While Half-Price Books is not a particularly pretty or comfortable establishment, it's enormous and has a tremendous selection of not only cheap second-hand paperbacks, but clearance-priced brand new hardcovers, coffee table books, video & computer games, vinyls, & CDs. There's even comic books, rpg manuals for things like Dungeons & Dragons -- including the ancient editions from the 80s for those who want to kick it old skool, and gift box sorts of things your mom would be delighted to receive for much less than you'd spend at say... Barnes & Noble. The staff are not particularly friendly, alas, as I really do love talking books with the proprietors of the mom&pop type used book shops, but for the selection, the prices, and the occasional Amazing Find, I'll deal. Fans of sci-fi, romance, or mystery can often find cardboard flats filled with genre fiction at a flat rate for the box -- somewhere around 10c a book when bought in bulk. Novels for various long-running multi-author series (like Star Trek & Star Wars' companion series) may be bundled and offered for a buck or two for five. And for those book lovers who really just want to fill out their library with missing must-read titles, inexpensive *gently used* copies of almost every well-known novel in the English language are available. For me, Half-Price Books is my answer to the book lover's age-old conundrum: to loan, or not to loan? When you're getting your novels for $2.50, you can afford to be generous with your friends.
Pros: Enormous selection, amazing prices
Cons: Ugly store, indifferent employees