Massive Book Haul at Second Story Books, Rockville, MD

“I can’t believe you’ve never been to this place,” my friend admonished.  “And you…a librarian!”

So off we headed to Second Story Books, a used book warehouse-book store-antique shop located just outside of Washington, DC.  Several happy hours later I emerged with this:

Second st 5

They had to give me the top of a produce box to haul all my treasures away….

And I swear I had gone there with just a few items on my list!

My goal was to locate some more Guardian 1000 novels, specifically, two more Agatha Christies, a Kim Stanley Robinson and some others.  I found a few of the titles I was looking for, but, ahem, got a little carried away.

It was also so good to get a healthy dose of book shelf serendipity, innocent of friendly algorithmic nudges from our friends at Amazon/Goodreads.  In fact these days, the idea of getting my hands on a hunk of pulp I legally own — and can lend out to a friend or just give away to someone — really appeals.

Second Story Books in Rockville, MD.  Used book heaven.

Second Story Books in Rockville, MD. Used book heaven.

Did I have to get down on my hands and knees a few times?  Get a little dusty?  Sure, but I had forgotten the thrill of the chase and the fun of exploring through books I knew nothing about but looked so good….

And Second Story Books has a friendly and helpful staff!  Plenty of signs point out the way to appropriate shelves, and there is a map up front to help you get oriented.

The “annex” on the far side of the store had more treasures that haven’t been sorted yet, posters, old newspapers and other interesting items.

And so, the haul!  Here’s the damage, organized by author (of course).  I’ve marked the Guardian reads:

  • Bill Bryson, In a Sunburned Country (loved his Walk in the Woods!)
  • Agatha Christie, The Secret Adversary (Guardian 1000)
  • Agatha Christie, The Murder at the Vicarage (Guardian 1000)
  • Erskine Childers, The Riddle of the Sands (Guardian 1000)
  • Henry Fielding, Tom Jones (Guardian 1000)
Helpful staff are better than algorithms sometimes....

Helpful staff are better than algorithms sometimes….


  • Philippa Gregory, The Red Queen (Guilty pleasure category!)
  • Lynette Iezzoni, Influenza 1918 (Love medical history….)
  • John Kelly, The Great Mortality (Same as above)
  • David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (Guardian 1000)
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, The Wild Shore and The Gold Coast (still can’t find Year of Rice and Salt, which I need for the Guardian read.  Trying to get into Sci-fi so I can relate to my nerd friends).
  • Alison Weir, The Life of Elizabeth I (another guilty pleasure, but on a higher level).

So, that’s the haul!  Everyone, enjoy the rest of the weekend.  Happy reading!  L.

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