Today I made a pilgrimage to the granddaddy of all used bookstores, Chamblin Bookmine in Jacksonville, Florida. I make it a point to visit used bookstores wherever I travel, and I've visited scores of them, some of them great, some not so much. This one, though, this rambling maze of connecting rooms stuffed with tomes from floor to ceiling, must be the biggest and best in the world.
"Wow, I hit the jackpot," a boy, who'd harvested an impressive stack of paperbacks, said to his dad, a frazzled man trying to usher his kid out of this time-sucking monster of a store.
I did indeed get lost, venturing into dead ends and rooms that only led to more rooms, as I combed the overflowing walls of Classics, Essays, Travel Writing and, my favorite category, Writers on Writing (super nerd that I am). Eventually, after three hours, I paid a pittance for a few selections and found my way back outside to my car, the sunny afternoon turned to pouring rain.
A former citizen of this fine community, I dropped by several other Jacksonville landmarks to reacquaint myself with my old stomping grounds and chalked up this adventure as one of the coolest day trips I've ever taken.