Best Discount Bookstore (2002)
Quarter Price Books
To think, a whole generation has grown up believing that bookstores are supposed to be run by boards of directors, serve 80 kinds of coffee and loom as large as airplane hangars. Yes, the megaplexes do have every book on every subject known to man, and yes, it's nice to be able to quaff a cup of chai while you're strolling the aisles, but something's missing, and that's a sense that anybody truly cares about the place or the books in it. Larry Turk definitely cares about Quarter Price Books and its inventory. Any one of his customers who betrays the slightest hint of being as much of a book fiend as he is will be treated to one of Turk's long discourses on the trade. He's been to Larry McMurtry's book town in Archer City, and he'll tell you all about it. He's also been to its forerunner, the English village of Hay-on-Wye. He'll even scout books for you while he's there. And if you find a book in his store that shows a little wear and tear, he won't let you take it away until he or one of his assistants gives it a little restoration. If you really want to score points with Turk, gesture toward his center table, a resting spot for numerous replicas of Rodin's The Thinker, and say "I get it! This is the headquarters for thinkers!" He just might give you a further discount.