Used Book Buying and Trading

"Do you buy books?" 


It's the question we're asked more often than any other (except maybe "Are you hiring?"). Please read over these general guidelines about how our buying process works, what we're looking for, what we can't use, and some points to keep in mind as you prepare to sell your books.


NOTE: Currently we are inundated by books being offered for sale, so we are being extremely selective in those we take, and we are mostly trading for store credit rather than paying cash. We are, as always, willing to consider any books you wish to bring in, however please be aware that we are most likely to offer you store credit rather than cash for your books.


General Guidelines


(Scroll down to see lists of the things we [almost] always take and [almost] never want.)


We are a general used book store with over 100 different subject categories, so we are interested in a range of subjects; however, our specialty areas are academic: theology, philosophy, history, literature, etc. 

Walk-in Sellers 
~No appointment is necessary. We ask that you please bring your books in during the hours of noon to 5pm, 7 days a week. Please do not arrive less than one hour prior to closing time, otherwise it's doubtful we will have time to go through them. If you have a large number of books (several boxes or more), we may ask you to leave them overnight to give us time to evaluate them.
~We do not have a great deal of extra space, so any books we reject must be removed promptly by the seller. 
~We go through books individually, select those we believe we'll be able to resell in our store, then estimate our retail value on those titles. Our offer to you, the seller, is a percentage of that retail value. 
~Our decisions on what books to buy and how we price them are based on a number of factors, not the least of which is physical condition, but also including subject matter, title, author, publisher, edition, current inventory in the store, etc. 
~In no case would we agree to purchase or evaluate books without seeing them in person. However, if you can give us some idea of what types of books you have, we can probably say whether it is worth making a trip into the store. Please feel free to e-mail or call, or just stop by if you're in the area.


We normally only make house visits to evaluate and bid on collections that contain a substantial majority of books that fall into one or more of our specialty subjects. If you have a large collection of books you wish to sell, please contact us with details as to subject matter, location, number of books, and their condition.


Donating Books 
~Nursing homes and veterans homes are often happy to receive books for their residents to read; contact those in your area directly to find out what they can use.
~Libraries can use donated books for their own shelves or in fundraising sales; contact your local branch to ask about donation policies.
~Thrift stores often have book sections.



The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Stuff we usually need Stuff we usually can't use
Authors & Illustrators
Bukowski, Charles
Dick, Philip K.
Dulac, Edmund
Fisher, Harrison
Gaiman, Neil
Gorey, Edward
Hall, Manly Palmer
Hegel, G.W.F.
Heidegger, Martin
Heinlein, Robert
Hill, Napoleon (Think & Grow Rich)
Kerouac, Jack
Lewis, C. S.
MacDonald, John D. (Travis McGee "color" series)
Miller, Henry
Murakami, Haruki
Nin, Anais
Neruda, Pablo
Nielsen, Kay
Norman, John (Gor series)
Paz, Octavio
Plath, Sylvia
Pratchett, Terry
Pynchon, Thomas
Rackham, Arthur
Smith, Jessie Willcox
Steinbeck, John
Vonnegut, Kurt
Wyeth, N. C.

Children's Books
     Caldecott winners
     Newbery winners
     Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys (hardcovers, please no paperbacks)
     Wizard of Oz series
Beat Literature
Christian (scholarly rather than popular)
     Biblical Studies
     Prayer & Spirituality
Easton Press (MUST be in nearly flawless condition with no bumped corners, foxing, etc.)
Illustrated Books ("Golden Age of Illustration")
     Ancient Greek
Military History
     World War I
     World War II

Abridged editions
Book Club editions
Books on tape (cassettes--books on CD are okay)
Ex-library books (library discards)
Hardcover fiction (recent/contemporary)
Music (CDs, records--books about music are okay)
Readers' Digest books
Romance novels
Study Guides (Cliffs Notes, etc.)
Test Prep books (SAT, GRE, etc.)
Time-Life Books

These publishers for the most part produce inexpensive
reprints that are less desirable than the originals.

Book-of-the-Month Club [BOMC]

  Poor Condition
  Cracked or heavy creasing to spines
Dust jackets missing
Insect or rodent damage
Marking to text
Smells (bad or funny!)
Stains/heavy soiling
Torn pages or covers
Water or moisture damage



Please keep in mind


~We are more likely to offer cash for books that are more valuable, like collectible or harder-to-find books.
~We are more likely to offer cash for books that are more salable, like authors and titles that sell quickly.
~We are more likely to offer store credit for books that are more common and easier to find or that in our experience are slower sellers.
~We buy perhaps only 5% of everything we're offered--there are a lot of used books out there and we don't have space for them all!
~What we pay for books is related to what we can retail them for. To pay more for stock, we'd have to charge higher prices to sell it (which we probably couldn't get away with, even if we wanted to).
~Even if we can't sell them, we don't want to see usable books thrown away--we're happy to recommend other stores that buy or trade books, as well as places that take donations.
~You wouldn't try to sell or donate expired or contaminated food, would you? If your books look like trash (for example, they're in pieces), they probably are.
~If you've read this whole page, you've probably noticed lots of "probably"s, "likely"s, "usually"s, and other ambivalent language. That's because there are exceptions to every rule. When in doubt, ask!