Mikal’s unreliable guide to buying secondhand sci fi in Mountain View

My algorithm goes something like this:

  • If I am just browsing (I tend to target complete series before I start reading them, so am often buying things I don’t expect to read for months) and looking for a great deal I go to Rasputin’s Books. Sometimes they have nothing, and other times I walk away with 30 books. They currently have a “10 books for $5” deal, which is hard to beat.
  • If I want something specific, and its not too rare, I go to Book Buyers. They have an awesome collection, and have most common things. Some harder to find things might be missing though, and you need to know that not everything is filed by author (check the series section as well).
  • If I want big lots, ebay.com. Most of the time there is nothing, but sometimes you can pick up 20 books by the same author quite cheaply.


As I sit here an sip on my blueberry smoothy (yes, I have turned into a Californian w**ker), I see that Frank has been to a Frys. Frys are indeed very cool — the stores are huge, and they have a vast selection of excellent toys, all at quite cheap prices.

You need to be careful though, the staff are remarkably clueless, their returns policy is amazingly draconian, and there is a lot of variance between the quality of stores. For example the store in Sunnyvale is nicer than the store in Palo Alto, is nicer than the store in Santa Clara… At least in my opinion.

On another note, I am toying with the idea of going up to Seattle for a week sometime in the next couple of weeks. Frank — how long are you going to be in town?