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BEST BOOKSTORE FOR USED BOOKS Minneapolis 1998 -

Readers' Choice: Half Price Books, Records, & Magazines

The quintessential used bookstore should look as slightly dog-eared and as gently used as its inventory. Every square foot of wall space should be filled with a bookshelf, and if the shelves become too full, the books themselves should begin to determine the store's layout. The mismatched carpet remnants should reveal well-worn wood floors and chipping multicolored 1940s tile. The floor should slope slightly and groan with every step. Well-worn chairs and stools should populate the corners, and upon entering the customer should be assailed by the smell of aging paper and ink. Twenty-five years of all-consuming passion for book collecting has allowed Bill Biermaier to assemble just such an establishment. Tucked away in the same set of storefronts that houses the perennially popular University of Minnesota pit stop Ralph and Jerry's, his store contains more than 100,000 titles ranging from fiction to food, art to anthropology, golf to Goethe--not to mention the Heritage Press Limited editions signed by the illustrators, and Shakespeare in Japanese.

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