Book Bank will be closing permanently – our last day of business will be Sunday, September 20th.

All books are currently 25% off the written price, and will be 50% off for the last week, starting this Saturday, September 12th. Depending on the last week, we may have further discounts available for the last weekend (Sept 19th-20th).

Book Bank Used Books in Old Town, Alexandria first opened its doors in May 2001 and later survived the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2002 DC Sniper, the Great Recession, various hurricanes and one earthquake, the replacement of the President known as Reader-in-Chief with a watcher of Fox News Channel, and last summer’s Metro Line shutdown. But the combination of the pandemic and the owner’s current health issues have made continuing the store no longer feasible.

When non-essential retail businesses were required to severely limit in-store operations in March 2020 by order of Governor Northam, we introduced distance shopping, curbside pickup and delivery, and we’re so grateful for the people who reached out to us for their books. However, that business model is not sustainable for a business that is essentially one person with a few weekly hours of assistance, especially with sudden health issues that have made any work almost impossible for almost two months. Income has not rebounded with the reopening, and the rent cost has not changed in that time.

We’re so proud to have served the community here in Old Town for almost twenty years. For the last five years, we have been the only used bookstore in Alexandria. And while we are sad to be closing, we are relieved that there will still be a used bookstore in Alexandria – The Company of Books, a not-for-profit used bookstore, recently opened at 1712 Mount Vernon Ave in the next door neighborhood of Del Ray. We believe there will always be a need and a place for bookstores in any community, and are thankful a secondhand shop will still be open in our city.

Store credit and gift certificates will still be accepted through these last days. Also, we have made a deal with The Company of Books to honor store credit and gift certificates from Book Bank Oct 15th, 2020-Apr 15th, 2021, which will be paid by Book Bank as we close.

Book Bank sold great books and authors ranging from Geoffrey Chaucer to Ernest Hemingway to Stephen Hawking to Harry Potter. But as Chaucer wrote, “All Good Things Come to an End.”  We urge all book lovers and friends of Book Bank to come for bargains during the sale, to say good-bye and take home a few last books.

Book Bank Reloaded

It’s Phase 2 here in Alexandria, and that means its time to reopen for something close to normal operations, but with mandatory face masks (we have disposable masks available), attention to the 6 foot social distancing requirements, and plenty of hand sanitizer available! We’re calling it:


We’re RESTOCKED with much more inventory no one has seen before (except those few appointment shoppers during our hiatus from regular business).

We’ve REDESIGNED our aisles, particularly on the nonfiction side of the store, for easier traffic patterns and better use of space and a much larger children’s/YA area.

And we’re REALLY REALLY glad to see you back again!

We have updated our available hours (look to the right of this post); we have general open hours as usual, but are still reserving two hours in the mornings for people who would prefer to have the store to themselves. We are sanitizing the general areas each evening after closing, and the table in the middle of the store is open for book sanitizing – if you pick up a book and decide not to purchase it, please place it on the table so we can wipe them down at the end of the day.

Over the last two months, we’ve learned that putting orders together is fun, but time-consuming, and we just could not keep up with the all the communication. To try and combat that issue, we are still going to offer to put together orders (which can be submitted at any time), but will assemble them on Mondays and Thursdays only.

The pandemic is exhausting for everyone. We appreciate all the people who have reached out with orders, appointments, and support, and we’re sorry we haven’t been able to give all of you the service you deserve. We’re trying to find ways to make that more feasible. Thank you for your patience with us.





Social Distancing and Books

We are closed at present, to maintain social distancing, but we also want people to have books available while stuck in isolation (as well as survive as a business, of course). You can contact us by email or Facebook messenger, as we’ll be checking both regularly during the day. We have a few options available, if you need books:

1. We can set up an appointment time for you to come in and shop (we have disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer available).

2. You can ask us to check for specific books for you. If we have them in stock, we’ll let you know.

3. If you feel adventurous, you can give us a genre or topic, and we can put together a mix of books for you at whatever price you set for us.

For the last two options, we can either 1) schedule a pick up, 2) drop the books off for you if you’re local, or 3) mail the books if you’re further out. We can call you and accept a payment over the phone, or we have a paypal account.

If you don’t need books at present, but would like to support us, we also have gift certificates available.

These are strange times. Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy…and keep reading.

–Rachel Baker (owner)

blue ceramic teacup with saucer beside book
Photo by Engin Akyurt on