2nd & Charles: Not Just A Bookstore

Jackson Novak, Design Editor

From the second you walk into the store, you can feel the unique vibe that makes you want to check out every corner. It is a spacious place with great displays and a few seating areas scattered throughout the store. I need to warn you to be prepared to spend some serious time exploring; you will find stuff you did not even know you wanted. Books are their biggest commodity, with sections like you would find in a big chain bookstore, but the prices are much lower on the vast selection of used products. New books, music and other new items like toys and gifts sell at prices you would typically find in any retail store. Those new products are available for convenience, but they are not the main reason to shop there. 

Personally, I start looking through CDs and vinyl as I walk in; the selection has a massive range of old to new stuff.  On my last visit, I purchased The Beatles, Notorious BIG and AC/DC. They have every genre you can think of and even ones you didn’t know existed. The prices on CDs are incredibly reasonable with new and used always sold at a  buy five, get five free promotion. Unfortunately, the vinyl prices are pretty steep since there is a high demand at the moment. Most albums are in the $20-30 range, and even higher for hard-to-find artists. If you have a DVD player, run to 2nd and Charles because they have tons of inexpensive movies. 

If selling or trading is what you are interested in, 2nd & Charles makes every transaction quick and easy. I have only sold once and felt I received a reasonable price, but I have heard of other people feeling their offers were a bit low. All you need to do is bring your goods in and place them in a bin which you take to the sell/trade counter. You are then given a number and told about how long the wait will be; you can shop around or come back later. There is a big screen that will flash your number when your evaluation is complete. All items have to be gently used to be resold, so not everything is accepted. You can choose to receive cash or store credit for trade; store credit will get you a higher amount for your stuff.

To sum up, 2nd and Charles gets my recommendation for all shoppers looking for quirky and unique things. The vintage quality of what they have to offer is hard to find at a typical retail store. One last bit of advice is to bring a bag, they do not give them at the checkout, and you will most likely need it with all the great items you will purchase.