The first thing customers notice whey they step into Books, Comics and Things is the place is covered in books.
Somewhere amid the fully-laden bookshelves and behind the counter covered in periodicals sits Sandra Adams, who has run the shop for about 30 years.
“I worked in a Killeen bookstore way back when,” Adams said. “And I slowly but surely got enough books to open up here.”
Books, Comics and Things is a secondhand bookstore that sells gently-used books on virtually any topic — from children’s books of now defunct series to novels written by some of the most popular writers today.
“I tend to get books that people are tired of,” Adams said. “It’s rare when I get something that people still are looking for as a new book. But I do get a lot of people looking for old favorites of theirs.
“I have noticed, too, that even with all the digital books, it seems that the new books cost about the same to download as it does to buy a paperback version of it, and I know I’d rather have a permanent copy in my hands.”
Adams rarely purchases books from customers, but she does accept donations and trades.
“Once they know I’m here and they come in and they know I trade, they’re hooked,” she said.
Curiosity has been her best advertiser, she said.
“I haven’t done a whole lot of advertising over the years,” Adams said. “But people poke their heads in and see what I have, and that gets people in. With a couple of new businesses opening up around here, I’m expecting some more people to come in.”
Over the years, Adams has seen many changes in the books people read and how they read.
“Historical books used to be a lot more popular,” she said. “Now, it’s all about mysteries and the vampire books.”
A set of Hardy Boys books guaranteed to be made of World War II-approved materials is just one of the choices on Adams’ shelves.
“One thing that has been neat is in the last couple of years they have redone some of the Nancy Drew case files,” Adams said. “Kids today have read them and that gets them interested in the originals.”
Even with the marked change in reader interests, Adams still runs into the same problem she has always faced.
“Sometimes, I just keep what comes in. It’s an occupational hazard.”