Book Buying/Trading Policy

We buy and trade books every day up until 5pm at all of our locations. No need to call ahead to see if we're buying; if you arrive before ***5pm***, we'll happily look at what you've brought

This said, weekends are definitely busier at our buying counters (If you come at 3pm on a Saturday, we will still be happy to see you, but you may find yourself waiting in a long line-up of other sellers).

Q: What kind of books do you buy?

A: We buy books we can easily resell, books there is current market demand for.

When "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" first came out we never saw used copies. Five or six years later, we have copies at all three branches and Amazon lists hundreds of used copies starting at a penny. Is "Girl" a good resale candidate? No.

Better candidates are very recent books (published within the last 6-12 months), books with enduring literary appeal (George Orwell; Zadie Smith; Ernest Hemingway; Virginia Woolf; Kurt Vonnegut; Philip Dick; Aldous Huxley; Clarice Lispector, etc.) or nonfiction books that are thorough and comprehensive.

The more specialized and detailed a book is, no matter what its topic, the more likely we are to want to buy it.

We pay a percentage of what we will sell your books for, based on how often we see them and how quickly we think they will sell. In general, we will pay up to 40% of our selling price in cash.

We pay lower rates for common authors and titles which we can easily obtain on our own. We will occasionally take airport bookstore/Costco bestsellers like John Grisham, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Danielle Steel, Anne Rice etc., but always at a reduced "bulk" rate

If you would like to trade for other books, we offer up to 50% of our retail price in store credit, based on our assessment of how quickly we think your books will sell. Trade credit only applies to used books and cannot be used to purchase new books. Credit not used on a particular visit is converted to cash and paid to you at the end of your visit. We do not issue trade slips.

We need to see your books before we can make an offer of cash or trade credit, which isn't something we can do from printed or emailed lists, or from photographs. Please don't email us lists or pictures of books for sale. We are unable to respond to such inquiries.

What Kind of Books Do You Buy?

Books We Never Take

Ex-library books, even if withdrawn, Harlequins & other series romance novels, National Geographics, Book Club hardcovers, Time-Life sets, most but not all textbooks, wet and damaged books, highlighted or marked books, outdated computer books, encyclopedias, most modern kids' series (Animorphs; Saddle Club; & etc.), most modern young adult series (Twilight; Hunger Games; Cassandra Clare), self-published poetry, 99% of all sports and health books, audiobooks, books on tape, most coffee-table books, stolen books, books we already have too many of.

Books We're Always Interested in Seeing

Contemporary literature, graphic novels, science fiction, fantasy, paperback mysteries, noir and neo-noir, Beat writing, literary classics (Hesse; Hemingway; Orwell, Vonnegut; Huxley; most Penguin pocket paperbacks), vintage paperbacks of all kinds, visual art and architecture, limited-edition presses & fine bindings (Folio Society; Easton Press; Barbarian Press; some but not all Franklins); classic kids' books (Shel Silverstein; Richard Scarry; Enid Blyton; Roald Dahl), science, travel, cultural studies and philosophy, specialized cookbooks, recent travel guidebooks, books on Indigenous people and indigenous art, classical studies & classical philosophy, esoteria, books on Buddhism and other non-Western religions, recent scientific, professional and technical books.

We also buy non-English classics in their original language of publication (ie., we will happily buy clean copies of Neruda in Spanish and de Beauvoir in French, but not French- or Spanish- language translations of John Grisham).

Our Main Street location sometimes buys recent textbooks and computer books, depending on current market demand.


Do I Have to Make an Appointment to Sell or Trade My Books?

Not unless you're bringing more than a carload of books. If you are, please call 604.876.4311 for an appointment.

How Should I Prepare My Books for Sale?

Roughly sort your books. Leave behind anything that's highlighted, or visibly worn and/or dog-eared. Pack the remainder in tubs or boxes, preferably spine-up. Packing books spine-up helps us quickly see what you've brought, and saves you time at the buying desk.

Do You Have Parking?

There's metered parking on Main Street in front of the shop, and two pay lots within a block. We have a very sturdy moving dolly that you are welcome to use, and, staffing levels permitting, may be able to help you bring your books in.

How Will I Be Paid For My Books?

If we can use your books, we will make an offer expressed in trade credit or an equivalent cash amount. For example: "$100 in trade or $60 in cash." Cash of less than $50 is paid to you on the spot; larger sums are paid by cheque. We may request official ID if you are selling a large collection of books, or very recently published material.

What About The Ones You Don't Want?

The VGH Thrift Store, the Burnaby Hospice Society Thrift Store, and Holy Family Hospital pick up from us several times a week, and we're happy to pass along books we're unable to use to them. All three organizations are volunteer-run outfits where 100% of the money raised goes to the charities they support. We're proud to partner with them, and book donations from us have already raised thousands of dollars for charity.


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Institutional & Corporate Orders -- coming soon!

Some Advice for Self-Published/Self-Represented Authors -- coming soon!

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