/ Mark Frauenfelder / 2 pm Mon, Nov 28 2011
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  • A visit to an unusual bookstore in Quartzsite, Arizona

    A visit to an unusual bookstore in Quartzsite, Arizona

    Quartzsite is a town of 3,000 people in western Arizona. It calls itself the Rock Capital of the World. But I didn't come to this fine town to look for interesting rocks. I came to visit Reader's Oasis, an excellent bookstore run by Paul Winer. By Mark Frauenfelder

    When I arrived, Paul was outside, going through a stack of books to price them. He also wraps every book in the store in a plastic bag. This is probably necessary because the area is very dusty and windy, but I didn't like the bagging, because it was harder to browse the books.

    Here is a video of Paul playing boogie boogie musicon the piano in the middle of the store.

    The store is a visual, treat, with lots of ephemera on the walls.

    The price for vintage paperbacks ran from $3 to $10, which isn't bad.

    Here's the humor section. The cover of Pumping Mad was painted by the great Jack Rickard, who died in 1983, two years after this paperback came out.

    This part of the bookstore is a trailer attached to the main building. You can see it in the photo at the top of this post.

    The Customer Convenience Cottage in the parking lot was very clean!

    As usual, I scooped up every 1960s children's science book I could find. I will easily earn back the money I spent by selling the astronauts book to Pescovitz at a fantastic markup.

    Bonus! We stopped at the Hi Ali Swapmeet, just a bit down the road from Reader's Oasis.

    I really wanted to by a cast iron skillet here, but my wife didn't want a used skillet. I tried to talk her into it, but no dice.

    She was OK with letting me buy this Wagnerware Magnalite 4133M-Sidney water kettle designed by Gordon Rideout, though!

    I wasn't the only one to buy something at the swap meet. My older daughter bought a turquiose ring and my younger daughter bought a bolo tie that was fashioned from a cow vertebrae to look like a steer's skull.

    We didn't spend too much time at The Rock Pile, because we are not rock hounds.


    I liked the hand lettered signs, though!


    Reader's Oasis Books
    690 E Main St
    Quartzsite, Arizona
    (928) 927-6551

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