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18 March 2005

To all the bookstores I've loved before

Got a real scare at lunch today when I read Cliff Bostock's column in Creative Loafing about Teaspace taking over A Capella Books's storefront.Yikes! That's my neighborhood bookstore, sure there'd still be Charis but they have an extremely eccentric selection and I know there's supposed to be a Barnes & Noble at the Edgewood Retail District but A Capella was a special little place.

Tonight I walked in and saw the tell-tale bargain discount shelves throughout the store but thankfully they're just moving. Over next door to the 5 Points Pharmacy on Moreland (down from Criminal Records and Junkman's Daughter). They're just selling the stuff they'd rather not move and plan to be open at the new location by next month.

After all that mental anguish, I started thinking about our other lost bookstores. Most recently was Mark Steven's Science Fiction & Mystery Bookstore which closed last year after moving from the Highlands (where Planet Smoothy just closed) to Cheshire and finally to Shallowford. It was one of the best genre bookstores in the US. Stars Our Destination in Chicago had a better location before they moved to Evanston then closed. NYC never had any contenders (SF Bookstore on Chambers, come on!) Second Foundation in Chapel Hill was pretty good but still no comparison. The best part of the store appeared after Oxford II closed and the vintage first editions were added as a mini-store inside the Cheshire location.

Which brings us to the Oxford Problem. The Pharr Road location was maybe the best browsing bookstore I've ever been to: Awesome magazine, non-fiction & fiction sections; quirky ex-auto-dealership space and one of Atlanta's best Classical music sections.

I wasn't a huge fan of Oxford II (Smith & Hawkins near Peachtree Battle) just because of the mediocre service and selection but have definitely since noticed just the loss of such a large used book store. The former basement comic store is now the only vestige left of the once mighty Oxford empire on Piedmont

The last of the Oxford clan I went to much was the Peachtree Battle location that sported an unparalleled computer book selection and great science and sociological sections. I acquired the large psychedelic posters that used to hang over the doors from the owner and am storing them in an undisclosed location.

Got any other lost treasures?

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