LITTLE ITALY — Even a 700-page monster book like "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" is offered at a crazy, per-pound discount at Market Fresh Books.
The shop, which opened last week at 1076 W. Taylor St., sells used books at a sweet deal — by weight. The store charges $4.99 per pound, whether the books are by Melville or Maya Angelou.
“People are scared to buy a fat book. But it’s like $8 cheaper than Amazon and you have it in your hand, you don’t have to wait for it to arrive in the mail,” said Angela Holtzman, a longtime librarian who now works at Market Fresh.
“It’s almost like shopping at a garage sale, only it’s organized and it’s nice stuff,” co-owner Paul Frischer said.
Frischer and his wife, Susan, started the original Market Fresh in Evanston three years ago. Paul Frischer said he got the idea for the shop after owning several used CD shops over the years.
He said the couple hopes to draw on the area’s student population, especially with the shop’s focus on popular reading material and textbooks, which they also buy.
“We're really, really aggressive about paying well for in-demand textbooks,” Frischer said.
And while you can pick up a nice buck selling a textbook, Market Fresh’s shelves are lined with current textbooks priced at 99 cents a pop, and many others go for the discounted rate of $2.49 a pound.
The shop also sells CDs for a buck and DVDs for just $3.
If you bring in a box of books, Market Fresh will pay you for all of them based on the "sell-ability" of each book and recycle the ones they don’t think will sell, which Frischer said is not common in the used book industry.
Market Fresh is looking for an assistant, preferably someone with a library or bookstore background. To request an application, email email@example.com.