As I mentioned, I'm going to start featuring local (and not-so-local) and independent (used and not-used) bookstores on the blog. This is the first of those posts. Let me know what you think.
Last weekend, Russell and I visited Bruised Apple in Peekskill. And, my, my, it is a wonderful shop. It's just the kind of used bookstore that I like best. It has a huge selection (50,000 titles, according to its website). It's organized, uncramped, and infused with mood-setting, but not distracting instrumental music. It's the kind of shop where you could spend an afternoon browsing and there's little surprises around every corner, including the postcards, notes, and clippings that decorate the endcaps.
Russell and I both browsed. My primary focus was the fiction sections, while Russell checked out the music (that section included movies as well) and nonfiction with a particular focus on history and biography.
The selection was quite good and the main sections each had multiple subcategories (urban fiction, Chinese history, etc.). Historical fiction is segregated from the general fiction/literature section and is referred to as something like "fiction inspired by history," which I thought was interesting. The YA section was overstocked with Stephenie Meyer (which isn't completely unexpected; I momentarily considered picking up a hardcover copy of The Host). The local-interest/Hudson Valley section is the only one that includes both new and used books. On the tops of the cases in the fiction/literature section I noticed old leather- and cloth-bound sets of Shakespeare, Dickens, etc, most priced for the entire set, but some available to purchase by individual volume. There are some rare books, but the bulk of the stock was standard modern used (which isn't a bad thing).
Russell thought that the music was overpriced, but the book prices were generally. quite good. I didn't buy anything, but Russell picked up a signed copy of William Pitt: the Younger by William Hague for $9.50. If you follow the link, you'll see that Powells is selling a unsigned used copy of the book for $24.
Bruised Apple does buy used books (not sure about music). Russell called prior to this visit to ask about whether they bought (remember all those books we've been weeding?) and the owner told him that they were pretty full, but that they might consider literature and local history. We didn't bring any books when we made our weekend visit, wanting to see what kind of items they stocked before making any offers. Russell went back during the week with some books, but they didn't buy any of them.
The image below will give you an idea of how big the storefront is (it's also quite deep). I don't have any inside shots since I didn't want to draw attention to myself. Luckily, though, the shop has lots of interior shots on its photo page AND a blogger from the local newspaper has an image-rich post on the store entitled Old-school works for me, every time.
Bruised Apple Books and Music
923 Central Ave
Open daily, call for hours