April 12th is “Drop Everything and Read Day”, a nationwide celebration of reading popularized in the book Ramona Quimby, Age 8, written by Beverly Cleary. But Sacramento residents do not need an excuse to get them revved up for reading, as evidenced by the large number new and used book stores. While there are a number of national chain stores selling new books, many from Sacramento prefer the lower cost and cooler ambiance of local used bookstores.
Beatnik Bookstore
307 Lincoln St.
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 741-2328

Nestle in to the cushions of a comfy, well-worn chair and enjoy the eclectic, eccentric atmosphere of Beatnik Bookstore in Old Roseville. In addition to having an extensive collection of books, the store also sells used and new clothing, classic candies, cult comics, snacks, vintage records, clocks made of old albums covers and other artsy and evocative curios. Books come from every imaginable genre and subject, and hundreds of items are added each week. The prices are very good, with books ranging from $1.00 – $4.00 and vinyl records for $3.00, with an extra 20 percent discount offered during the Third Saturday Art Walk in Roseville. Live music, free food and original artwork are also part of the Third Saturday experience at the bookstore. Beatnik periodically hosts events, including poetry slams, book signings and children’s story times. One highlight of the shop is a large wardrobe, where kids can enter the section stocked with children’s books.

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Beers Books
915 S St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-9475

Beers has been a Sacramento institution since 1936, with loyal customers following through several location changes through the years. The selection of books is vast and eclectic, and are organized into cool and quirky categories. Traditional and graphic novels are available, and non-fiction can be found on subjects including politics, metaphysics, survivalism and homesteading, astrology, art, French cooking, social anthropology and more. Beers also buys used books. Check the store’s blog for updates on what authors and topics are currently being sought. Beers is generous with discounts, including 20 percent off DVDs and new or used books on the Second Saturday Art Walk, held each month in Sacramento. There is only one thing missing at Beers. The beloved long-time employee/shop cat Raffels passed away in 2013.

Almost Perfect Used Books
8694 Elk Grove Blvd.
Elk Grove, CA 95624
(916) 684-7272

This small, family-owned shop sells new and used books, audio books and DVDs. Customers are greeted with sincere, friendly interest by the employees, who create a relaxed environment for browsing. As with many used bookshops, Almost Perfect accepts some books and DVDs in trade for store credit, and even for cash in certain circumstances. On the store’s website, someone in the family writes a very interesting online newsletter, which highlights specific books, authors and other marvelous tidbits for bibliophiles.

Time Tested Books
1114 21st St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 447-5696

Time Tested has been in business for more than 30 years. The store is a beloved part of the midtown scene. Prices are reasonable, and additional discounts are available to teachers and to members of local organizations like the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and Capital Public Radio Perks. There is a wide selection of used books and records available. The staff will happily help patrons search for out of print, rare and obscure books both in and outside of their current stock. Time Tested is home to the Sacramento Women’s Book Club and hosts events like author readings and signings, musical performances and lectures.

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Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.