Thursday, June 12, 2008
“The Title Wave” is the terrifically named used book store run by the Friends of the Multnomah County Library. Located in a charming former library branch at 201 NE Knott, the shop is a decent resource, but deserves only a mixed review overall. When it comes to library books stores – or any used book store – my criteria are price, quality, and selection. My goal is to find very inexpensive books in clean, “like new” condition. Good selection for me means heavy on literary fiction, especially prize winners and books on my other “must read” lists. The Title Wave earns high points for prices and condition, but loses out on selection. The prices are great – most hardbacks are $2 or $3. The condition of the books is very good considering that they are ex-library books. Most have the mylar covers, with tape, and library markings, but they are clean and still new-ish The big disappointment is the feeble fiction selection. The books are mostly recently published and unknown – duplicate copies of newer books that did not circulate much. Several books looked like they might be entertaining, if you are willing to take a flyer. But there is little chance of finding a particular book, especially anything well known. The mystery section seems more promising than the general fiction, especially for fans of hardbacks. Likewise, the non-fiction selection is good. There are a lot of great cookbooks, as well as books on house stuff, gardening, and hobbies. The biography selection is extensive. Finally, they have quite a few audio books at incredibly low prices (many were $1.25). Most of these are cassettes; a few are cds. With no way to make sure they work and no returns, it is a risk. But for the price, not a big one. All in all, worth stopping in now and again, but it does not warrant a special trip.