READERS' PICK: Looking to find good-quality used books, CDs, records, and video games at a reasonable price and/or perhaps find a place to recycle some of your own stuff for fun and profit? Before you let your fingers do the walking, check out Bookman's. Whether you're trying to get hold of a used copy of that $900 textbook that they're peddling for new at the university, a musty Harlequin novel for the bedside, a copy of an old Kenny Loggins LP or CD, or a video game/system for the kids, chances are that Bookman's has it. And the friendly bookworms at Bookman's (likely about 200 of them at any given time you visit) are always willing to assist you in your quest for new used stuff and take some of that old used stuff off your hands. Do yourself a favor and find out what the Bookman's buzz is all about.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Book Stop Used Books, 2504 N. Campbell Ave. There are stores with books, and then there are Book Stores. The Book Stop is the latter--it smells like books, offers a taste of everything in books, has the quiet dignity of a library and the charm of a 19th-century novel. Most of the inventory here comes from large donations and estate sales rather than over-the-counter trades, meaning a much more eclectic and even antiquated collection than its resale peers. Fairly small, and located right next door to the Santa Barbara Ice Cream store on the northeast corner of Campbell and Grant, it's the perfect place to browse for unexpected delights for yourself or a friend.