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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 12, 1998)
Local used bookstores offer
a wide selection of services
By Sarah Baker
Senior staff writer
Although American culture cur
rently sways under the heavy saturation
of television, radio and the World Wide
Web, a finer medium exists in our
mass-marketed times - books.
New books are still big bucks, but
with the increasing numbers of used
book peddlers, they are more accessi
ble than ever.
Downtown Lincoln is abundant in
used bookstores, most of which have a
huge selection of books ranging from
Is to that tome
is offer more
than just cheap prices and out-of-print
books. Most have a focus on personal
service, a unique sense of atmosphere
and, in some cases, the chance to play
with a big, fat cat.
Cinnamon Dokken, owner of A
Novel Idea, 118 N. 14th St., said she
thought used bookstores have an
appeal to everyone, but especially to
for classes like classics, English and
philosophy or psychology. We try to
keep a good, scholarly selection.”
Most of the local used bookstores
have a wide selection of out-of-print
books that can’t be found at new sell
Each bookstore has its own policy
of pricing, but the books are usually
available at bargain costs. Some stores
work on a book-for-book trading basis,
depending on what the customer has to
offer the store and what they are look
ing to buy.
Katherine Bergstrom, manager for
A Novel Idea, said students are a big
part of the store’s clientele.
“If students don’t go to used book
stores, I think they should,” she said.
“Often the university
bookstores run out of
books or are delayed in
getting them, so, depend
ing on the book, we might
already have it, and usual
ly at a lower price.”
If the store doesn’t
happen to have what the
customer is looking for, A
Novel Idea has a request
list that many people find
helpful in their search.
A Novel Idea also
offers a student discount
of 10 percent off anything
in the store on Fridays
and Saturdays from 6
p.m. to 8 p.m.
Jean Lewis, owner of
Page One Bookstore, 206
N. 13th, said her store
deals exclusively in used
“We have some of
everything,” Lewis said.
“We have good selections
of science fiction and
mystery as well as litera
ture and romance novels.”
paperbacks, Lewis said, requires her
store to be even more selective because
they often have numerous copies of the
She said her store, along with two
others in town, are the only ones who
specialize solely in paperbacks.
Lewis thinks the price is the decid
ing factor between used and new books
for most people, including students.
Whether paperbacks, literature or
textbooks, used bookstores are not the
only ones working hard to sell their
wares at a competitive price.
But most Lincoln used-bookstore
owners said they don’t feel much com
petition with used bookstores and
chain bookstores, which deal exclu
sively in the sale of new books.
Bergstrom said she thought compe
tition with chain bookstores is not a
factor in sales of old books, but added
that it also depends on the store.
“Barnes & Noble has a lot of bar
gain books, and we do keep an eye on
those so we can keep prices competi
tive,” she said.
Bob Condello, manager for Barnes
& Noble Booksellers, 5150 O St, said
he tries to work cooperatively with
used bookstores in Lincoln.
“We refer a lot of people to used
bookstores when we don’t have what
they are looking for,” Condello said. “I
think there is a place for both kinds of
stores. Our goal is to work together to
get more books into more people’s
“New and used work in tandem,”
she said. “We both occupy our own
Many people may have the wrong
idea of what a used bookstore is really
like, Bergstrom said, and encouraged
people to check one out
“Some people think everything we
have is going to be collectibles, or
everything is going to be falling apart,”
she said. “If they can’t afford what we
have, then it wouldn’t be worth it”
Personal customer service is anoth
er plus to shopping at second-hand
stores, especially since the selection in
a used bookstore is much wider, and
sometimes harder to fit into categories.
Difficulties locating a specific text in
the store leads to greater interaction
between shopper and retailer.
“If you walk up to someone in a
used bookstore, they are going to know
how to help you,” Bergstrom said.
“Every bookstore is unique and has a
different flavor. That’s part of what
makes them so much fun.
“Plus, there are no cats in a new
bookstore,” Dokken added, in refer
ence to her gigantic feline Silas, which
roams the store freely.
Perhaps Dokken’s favorite aspect
of a used bookstore is the casual atmos
phere, which fosters an environment of
discussion and fun.
She said many people stop in her
store just to take a break from their
stressful days and to spend a few min
utes in the comfortable and relaxing
“People like the mystery in a used
bookstore,” she said. “There are lots of
little surprises that aren’t found in
places with fluorescent lighting and the
same books that everyone else has.”
CINNAMON DOKKEN, owner of A Novel Idea, 118 N 14th St., provides an alternative to the large chain bookstores in Lincoln.
Along with her cat Silas, Dokken has created a more casual atmosphere for literature lovers.
Veggie cookbook makes a cut to the lighter side
By Todd Anderson
Senior staff writer
If becoming a vegetarian is about practical
planning and decision-making, Karen Lee
knows what she’s talking about
Drawing from traditional continental and
Chinese cuisine, Lee explores meatless meals
without scaring off the curious carnivore in her
new cookbook, “The Occasional Vegetarian”
(Warner Books, $ 15.99).
Lee recognizes the public’s recent change in
attitude toward vegetarian dishes; it’s less about
following a fad and more about making wise
decisions Mien planning a healthy diet
Because more people realize that omnivores,
unlike die-hard vegetarians, can cross over the
line to try new foods, the growth in the populari
ty of meatless dishes is sure to continue.
Trained in the European continental and
Mediterranean methods of food preparation, Lee
has carved herself a career in the cooking busi
ness that has spanned more than 20 years.
Recently she has been recognized for creat
ing innovative specialties derived from traditional
Chinese cooking techniques and ingredients.
This cookbook, unlike others pouring into the
market, is not about flashy design and trendy
Rather, it outlines concisely and clearly for the
beginning chef how to orchestrate simple and ele
The most valuable part of the book is the
instruction for making homemade broths and
pastes that can be added to any dish,
veggie and meat-filled alike.
With ample time and an eye on the
end product, following tips for fresh
blends of vegetables and spices
ensures enriched quality and aug
The book does make a few
assumptions about the sopliisticated
nature of its readers, however. This
tends to leave a few things to be
desired. For example, die designers of
the book should have included some
photos to help readers identify rare
ingredients and seasonings.
Pictures would have also been a
great aid to demonstrate procedures
Still, pointers in the margins offer
great fun facts to know and tell, and
they prove indispensable during
The pointers indicate the love the
author has for creating robust dishes,
which stems from the time she spent m
France and Italy as a child.
Now that fall has arrived, the release of the
book coincides perfectly with ample food stocks
in supermarkets and inhospitable weather that
makes home-cooking even more appealing.
Lee organizes the book’s dishes by their place
in a meal, but it’s more interesting to choose indi
vidual dishes to fit the mood and style of an event
The simple dishes such as the Mixed
Vegetables al Fomo, die couscous dishes and the
carrot puree soup provide maximum taste in min
imal time - a convenient choice for those who
don’t have time to prepare banquet dishes every
But when the formal occasion does arise, the
book offers a bevy of pasta, rice and bean dishes
that offer not only sustenance, but also a delight
fully tasty experience for a small dinnerparty.
While the focus of die book is how to construct
meals without meat, many of the pasta and rice
dishes can be modified to include chicken or fish..
Without purporting to be the end-all, tell-all
vegetarian cookbook, Lee’s book offers the perfect
first step for vegetarians and meat-eaters looking
to expand their palates.
Those looking for inventive meals with new
ingredients will have a heyday with this book.
More importantly, they will end up with an effec
tive and creative guide to diet management and
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