Don't misunderstand us: A-1 Books is a legitimate used book store, wherein yesterday's bestsellers mingle with the usual coffee-table books about the Civil War and whatnot. But there's also an "adult" side to the store that, we imagine, pays most of the bills. And there you'll find, amid all the generically athletic neo-smut, an exhaustive archive of the postwar male American id as catalogued and promoted by one Hugh Hefner. A-1's vintage Playboy
collection is, well, A-1. It goes all the way back to 1954 (an issue from that year will set you back $600). Early '70s editions go for a more reasonable $20 or so. The collection, which dates back to the store's early days in the skin-mag trade, draws aficionados from all over the nation. "Once or twice a year, somebody will come in from out of town," confirms manager Bryan Webber, clearly unimpressed. "Usually we find out they're sellers on eBay or something."