stainless steel tubing with aircraft welded stand-offs, and high-pressure mist nozzles (don't ask, just leave it to the pros). The fog created through the misting system lowers the air temperature 20 to 30 degrees, which is great. What we really like, though, is the look -- billowy mist, moody, Casablanca-style haze, vapory lace dancing through the air and clouds licking the ground.
Most people have fog "installed" to add drama to their pool, spa, waterfall or fountain. We're too poor to go whole hog like that, so imagine our joy to find that there's also a "mist rose." It's a small system designed to look like a flower that puffs spurts of fog wherever we set it down. Next time we have a party, we're going to see how they work in the house, maybe set in front of a strobe light or something.
Hey, it sure beats dry ice.