My visit to 2nd & Charles used bookstore

I went back home this past weekend to Hoover, AL to visit my parents.  I was driving around and noticed a new store had opened up in what was once a Goody’s.  It was orange and white and had a strange name; 2nd & Charles.

2nd & Charles storefront

For some reason, all weekend, I kept wanting to call it 42nd and Charles.  I have no idea why.

Anyway, I asked my parents what it was.  They said it was some type of used bookstore.  That was all they knew.  Well, I love used bookstores, and I can spend hours inside them just looking around, so I decided I have to go to there.  The next morning I ventured off with my father to visit this new store and behold the wonders it contained within.

And wonders it did behold.  The store is HUGE.  It would probably take me a few days to get through the whole thing.  The store didn’t have just books, it had video games, video game consoles, DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs, shirts and assorted other odds and ends.  The majority of which is all “gently” used.

2nd and Charles mural
When you first walk in you notice a huge mural in the back featuring the name of the store. As you get closer, you notice the mural is made up of the spines of books all stacked into a recess in the wall. There is a sitting area in front of the mural with chairs so you can sit down and enjoy a leisurely read.  Very nice.

As far as product goes, it’s like a nicer version of my favorite local Jacksonville used bookstore Chamblin Bookmine.  However, 2nd & Charles feels more like a Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million (who owns the stores) while Chamblin feels like a musty elementary school basement where at any moment you may trip over the Arc of the Covenant.

bookshelves1 bookshelves2

The pics above show you the general layout of the bookshelves.  As you can see, it’s nice and spacious with plenty of room to browse the shelves.  For the most part the books were alphabetized by author, but like any used bookstore, there are a bunch of misplaced books.

sci fi bookshelves comic bookshelves

For this first trip, here are the shelves where I spent the most time. On the left is the Star Wars/Star Trek section. It was very extensive and probably contained nearly every Star Wars book with only a few exceptions.  They even had some of the original Han Solo and Lando paperbacks from the 80s.  Same with Star Trek.  From the original series all the way through New Frontier, this store had nearly everything.  The shelves on the right are the comic book/graphic novel section.  In the forefront you see a table stuffed with individual comic book issues.  Most were priced at $1.  There were at least three of these tables.  In the shelves in the background were all of the trade paperbacks and graphic novels.  This section was less extensive than I would have liked, but they still had a bunch of stuff to choose from.

At the front of the store, they also had a Buy Back counter.  You can bring in all your old books, comics, CDs, DVDs, video games, video game consoles and accessories and they’ll give you either cash or store credit.  If they are overstocked on an item or it is too damaged, they will return the item, but you are free to put it in the “free” bin at the front of the store.  Any rejected items are put here and shoppers can skim the bins for some free goodies.  My dad actually fished out a Neil Sedaka LP from the free bins.  Yes, LP, as in long playing record.

I am pretty much in love with this store.  I loudly announced to my dad that I will have to visit this store every single time I come back home. EVERY TIME. If we can’t squeeze in time to visit this store next time I visit, then I’m not coming back.

So the question is, did I buy anything?  Well, at this moment I’m not actually shopping around for any books.  I’m on a book buying freeze so I can finish some of my backlog.  However, I’m always on the lookout for comics/trade paperbacks on the cheap.  And this is where I spent my money.  I got a bunch of collections of the Marvel Universe Ultimate books.

books I bought

I got the Ultimate Galactus Trilogy, Ultimate X-Men Collection Vol 1, and Ultimate Origins.  I started reading Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate Fantastic Four collections this year and I’m really digging Marvel’s Ultimate universe.  It’s smartly written, lots of fun and I really enjoy how they are reinventing their characters.  Something I hope DC can do with their reboot in September.  Anyway, I got all these books for about $10 each, which is a great deal.  I also got Fantastic Four Visionaries Vol 1 which begins to collect the John Byrne (one of my fav writers/artists) run on Fantastic Four back in the 80s.  All in all, a big WIN in my book (haha, see what I did there?).

Checking the website, there are currently only two locations of 2nd & Charles; Hoover, AL and Augusta, GA.  It looks to be something Books-A-Million is trying new.  Maybe trying to get at that secondary market for books (which is pretty big).  I like this attempt and I really hope these stores become popular and spread like wildfire.

Before you go, check out these awesome hughesnet packages.

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6 Responses to “My visit to 2nd & Charles used bookstore”

  1. Looks like a pretty awesome store! I’ll have to see how close Hoover is to Montgomery, Al… I’d really like to check it out. 🙂

    • susan holley Says:

      Montgomery is only 45 min to an hour from Bham……..2nd & charles is across the street from the Galleria.
      Come visit us!

  2. Dr. Mike Says:

    This sounds like my kind of store.

  3. Dude, I’m a news reporter in Delaware. 2nd and Charles just opened here. Can you please contact me at anathans at delawareonlne.com ? – Aaron.

  4. A. Beverly Says:

    I really enjoy this store. Thanks to Books-A-Million for launching it.

  5. Is there a store near Jackson, MS?

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