Used Bookstore, 2nd & Charles, Opens in Hoover

2nd and Charles

Coolest feature – the book installation

There’s no coffee aroma and no glass case full of pastries, but there are rows and rows for browsing. 2nd & Charles is a used bookstore that works as a buy-back store for books and other media like DVDs,  video games, and CDs.  You can buy merchandise as you would in any store, or you can bring in your gently used items for cash or a more generous store credit.

2nd & Charles claims recycling as its mission, and clever recycling is all around. They’ve refurbished an empty retail space  in the former Goody’s across from the Galleria, near enough to the established superstores to attract book lovers yet not compete directly. The books are displayed in modular-style shelves and, rather than having permanent signs, each section is marked by dividers that can be moved dynamically as inventory expands or shrinks.

Like any second-hand store, there’s no predicting what you’ll find on a given day. There are plenty of children’s books, including picture and chapter books, in the back left of the store. This isn’t a warm and fuzzy,  story-time sort of a place, but it’s open and utilitarian. There are several comfy reading chairs in gray or bright orange, the signature color for the store.

Pricing is similar to used books through online booksellers, but obviously without added shipping costs. There are tables of $3 and $5 books along with a small selection of new accessories like book lights. In keeping with the recycling theme,  there are no plastic bags, but they are happy to sell you a reusable bag with the store logo. You can’t expect to find a particular title on the shelves, but the beauty is that you may discover something intriguing that you never would have found otherwise.

The best way to enjoy 2nd & Charles is to get with the kids and round up all the electronic games, books and CDs that you aren’t enthusiastic about anymore and haul them in to trade for store credit or treat money. You can turn your tired stuff into new-to-you entertainment, and the kids can unlock value that’s been cluttering up their bookshelves anyway.