Shelves nearly bare as Book Exchange ends 75 years of business (Durham, NC Herald-Sun, 15 Feb 2009)The store at Five Points had become a downtown Durham landmark after years of supplying used textbooks for discount prices to the area's college students, and providing a sprawling space for book lovers to browse, spread over two floors and a labyrinth of back rooms.
"It's pretty picked over, but I found a gem or two that wasn't a gem to anyone else," said Carol Hardman, who started shopping at the store in the 1980s as a Duke student.
She had picked out "Eyewitness to History," an anthology of first-person accounts of historical events going back 500 years, for herself, and "Film Scenes for Actors," for her son, a middle school student who is taking an interest in drama.
Tom Loflin started shopping at "The Book Ex," as patrons call it, 30 years ago as a law student at UNC. He had a full bag, but thumbed through a paperback copy of "Romeo and Juliet."
"It's too bad that it's closing because it's a part of Durham that will probably never return," Loflin said. "You don't have many businesses that go back as long as this one does ... not with the tobacco all gone."
The BookEx was the broke student's friend... used copies and discount copies of textbooks and required reading, and it wasn't just Duke students that shopped there; this UNC grad happily spent time and money there back in the day, and not just for textbooks and required reading.
It was actually one of the things about the Triangle that I was looking forward to showing Carrie, especially as she's got a graduate program in her immediate future.
Man, I'm bummed.