The Vinyl Tourist's Caveat
Although I've personally visited all of the places mentioned, it should be a given that businesses come and go, stock and prices vary with the market, and nothing is guaranteed. It's axiomatic that the only purchase you'll ever regret is the one you didn't make when the opportunity presented itself.
I've tried to make the information as accurate as possible, but when in doubt telephone first. While most of the stores mentioned in these reviews are open regular hours, Monday through Friday, and often on weekends, don't take this for granted. Also, I've had the experience of returning to a store, sometimes within a year, and finding the amount of vinyl diminished exponentially. It's a sad fact of life for record lovers that CD's and cassettes are taking over more and more space that was previously dedicated to the LP.
Because you may not always have the luxury of unlimited time, I've listed the stores in descending order of (my) preference. Depending on your interests, you may wish to skip certain places altogether or visit them in a different sequence. Records found and prices quoted are examples only. Most LP's are one-of-a-kind items and those mentioned are mainly to give you an idea of the type of goods and pricing you may expect.
Finally, one class of store that I have not bothered to enumerate, but which may be worth seeking out, is the thrift shop. In recent years two types have proliferated--one is the traditional store operated by charities such as The Salvation Army or the St. Vincent DePaul Society, which usually offers a mix of clothing and kitchen utensils, along with books and records. The other, and more recent entry, is the used book store in the public library. This, too, accepts donations of cast-off books, periodicals, and records and, like it's more established cousin, typically sells them for $1 or less, regardless of condition. I haven't found enough treasures at either type of shop to feel it necessary to make specific recommendations, but you never know when someone will dump those "worthless" old shaded dogs at the local benevolence society.
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