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Bookman's is a small chain of secondhand bookstores local to Arizona. Specifically, there are exactly five Bookman's: Three in Tucson, one in Flagstaff, and one in Mesa (the largest suburb of Phoenix, and itself the third-largest city in the state). They have a website at bookmans.com. In addition to books, Bookman's sells a wide variety of other used entertainment, including music CDs, tapes and records, DVD and VHS movies, jigsaw puzzles, audiobooks, magazines, software, and videogames.

The stores themselves are very large, about the size of a small supermarket. Bookcases (which are all orange, apparently because the company president thinks it looks "cheery") are laid out in all sorts of odd patterns, presumably so as many of them can fit as possible. The sorting of the books is somewhat haphazard; while they usually do a good job of alphabetizing, there's a lot of mismatching: fantasy is often mixed in with science fiction, politics with philosophy, New Age with science, etc. On various occasions, I've found The Dragons of Eden in fantasy, The Gulag Archipelago in literary fiction, and the various works of Trotsky in philosophy. There are absolutely no records kept on what books they have, so the employees can only help you if they have exceptionally good memories. Of course, if you're the kind of person who enjoys spending hours on end browsing through bookshelves (I know I am), this won't be a problem.

Like most secondhand bookstores, Bookman's buys books (and other items) from its customers. Payment is in the form of paper slips of credit, which are split into two different types. "A-Credit" is given for CDs, DVDs, software and videogames, and can be spent on anything. "B-Credit" is given for anything else that they buy, but cannot be used on any "A-Credit" items. The payment isn't particularly good (their prices are rather low, after all, and they still have to make a profit), but if you have some books or CDs or something you simply can't sell elsewhere, it's better than nothing.

Bookman's also hosts a myriad of activities in the evenings; mostly book clubs, chess tournaments and other sedentary hobbies.

To conclude: Overall, Bookman's is an excellent place to get books and other media in good condition and at a reasonable price. Moreover, by buying from them (as opposed to someplace like Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble), you're supporting small business, which is always a Good Thing.

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