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Welcome to 50,000 Books


Welcome to 50,000 Books

Welcome to the home of 50000Books.com AKA 50,000 Books, the Once Upon A Time Neighborhood Store fully owned and operated by Tom Chambers, Book Seller.

Celebrating 30 Years of Selling Quality Books That You Might Want
To find what you are looking for try my search engine to the left. It's very key word friendly. Or click on my categories to the right. If you wish to delve into the mind of the owner keep reading this page, and..... be careful in there.


Here's a great video about the store in a moment of time.

"You are precisely as big as what you love and precisely as small as what you allow to annoy you." -
Robert Anton Wilson.

Here's an idea: http://www.biblio.com/pages/Used_Books_Go_Greener.html

"Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology." - Rebecca West

Of making many books there is no end.(Old Test., Eccles.)
Something is learned every time a book is opened.
A book may be as great a thing as a battle.
A book that is shut is but a block.
A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit...(Milton)
A wicked book is the wickeder because it cannot repent.
Books are a guide in youth and an entertainment for age. Books are a trivialty, Life alone is great. (Carlyle)
Books are ships which pass through the vast seas of time. (Bacon)
Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind.
Books cannot always please, however good, Minds are not ever craving for their food. (Crabbe) Books give not wisdom where there was none before...Books, the children of the brain. Nothing so old as a new book. The best companions are the best books.
Beware of the man of one book.
"Every age has it's book. (Koran)

.....all the above quotes except for one are from "A World Treasury of Proverbs"

"The life of a bookseller is very demoralizing to the intellect... He is surrounded by innumerable books; he cannot possibly read them all. He dips into one and picks up a scrap from another. His mind gradually fills itself with miscellaneous flotsam, with superficial opinions, with a thousand half knowledges. Almost unconsciously he begins to rate literature according to what people ask for. That way lies intellectual suicide." Christopher Morley, The Haunted Bookshop p 25

Redevelopment 101, Redevelopment for the Complete Idiot, The Idiot's Guide to Redevelopment, Redevelopment for Dummies

1. Pay attention to New Orleans. Anything you want to know about redevelopment can be learned there. I believe that's the biggest redevelopment project ever attempted. Sometimes when I look at downtown El Cajon it reminds me of New Orleans after the flood.

2. Get involved. Stay involved.
Whether or not you can effect any meaningful change, stay involved. You will know what's coming before hand. You can build alliances of people who might be watching your back in the event of any greed or power plays.

Get involved in the redevelopment. Volunteer. Go to the meetings. Join a committee. If for no other reason than self protection.

If you can't stomach that, maybe you shouldn't locate in a redevelopment area. It may be hard to find a spot that is not in a redevelopment area, however. One of my biggest mistakes was in not relocating years sooner, due to a twisted sense for loyalty for both my landlord and the redevelopment process.

3. Be Sure to Have Lot's of Money

I'm not being facetious here. I mean tons. Most new businesses fail and most claim that lack of capital is one of the main reasons.

In addition to the money needed for any healthy business, you will need reserves for lawyers, reserves for unexpected changes, reserves for losses from street closures or other "improvements", reserves for sudden rent increases(economic improvement), reserves for leases in case you decide to move, reserves for extra help so you can attend the meetings where your fate may be being decided, reserves, reserves, reserves. Shoestring storefront businesses are a thing of the past in San Diego. Operating costs are high, and without plenty of capital you could lose everything for the lack of a few thousand. And don't forget that new bankruptcy law. It's not going to be pretty.

on the other hand

oh maaaah God I forgot to get a grant

If you are interested in locating in downtown El Cajon check out El Cajon CDC.

Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about redevelopment before making any serious decisions. Find out whose really in charge.

I have to chuckle through my tears. I remember when I was moving out, there was an ad for a redevelopment agency back east, that wanted to pay a book store to locate in their town. A grant. Why does this remind me of three card monty?

I'm slowly winding my way through those books and expect to maximize my online stock by the year 2025, at which time I will start to wind down.

For a free country there is not enough intelligent dialogue. We support public education, at least enough to be able to give lip service to that concept. And in the build up to war, we ignore some of our most brilliant scholars.

I love having books. I love selling books.

I'd like to put in a plug for the Friends of the Library store in the lobby of the library, just a block away from the old landmark, still vacant, 50,000 Books. Their prices and selection are very good.

Brick & Mortar, 50,000 Books, in Downtown El Cajon Now Closed or.... Downtown El Cajon Redevelopment Finally Turns a Corner.


It's gotta be a good thing for now. There were no other acceptable alternatives. The highest rubber boots I could find were not high enough.

The landlords bought the spin that the rent values had gone up. The city doesn't allow used businesses in the downtown. So I could only stay if I was in the same building I had been in before they passed that law. I guess there's more profit in un-used businesses.

You got it, closed for good, for now.

It's been replaced by, uh... uh...... I guess that's just capitalism and the free market in action, or the power of unintended consequences.

After 28 + wonderful(well, most of them wonderful) years redevelopment finally caught up to me.

People were so interested in having the building rehabilitated, that they could care less, about the person or business occupying the building. I had spent three years moving from one building, to the other building, and then finally to part of the other building, just to be the right size so that I could afford the new rents, only to be told that they now wanted to do the entire building, and I wouldn't be able to stay. That was over two years ago and they have finally rented one and maybe the second out of the three spaces.

