A-1 Books was one of the first used bookstores in St. Louis that I used to go to, that’s why I decided to write my essay 4 me and my readers. I traded several boxes of books there for both store credit and cash at their old Page location. I remember seeing a bookmark advertising several other locations, but I was told they were closed. Shortly after, this Page location closed as well. I just found out this year that it had just moved right around the corner into a new location so I had to check it out since this is actually the closest used bookstore to my house.
The new address is 10218 Bach Boulevard, literally right around the corner behind the old Page location. The old location was located next to a seedy lingerie store called Priscilla’s, and I can’t say I didn’t think twice about going into the bookstore because of this location. It’s now on the side street behind Priscilla’s and the newer location seems a bit more professional looking from the outside.
When you step inside, you are in a small room that was probably a waiting room for whatever business was here before. The walls are lined with a local St. Louis selection and some popular titles. The cashier is located here also in a cubicle that was probably a “front desk” type setting for the previous business. There is a doorway to the left which leads to the used books and a doorway to the right which leads to an “adult magazine and book” section. I remember this adult section in the previous location as well. Don’t let this deter you from visiting this store though as it is very clean and does not have the personality of an typical adult bookstore.
I chose the door to the left. Here you enter a large garage like room that was very cold in temperature. There was plastic over some of the books so there might have been water leaks in the ceiling. There was decent music playing. Right in front of you there are four rows of books flanked by books against the wall on all sides. To the left is religion and a whole wall of cookbooks and dieting. The first row is a children’s section, followed by fiction and mystery, and then reference to the far right. Romance and Fantasy make up the back wall. I thought kids and young adult section was a bit messy and bare. Just down the aisle from here was large $1 bin filled with older mass markets. I should probably mention that most of the store is mass market or hardcover, but prices are decent. Most mass markets were $1 to $3 each. Most hardcovers were $5 or $6.
Just to the left of this entrance, I noticed a nice used audio book section – mostly cassette tapes. This space includes a large used DVD movie section and a table full of VHS tapes as well. I gave them a quick look although there were just lots of unorganized stacks. I tend to avoid piles like this so I forgot to even check out pricing. Sorry! Big selection though if you are looking for used VHS or DVDs.
This section of the store was a bit confusing for me also because there was a sign for RELIGION against the wall, but a shelf in the middle of the aisle had reference books on it and REFERENCE was labeled on the other wall across the room. So the organization here is a bit lacking. However, I spotted a set of World Book Encyclopedias here that brought back memories. They appeared to be the same set and same year that we used at home as a reference when I was growing up. I loved those books!