Black and Read
For those of you who do not know what Role playing is, let me briefly explain. There are many different games that you can play, but the most well known is Dungeons and Dragons (aka D&D). The game is played with a "story teller" (Game master or GM) and a bunch of players about whom the story teller tells his story. Everyone creates a fictional persona to assume with fictional strength, intelligence, etc all represented by numbers on a piece of paper. Usually this is a completely new person, not a character from a book or movie. It is the GM's job to create an adventure or story for these people to play in. If an action is required using your strength, intelligence, archery skill, etc, you pick up a set of dice and roll against the number written on your paper. Based on your role and the number, you either fail at your attempt, or you succeed. "Yes, you manage to climb up the side of that building" etc. These stories follow a plot line, and many are based on favorite books. If you have ever wanted to "be" in your favorite novel, this might be something you would enjoy. Some people say that Role playing is evil, or that it blurs the line of reality and fantasy. I say that it depends GREATLY on who is playing, and who is telling the story. A Role playing game can be as evil, or silly, or whatever that you want it to be.
Anyway, I digress. Back to Black and Read. The store sells and buys books, games, Music, and movies. It is also the most disorganized store in the world. It is kind of like wading into a bunch of book shelves where things are semi organized into catagories, alphabetical listings, etc, but often there are big stacks of books on the floor that haven't been filed yet. I believe that this store only attracts a certain group of people. Either you are into role playing as described above, or you are a old/rare book/music collector. They have a very large vinal record collection. You can find some real treasures if you have the patience to handle the dusty shelves and sort through things on your own.
We went there yesterday to exchange a game that we had gotten for Christmas. It was Monopoly and we already have the original and about 2 other versions in our game closet. So I start browsing around the shelves looking for some good books or something to do with the store credit. They always give you more money if it's store credit than if they give you cash. I have the same problem in this store that I do in the library. I stare at the shelves hoping that a book will call out to me and say "Hey you'd really like me! Pick me!" They never do. The benefit of the library, though, is you can look up on their little computer a subject, or author, or title or something and know where it is and if they even have it. It's just luck at Black and Read. But considering that paper back books are $4 a piece it's not bad.
I'm not very brave when it comes to picking out books. I have a few authors that I know I like, but I've pretty much read everything that they've ever written. I tend, therefore, to rely on recomendations by friends on what would be good to read. Unfortunately yesterday I didn't have a friend with me, and didn't have a list of authors previously recomended by friends. So I played it safe and picked up 4 John Grisham books that I hadn't read yet. I know I like John Grisham. I like the mystery involved in his books, and I like the courtroom scene. My husband might have been able to help, except I've already read almost all the books he likes, and I have a much more broad range of books that I like. That's ok though, for our Monopoly game we went home with 4 paper back books and a sound track to Brother Bear. Currently I'm reading "The King of Torts"
Want to visit Black and Read and tell me what you think? Here's where it's at.