READING is to the mind what exercise is to the bodyand there is plenty of opportunity to stimulate your intellectat Bookman’s Books, Costa Rica’s newest fine-used bookstorethat opened three months ago.You can choose from a myriad of authors – whether youfind literature a luxury or fiction a necessity.In the past, with no libraries stacked with English-languagebooks, avid readers were constantly on the prowl tosatisfy their hankerings. Then in 1990, Russell Ordiwayopened Book Traders in the Omni building in San José andsubsequently another one across the road, then two yearslater one in Escazú, southwest of San José.His innovative idea of a bookmobile, though a godsendto residents in outlying communities, was short-lived. Itproved too arduous, due to the logistics of timing, bad roadsand weather conditions. In 1995, he sold his businesses andretired to Grecia, an agricultural town northwest of SanJosé, to help raise his family.Now Ordiway has made a very welcome comeback withhis classy establishment located in Plaza San Rafael inEscazú.“YOU’LL find no foxed (dog-eared, ripped brown)books here,” he said, then added with a laugh, or “dirtybooks.”He’s very choosy about what he buys, sells and tradesfor credit. Every book is meticulously cleaned and somewith hard covers neatly protected with plastic. Only availablein this country at Bookman’s, the plastic book jacketsare a great find.One can browse to the heart’s content among shelves ofcategorized paperback novels. Mysteries, romance, fantasy,westerns and Sci-Fi, while the non-fiction section offersbios, cookbooks and much more. A selection of hardcoverbooks, both fiction and non-fiction include novels, the classicsand a multitude of subjects from anatomy to gardening.A large selection of dictionaries, both English/Spanishand vis-à-vis, plus 501 Spanish Verbs and even Japanese dictionaries,either romanized or with characters can be found.For those seeking a treasure house of words, Roget’sThesaurus, crossword dictionaries, a book of quotations anda trivia mania encyclopedia were among the collection.GUIDEBOOKS and laminated maps of Costa Ricawill keep travelers happy and brand new looking readersand scholastic learning materials will keep the small fryoccupied. Bookman’s also offers large print books, mostlybestsellers, and a small selection of books in Spanish and afew other languages. A large choice of magazines, all inexcellent condition, range from Bon Appétit to NationalGeographic.Non-bookish types can purchase board games, books ontape and CBS radio mysteries such as “The Shadow” and“The Thin Man.”“I grew up listening to these and I’m still hooked onthem today,” Ordiway said.There are many DVDs to choose from and another 5,000will be arriving in the future, he said. The large selection ofcompact discs are all originals, have been checked forscratches and include jazz, country and western, show tunesand a large variety of popular melodies, but no classical.Collectors can find vinyls (LP’S 45 and 78). DVDs sell for$10 and compact discs range from $2.95-12.95.“I’M definitely more than a book-trader,” Ordiway said.“My real love is rare and antiquarian books. I’m planning anew section of Latin American and Americana history booksdating from 1775 to the present.”He already has some and proudly took them out fromunder the counter, a 1952 first edition of Hemingway’s “TheOld Man and the Sea” in perfect condition.Ordiway buys private libraries in the United States andCosta Rica.“Now with Internet, books are an international businessand I do a lot of my buying and selling online,” he said.Trading at Bookman’s is simple. For paperbacks, 25% ofthe U.S. cover price is given as credit on another book and thisis applied to 50% of the next purchase. If you don’t want tobuy a book that particular day you can leave your credit onfile.ALL books are priced in U.S dollars, but payment incolones at the current rate of exchange is the norm. For hardcoverbooks and CDs there is no standard trade-in, butDVDs can be traded for credit.For buying and selling info visit www.bookmanscr.comor call 288-3233.The store is located in Plaza San Rafael, 100 meters westof Plaza Colonial in San Rafael de Escazú. Open Tues-Sat.10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Today in Costa Rica