Do we 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.
[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.
~No appointment is necessary. We can usually assess your books anytime during normal store hours. We do ask, however, that you arrive at least one hour prior to closing time, so we 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 evaulate 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 speciality 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.
~The Bookman, Inc. is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to amassing and distributing books to schools, libraries, prisons and other recipients around the world.
~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
Dick, Philip K.
Hall, Manly Palmer
Hill, Napoleon (Think & Grow Rich)
MacDonald, John D. (Travis McGee "color" series)
Norman, John (Gor series)
Smith, Jessie Willcox
Wyeth, N. C.
Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys (originals
rather than the newer reprints)
Wizard of Oz series
Christian (scholarly rather than popular)
Prayer & Worship
Easton Press (MUST be in nearly flawless condition)
Illustrated Books ("Golden Age of Illustration")
World War II
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
Study Guides (Cliffs Notes, etc.)
Test Prep books (SAT, GRE, etc.)
These publishers for the most part produce inexpensive
reprints that are less desirable than the originals.
Book-of-the-Month Club [BOMC]
||Cracked or heavy creasing to spines
Dust jackets missing
Marking to text
Smells (bad or funny!)
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 sellable, 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!