Want to strain your back for a sawbuck? Try carrying a $10 haul from one of Piccolo Books' (aka Dollar Books) two enormous used bookstores, which opened this year in the shells of deceased Borders megastores. At Piccolo's in West L.A. and Long Beach, you can get 10 books for that 10 bucks from a selection of more than 100,000 titles. You won't find the feel-good atmosphere or the fingertips computer inventory of the old Borders. Piccolo kicks it old-school. “Our cash registers are one step above cigar box,” says Ward Albright, a consultant setting up the stores. But books are sorted onto shelves you would find in any bookstore: mystery, travel, politics, cooking, children's and so on. At the Hughes Center, hardback, trade paperbacks and vinyl records are $2 (some high-end books are more). All other paperbacks, vintage comics and magazines, CDs and VHS and audio tapes are all $1. Same is true in Long Beach, except that most books are a buck. Howard Hughes Center, 6081 Center Drive. (310) 410-0317. Also 101 S. Pine Ave., Long Beach. (562) 432-2665. Smaller stores in the Lakewood Center Mall, the Moreno Valley Mall and Santa Maria.

—Drex Heikes

LA Weekly