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Used bookstores in Milwaukee

(page 2)

Half Price Books Records Magazines (three locations)
16750-B W. Bluemound Rd.
(262) 789-0280
8514 W. Brown Deer Rd.
(414) 354-1235
5032 S. 74th St.
(414) 281-0000

Based on proximity, the Greenfield location is my personal favorite. Whether you're looking for another $4 compact disc to add to your music collection, or a bargain-basement deal on the next title on your summer reading list, this is the place to go!

Children's books, romance novels, craft books, true crime paperbacks, vinyl record albums, VHS videos, magazines, rare and signed first editions. You name it, it's more than likely here. Take a gander. You might be surprised what you'll find.

At all three locations inventory changes on a daily basis, and frequent trips can net some pretty incredible deals. If you're like me, and are trying to build a prestigious-looking bookshelf without breaking the bank, this is the perfect place to start. Let the search and seizure start today!

Bay View Bookshop
2261 S. Howell Av.
(414) 744-0742

While the sign over the front-door of the business reads "Bay View Antiquarian Books," owner George John simply calls his business Bay View Bookshop. "It's less pretentious. (The name Antiquarian) is no good in this neighborhood. People come in looking for tropical fish."

Surrounded by a collection of books that is nearing 150,000 volumes, John says he is usually "too tired" to do much reading anymore. "The work is endless. It has no beginning and no end."

Perusing the store itself provides a very interesting experience. The creaky hardwood floor, which hardly ever sees sunlight, seems to take you back in time. Bookshelves that nearly reach the ceiling create endless aisles of books, almost seeming to scoff at the claustrophobic. Sections titled Americana, mystery, science fiction, feminism, philosophy take you to different worlds. The thick, earthy smell of the basement with its dim fluorescent lighting invites you to discover a lost literary relic.

Having been in the book-selling business for more 30 years, and 10 years at his current location, John feels he is treading water in a dying business. "(The business) would be dead if it weren't for the Internet."

Bay View Bookshop is open from noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and some Sunday afternoons. The web address is

Downtown Books
327 E. Wisconsin Av.
(414) 276-5330

This bookstore seems to grow in size every time I stop in. Recent expansion has added a back room on the second floor, and plans are in the works to further expand above Walgreens, which will eventually boost the amount of retail space to 10,000 square feet.

This extremely clean and organized bookstore offers bright and vibrant lighting for its endless mazes of nooks and crannies which offer clearly-marked mystery, thriller and fiction sections, to name a few.

One can find Disney videos, regular VHS videos and cassette tapes among the 250,000 general edition books, an entire level tucked between the first and second floors devoted solely to back-issues of National Geographic magazine, and a massive collection of comic books on the second floor.

Downtown Books location is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (M-F), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. So pick a day, take an hour, plug the meter, and lose yourself in the wonderful world of literature.

Other notables:

Yesterday's Memories Old Book Shop
5631 W. Center St.
(414) 444-6210

Recycled Books & Records
2239 N. Prospect Av.
(414) 276-1321

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Procrustean | Nov. 9, 2007 at 4:47 p.m. (report)

I love the selection in The Downtown Bookstore, but I am turned off by the attitudes of the staff. They clearly think they have better things to do, and put me in mind of the stereotypical video rental employee who is just waiting for the chance to become a famous director. That said, I am not sure what I expect employees of a used bookstore to act like, and only have to deal with them when I pay for the books.

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duanedyar | March 31, 2007 at 1:25 p.m. (report)

FYI, Renaissance Book Shop at the airport does take credit cards now. My personal favorite is Downtown books. As you mentioned they still continue to aggressively expand their offerings. Duane

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