My wife and I were walking to a farmer’s market yesterday and passed a CD store specializing in used discs. The door was open, and even across the sidewalk we could smell the musty air pooled in front of the store. My wife turned to me and asked why every used CD store reeked.
As soon as she said it, I realized that matched my experience – almost every used CD or book store smells strongly of must and mold. I’d always associated the smell specifically with used book stores*, but CD stores have it too.
It’s not a smell I associate with stores that sell new books or CDs, so it can’t only be a matter of what they sell.
My guess: profit margins on used media are slim, which means that those stores tend to be located in cheap, old buildings that tend to smell musty. And they rarely run air conditioning, again because of the expense, which doesn’t help. Basically, it’s expensive not to reek, and used media merchants don’t have the cash to invest in fresh air.
Am I right? Are there other forces at work? Are our perceptions skewed – are stinky used book and CD stores the exception?
*“Used bookstore” sounds like the store was used, but Google has a few thousand more hits for that than for “used book store.” Ah, usage.