The interior of Uncle Hugo’s is itself almost a piece of science fiction. It’s as if Borges wondered: What would a bookstore constructed completely from books look like? Though the shop also carries plenty of new titles, the used books section of Uncle Hugo’s is lined with paperbacks from Adams, Douglas to Zahn, Timothy. Not just on the shelves—and even there, books can run up to three layers deep—but also in boxes overhead, and lining the edges of the floor. Uncle Hugo’s has been in the used-book trade since 1974, making it one of the oldest sci-fi bookstores in the country, and you can find paperbacks dating back at least that far and well beyond. Way before speculative fiction was lighting up the bestsellers and awards, Uncle Hugo’s was doing in-store readings with the likes of Octavia Butler. Plus, there’s usually at least one snoozing dog in those stacks somewhere, rounding out the perfect used-bookstore experience.
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