Morry Marcus, one of the throng of volunteers who operate the Brandeis Book Store in the R.K. California Club Mall, estimates there are about 20,000 books in the shop, a nonprofit that benefits the Brandeis University National Women's Club (most proceeds go to the Brandeis library or Women's Club educational programs). The volunteers are generally Brandeis University alums, and eavesdropping on their constant kvetching is almost as entertaining as browsing the shelves. The best bargains are generally the 50-cent book boxes out front, but there are plenty of paperback and hardback titles -- starting around $1.50 -- worth the price tag inside. Books are helpfully arranged into more than the few generic sections (romance, fiction, nonfiction) found at many used bookstores. Depending on what sort of donations have been coming in, shoppers might find cinematic and scientific subcategories. Volunteers are also open to bargaining, although occasionally prone to the hard sell. "The people who volunteer here make the place," Marcus says. "They're a cut above." One note of caution: If you're planning a weekday visit, be forewarned that the store is open only from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.