Book Buying/Trading Guidelines

We buy and trade books every day up until ***5pm*** at our Main Street shop. No buying or trading is done at Commercial Drive. No need to call; if you "arrive by 5," we'll happily look at what you've brought

This said, weekends are definitely busier at our buying counter (If you come at 3pm on a Saturday, we will still be happy to see you, but you may find yourself waiting in a line of sellers). As one of the few remaining bookstores in southwest BC that buys for cash daily it isn't unusual for us to see dozens of weekday sellers, and sometimes hundreds on a weekend.

Q: What kind of books do you buy?

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

For example, when "Game of Thrones" first came out we never saw used copies. Twenty years later, we have copies at both branches and Amazon lists hundreds of used copies starting at a penny. Is "Game" a good resale candidate? Nope!

Better candidates are 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 K. Dick; 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 somtimes take airport/Costco bestsellers like John Grisham, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice etc., but always at a reduced "bulk" rate, and we hardly ever take hardcovers by these authors if a paperback edition is available.

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 can't respond to such inquiries.

What Kind of Books Do You Buy?

Books We Don't Take

Ex-library books, even if withdrawn, Harlequins and 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; Woolf; 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; Diana Wynne-Jones; Dennis Lee), 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 current textbooks and computer books, subject to 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 email for an appointment.

How Should I Prepare My Books for Sale?

Roughly sort your books. Discard anything that's marked up, highlighted, 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'll 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 on the spot; larger sums are paid by cheque. We may request official ID if you are selling a large quantity 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 pick up from us twice a week, and we're happy to pass along books we're unable to use to them. Both 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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New Books & Special Orders

Institutional & Corporate Orders -- coming soon!

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

Event Calendar

Some Used & Out-of-Print Stock

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