Bookstore Spotlight: Yesterday's Books

Saturday, September 01, 2012

I've been visiting my husband's hometown, Modesto, CA, for about two and a half years now, and every time we've been there we've driven by a bookstore called Yesterday's Books. I never mentioned to him that I wanted to go in because we don't have a lot of extra money to spend on books and I have way too many anyway. However, for whatever reason (possibly because it was a longer trip than we usually take), I brought it up to my husband last week and he agreed that we should stop in. I can't believe now that we've waited so long -- the store was an absolute dream of a bookstore. The entire time we were inside, I was creepily whispering to my husband, "This is a happy place!" and doing a little happy dance of joy.

So here's the lowdown:

I loved the cozy, packed-with-books atmosphere of Yesterday's Books. It felt somewhat like Shakespeare & Co. to me, with its shelves packed with books and little tables tucked in the different nooks. The difference is that despite the seeming chaos of the shelves, they are all very well organized in both sections and alphabetical order.

As I mentioned, the organization is excellent at Yesterday's Books. It was very easy to find what I was looking for, and the different sections were easy to navigate.

Yesterday's Books is a used bookstore, and I've noticed that some used bookstores fall prey to the trap of having nothing but Harlequin romance and Louis L'amour paperbacks. Not so with Yesterday's Books. They had an extensive children's section, which we raided for our coming baby. The trade fiction and classic fiction, the two sections I tend to read most of, were also well-stocked. I noticed that they tended to carry books that are still popular and in demand. While I only glimpsed at the Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Mystery sections, they looked thorough as well. In addition, Yesterday's Books carries DVDs (we bought two), CDs, and sheet music. There is also a display case with several rare books (a first edition of Wuthering Heights caught my eye -- how cool is that?). What I'm saying is, there is something for everyone. I will say I was slightly disappointed by the Teen Fiction section -- there were quite a few books, but none that I was interested in reading. However, I imagine that books tend to move quickly through that section, and of course just because my dream book wasn't there doesn't mean someone else's won't be.

To me, used bookstores are $1.00 for a hardback, $0.50 for a paperback, so the higher prices at Yesterday's Books surprised me at first. However, the quality and selection are superior, and the prices are still less than half what you would pay for the book new. There is quite a bit of variety in the pricing, but I ended up paying $4.00 for a classic, $7.50 for a paperback that was released last year, $2.00 and $3.00 for picture books, and $6.00 for DVDs. It certainly isn't a cheap bookstore, but I think the prices are reasonable.

Basically, I highly recommend it. I will definitely be returning to Yesterday's Books on future trips to Modesto. It is one of my new favorite bookstores.


  1. It sounds lovely! I struggle with prices at used book stores as well. The one here I go to irritates me. I might as well buy the book from Amazon for a penny, you know?

    1. Yeah, I go back and forth. I love the atmosphere of a bookshop and the potential of just picking something random off the shelf, but there is definitely something to be said for getting it cheaper from Amazon. For me I think it mainly depends on my mood.

  2. If you've never been to Powell's City of Books in Portland you should put it on your list. You would love it.

    1. I haven't ever been to Portland but if I am ever in the area I definitely want to visit Powell's. I've heard so many good things about it!


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