It wasn't so much the rent that was unaffordable, as the nonsense.

And now... congratulations are in order. The building has been rehabilitated, and it looks very nice. There's a new business in there called The Corner Store. So congratulations to the Community Development Corporation and Torrey Pines Property Management.

Although we give lip service in support of education, we support policies that are in direct conflict to that.

We talk about free markets then manipulate the market place.

I do miss the open store. It was miracle that I got into this business, and a miracle that it worked.

Both my property managers, and the El Cajon "Community" Development Corp., made decisions that weren't even in their own best interests, in order to further this decision. I'm still baffled by what their idea of community is.

Some day I hope to understand this, but for now I had to get on with my life, and get out of, the lack of culture zone.

Some redevelopment is like this giant shell game, and the truth is manipulated out of existance. It seems the laws of ordinary economics have been suspended, and some people are able to manipulate the situation to their advantage, while others may get left in the dust. Or in my case just totally crushed. Reminds me of a line in a Hoyt Axton song "When it all comes down, I hope it doesn't land on you"

At any rate if you want a real bookstore you might try Romance World on Fletcher Parkway, or Adams Ave Bookstore or Wahrenbrock's Book House in San Diego, for a really large selection. And William Burgett has reopened on Adams Ave. also.

And don't forget Maxwells in Downtown La Mesa.

Mission statement.


Education. Expression. Making a living.
I believe that the book, is still, one of the most important mediums for that. And still a relatively modern technology in the history of civilization.

I believe that the best education is the one that we pursue on our own.

Attention! ATTENTION!


Do not BROWSE the internet without a sense of humor. Frustration may prevail.
Or how to search for a book online.
In this little space I'm going to violate one of the first rules of doing business on the internet. I'm going to tell you where to go (no, not there) and how to get there. I see and hear of so many people shopping online and not even coming close to getting the best value for their shopping dollar. So here you are on my home page and I'm most likely going to send you somewhere else.

If you made it here you can probably do your own search. Here's a great link
Another good site for searching is http://bookfinder.com Or just click here. BookFinder.com
I prefer the classic mode.
Bookfinder and Addall are basically search engines that search some of the primary bookselling sites. But you can also try Google, which is great for finding what you want, or just tracking information.

Pay attention to the type of binding, and the cost of shipping. You might find a really good value, but the book happens to be in Australia, so the cost of shipping easily eats up any savings.
There are now around 25,000 Booksellers online and would you believe some of them actually are in Australia. And I heard recently that China is building what may be one of the largest bookstores in the world.

You can always try Google or Froogle. Thou it might take a bit to actually find the book for sale, you can find all kinds of interesting information in the process.

Why all this redevelopment politics on my home page?


I can spend a bit of time working on my website and try to convince you to buy from me, at my website, but frankly most of the business being done on the net is through Amazon, Abebooks, and other large sites that most consumers seem to prefer, and frankly that's where most of my sales come from.

But to reach an international audience, and try to affect some reasonable social, or political change, That's irresistable.

When I see the kind of political crap that goes on in a small town like El Cajon, it's just irresistable to be able to express myself, and hope to be heard somewhere. If there's a similar business in another town going through similar changes the possiblility of networking is powerfull, even if improbable.
I've been at this in El Cajon for 25 years and now with the internet it's a whole new ball game. To have survived El Cajon's redevelopment was a major accomplishment.

When I expanded to the corner and added a full line of new books, I was given the impression, that the northwest corner was going to be developed within 9 months and the southwest corner within three years. That was thirteen years ago. The northwest was finished about 3 years ago, and the southwest is now expected to be finished in the next three years.

I know I should be selling you something, but all I've got is this lousy story and what seems like a kazillion books.

What happened to 50,000 Books at 116 E. Main St.?


It's a goner. I moved out almost four years ago, because I thought the corner would be more secure.... Little did I know.

I tried to move back in when I lost the corner building, but the rent was doubled, and I just couldn't come to an agreement with the landlord. It's been empty since. How's that for economic development? I suppose the value has doubled due to those imaginary rent dollars that have been flowing in.

I suppose it's much neater having an empty building than one of those nasty old used businesses, that actually does business.


How will you know when this web site's complete?


You know those websites you go onto and all you get is that currently under construction notice. Hopefully it won't be like that.
I think that a good 50000Books.com website, or any website will always be a work in progress.
One cool thing about this web site is I can change most of the basic stuff pretty fast, and it's just too tempting to keep changing it. I'm just a frustrated blogger.

Books50k, or 50000 Books or if you want to call it 5,000 Books, always a work in progress. Sorry I bored you by mentioning the name 50,000 Books so many times, but I promise to not mention it so many times, when you can put in the name 50,000 Books in most search engines and my book store comes up. Or Books50k, or even 50000books.com, or 50000 Books and El Cajon would be nice also. I might even throw in a term like El Cajon redevelopment just to give the search engines something to look for.

...and a few more quotes for the quote collection


"In nature, the bird who gets up earliest catches the most worms; but in book-collecting, the prizes fall to birds who know worms when they see them."-Michael Sadleir, 1888-1957
from Only in Books: Writers, Readers & Bibliophiles on Their Passion, compiled by J. Kevin Graffagnino. Madison House, 1996.

I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it. - Terry Pratchett
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