For serious book collectors, the hunt is the thing at Pauline's Antiques, a sturdy fixture on busy Park Street in the island city of Alameda for 54 years. Not only do Pauline's shelves sag with thousands of books, there's no method to their arrangement at all — wherever there's a space, that's where it goes. So, if you're looking for early editions by spy novelist Eric Ambler, African-American historical novelist Frank Yerby, or some rare medical textbook or nature guide from thirty-plus years ago, you'll have to carve yourself a fat chunk of time, take a deep breath (both in awe and in realization of the long search that lies ahead) and patiently dig away. Even the most determined hedgehog may leave with a niggling sense that they missed some tiny cul-de-sac on Pauline's two floors worth of goods. Which means only one thing — you come back later and look again. By the time you get there, more may have been added from Pauline's warehouse where, it is rumored, thousands of more items await the light of day.
© 2015 East Bay Express