While visiting my sister in Salem, Massachusetts, during the Christmas holiday, I came across Derby Square Bookstore. As you can see, the owner has redefined the idea of shelf-space. Where there is no more room to shelve the books horizontally, the owner stacks them vertically.
The stacks of books tower over shoppers and, occasionally, topple onto the floor. When a customer wants a book from the middle – or, more precariously, the bottom – of a stack, the owner dismantles the tower of books a story at a time until the customer can grab the book she wants.
The owner, who you can see between these walls of books, says he has been in business 30 years. He sells his books cheaply; all are at least 10 percent off the cover price, and many are discounted 40 percent. The books are new, but I couldn’t help wondering if storing them this way is bad for their bindings. Despite that concern, I picked up three Dover Thrift classics for a couple of dollars, and I have been quite happy with my purchase.