Buying Policy

Q: What types of books do you buy?

Book categories that we buy and do not buy are listed on the bottom of this page.

We accept books in accordance with our current needs. We are selective. We want books that are clean and in very good condition, without writing or marks except for owner name. Hardcover books generally need dust jackets.

We stock most kinds of books for all ages. We are most interested in hardcover or larger paperback nonfiction, although we do acquire and sell large quantities of fiction. We prefer literary fiction to popular fiction. We limit our stock of smaller paperback stock (mass-market size) primarily to the mystery/thriller and science fiction/fantasy genres.

Q: When can I bring my books to the store? How many?

Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4pm, 3 medium boxes or bags at one time (no large plastic tubs or bins).

We may not be able to review your books quickly if we are busy or if you bring in more than a dozen books at a time. In that case, we may request you to leave your books for later review by filling out out our intake form. In that form you will authorize us to proceed to try to sell any of your books that we accept, and you will promise to return within two weeks and take back any books that we decline.

If you have a particularly large collection or library for sale, please contact us to arrange a house call to review the books (if nearby).

Q: How much will you pay me?

STORE TRADE CREDIT equal to 1/3 of our estimate of a book’s resale value, up to $10.00 in credit per book (or up to $1.00 in credit for a mass market size book).


CASH (for hardcover books ONLY) equal to 1/6 of our estimate of a book’s resale value, up to $5.00 per book.

For example, a hardcover book we estimate at $9.00 resale value would mean a payment of either $3.00 store trade credit, or $1.50 cash. You can maximize your return by taking credit instead of cash for all books.

Q: Why won’t you take all of my books?

Some books fall into categories that we don’t stock, or just cannot accept.
It may be the condition of the books, or we may already have enough copies in stock. They may be books that experience has taught us will not sell quickly enough in the store for a reasonable price.

Q: Can I donate the books you won’t take?

Please don’t – we appreciate the thought, but we have limited space, and do not have time to try and find homes for books we can’t use. You might consider donating to a nonprofit organization such as a local library or school, or thrift shop.

(although we can’t use every book)

Classic literature (including Children’s/YA)
Local interest (VA and DC)
Mystery/suspense (primarily mass-market paperbacks)
Prize-winning titles
Science fiction/fantasy/horror (primarily mass-market paperbacks)
Travel essays
Travel guides from 2015 and later
Vintage (pre-1961) fiction paperbacks


Audiobooks on tape/CDs, music CDs, DVDs
Book Club editions of literature/fiction
Books with highlighting or writing in them
“Coffee Table” photo books, especially travel books (Art books are the exception)
Computer program/application books
Diet books
Ex-library books
Foreign language books (except dictionaries or phrase books)
Hardcover books missing their original dustjacket
Large print books
Mystery/thriller hardcovers
Non-fiction small paperbacks
Political memoirs
Reader’s Digest Condensed Books
Sports books
Time-Life, National Geographic or similar series books
Travel guides prior to 2015
Yard sale or garage sale leftovers

Of course, we buy large quantities of many other fiction and non-fiction books. We generally do not have room to stock duplicates, and our need for particular titles or types of books fluctuates.