The Booklegger -Huntsville, AL

I found a fantastic used bookstore in Huntsville, AL while on a recent trip. My time at Booklegger Used Books (4001 Holmes Ave NW; Huntsville, Alabama 35816) was way too short. This small shop is worth visiting if you find yourself in the Rocket City.

As soon as you walk in, you can tell you have entered a book lover’s world. Most of the books I picked up were good-condition hardbacks and priced in the $5-$8 range. The shelves and bookcases all go 8-feet high and they are fully loaded. Even though they are stocked full, they are well tended to and organzied. It’s was fun to meander throughout the bookshelf-lined aisles.

Once you enter, the non-fiction is mostly in the room to your immediate left. Those topics run the gamut. It’s all there. If you’ve been in many bookstores then you know it’s a special thing when to find one with so many sub-categories clearly marked and stocked well.

But the non-fiction I was most interested in was straight ahead – “Books About Books”, plus shelves & shelves of Literary Critcism and Essays. It was amazing! I’ve found very few bookstores (new or used) that had essays like this, much less have them in hardback (plus, a whole other shelf over in the “paperback” room).

From the front door, fiction starts off to the right and runs on into the “paperback room” off to the right just past all of the new comics.

They must do a constant business at Booklegger Used Books. The phone was ringing throughout my visit and I bet a dozen folks were in and out during my all too short time there. All that to say, I think it’d be worth it to check the “Newly Arrived” wall (just inside the non-fiction room) every visit. One can tell that these shelves have yet to be picked through, but the turnover is quick.

After a quick conversation there it sounds like they only buy hardbacks for around $1 per book, depending on demand. They will buy paperback books but for store credit only and the do limit how many “Walmart bags” you can drop on his counter during a week. Which is a pretty great metric to use for a used bookstore.

My one complaint is the way they manage their $1 Discount Books. Every book available for $1 is marked with an marker across the top with an X or O or XO. I totally get why they do this. When you buy as many used-books from patrons as they do, it doesn’t work to keep buying the same books that don’t sell. Plus, it helps with inventory and so forth and so on. I get it. I really do. It’s just always better to have books without those permanent markings. But for $1 per book, they’ll never hear me complain. 😉

Days and times of operation change, so I’d recommend giving them a call as I can’t find a good online presence for them.