READERS' PICK: With the number of indie bookstores in town having dwindled to the size of J.D. Salinger's literary output, Antigone Books steadfastly remains Tucson's best independently owned and operated bookstore, maintaining a longtime commitment to quality, service and community outreach. Smartly carving out a niche for itself in a sea of general interest bookstores, Antigone offers the city's best selection of feminist titles and female authors, from the mainstream to the arcane. But all is not Sappho and Steinem, as they also feature the area's most intriguing Gay/Lesbian collection, many local-interest titles, kids'
books, and a cornucopia of fun sideline products. The friendly staff is always available to order any in-print title for no extra charge. In both funky ambiance and focus, Antigone resembles the best of indie bookstores anywhere.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Bookman's, 1930 E. Grant Road; 3733 W. Ina Road.
MORE MANIA: Mostly Books, 6208 E. Speedway Blvd. Nestled within the sprawl of the east side's Monterey Village Shopping Center, the independently owned and operated Mostly Books offers an oasis filled with both new and used titles for the ravenous bibliophile. But what makes the store a true find for book lovers on a budget is their hardcover bestseller rental policy. For $5 a week, you can take home that new Danielle Steele potboiler you felt too guilty to purchase for $24.95, or that John Gray relationship guide you've been waiting for the library to get in for the last several months. Audio books are also available for rent, in one-day, three-day, and five-day increments. It's a great idea that offers an appealing alternative to the bigger stores in town, and a godsend for readers who want to stay current without the commitment of purchase.