If you’re looking for a solid place to get books, there’s no better place to start than…Got Books. Originally located in Boiling Springs, near Gardner-Webb University, Got Books opened its second location in Shelby, N.C., in 2009. Afterward, the original location closed. (Much to my chagrin – I was a GWU student in need of books.) However, their Shelby location is now very successful and is the closest to my home and for that, I am very thankful.
While Got Books doesn’t have the dusty, old-book-smell of my all-time favorite bookstore, it does offer great deals, a varied and organized selection, and fantastic customer service. Here are just a few of the reasons Got Books is my go-to bookstore for nearly every literary purchase.
- Prices. Got Books never overcharges and I’ve found some coveted titles there for a great deal. Once, I wanted a new Stephen King book. I got it for just $6 – a steal!
- Special orders. Let’s say you want a book they don’t have in store. If you pay in advance, Got Books will order it for you with NO shipping charges. They’ll even order movies. This summer, I needed a copy of “Eat, Pray, Love” stat. I placed my order over the phone and two days later, it was in hand. (Don’t ask me why I needed EPL ASAP.)
- Selection. Not only do they have Christian fiction, sci-fi, general fiction, mysteries, young adult fiction, history and biographies, they even have a set-apart room for children’s books and a just-inside-the-door display of Southern and local fiction. It is never hard to find something in Got Books, but if it is, their knowledgeable staff will remember exactly where it is for you and be glad to help.
- Location. Got Books is located right off a major highway – U.S. 74, which will take you all the way to Asheville (itself a haven of wonderful bookstores) or the other direction to Gastonia. It is visible from the highway with a giant sign that says simply, “Books.” And it is easily accessible, right near a Waffle House.
- Trade-in credit. Got Books doesn’t always accept books for trade-in, since sometimes they get overstocked. They also only accept books that are popular and that they need. But when they do accept trade-ins, you can get some killer credit. A friend of mine traded a bag of books once and left with $40 worth of credit! When we visited again, she spent it all in one run, but didn’t actually end up spending any money. (An added plus is that my friend, through different connections, gets many of her books for free.)
- Movies. Got Books has a solid selection of DVDs at good prices. They’re organized, too, in genres like comedy, horror and drama. Don’t skip this section. In fact, I usually leave it til last, because by then, I’ve already picked up the books I need and can make a good decision on whether I want to spend more on movies.
In summary, this simple, laid-back bookstore is the bookstore of the future. Working alongside the Internet, using Facebook, using Amazon – these are the ways a bookstore stays relevant in today’s world. Trying to compete with big-box stores like Books A Million just won’t work for indies, and Got Books realizes that. They deal in primarily used books, and that’s my kind of thing. (They carry a lot of new titles at good prices, too.) Their business gives customers great prices, selection and options – to the point that you can’t go into Got Books and not get what you were looking for.
It’s for these reasons that Got Books is my main resource when I’m looking for a book or DVD, whether it’s for Christmas or a birthday gift, for our home library, or for my classroom. Even if you don’t know what you’re looking for, the employees there can help you find something you’ll like. And it’s so rewarding to get great deals while also supporting a local business rather than an online giant. Give it a try. And next time I see you, I’ll be sure to ask, Got Books?
Check them out on Facebook.