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Our picks for the sometimes less obvious winners.
Best Bookstore - Used (2013)
600 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey
When Book Buyers owner Rammurti Reed was shelving 2013 calendars for display, a few 20-somethings walked by and poked their heads in. “You’ve got to see this. It’s an old-fashioned bookstore!” one told his friends. That struck Reed as funny, since the store isn’t particularly antiquey. But in this era of e-books, a shop like this, with just a touch of book smell and soaring ceiling-high shelves, is well worth gasping over. There are plenty of paperbacks, plus some rare finds in the coffee-table book category, as well as an ample Steinbeck section that’s always well-stocked. For those who use books as currency, trade prices are fair, making this shop into its own species of library.