During my recent US trip, I spent some time at a couple of used bookshops. One of them was Moe’s in Berkeley, and the other was Recycle Books in San Jose. These bookshops create an experience that is very different from surfing Amazon online or browsing through the collection of new books at Crossword and Landmark stores.
Amazon is great when you know what to look for. It is not as good for the long tail. In fact, I even suggested an idea to a friend who works there — recreate the bookshelf equivalent virtually, the bookshelf that you’d see in a well-stocked library or used bookseller. That is where you come across titles which are not well-known but could offer an interesting read.
I was primarily looking for books in politics, philosophy and economics, and found plenty. These are books I’d probably not have found anywhere else.