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April 3, 1967


JAMA. 1967;200(1):67. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120140125028

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In the good old days if you wanted to buy a specific new book, you would go to a bookstore that dealt in new books. But if, without anything special in mind, you merely wanted to buy something agreeable to read; or if you had the urge to talk about books; or if you felt lucky and hoped to find a treasure; or if you had a few spare hours to kill; or if you were actively hunting for a particular book; or, as was often the case, if all of these simultaneously, then you automatically went to a second-hand bookstore.

They had a remarkable similarity the world over: the sidewalk stalls loaded with books, often ragged, but always worth a passing glance; inside, loaded tables and floor-to-ceiling wall cases, with rickety ladders sometimes in sight; books piled vertically and stacked horizontally; most shelves with a front row and a