Are you a bookworm in the Big Apple with a library bigger than your modest apartment can accommodate? If so, read on to find out where to sell used books in NYC, so you can prune your bookcase and make a buck in the process.
1. The Strand
The Strand, a massive independent bookstore in Greenwich Village, is a veritable NYC institution that boasts a large and incredibly diverse selection of books, including rare collectibles, current bestsellers and everything in between. While The Strand sells plenty of new books, they’re best known for their sizable used book inventory–and since they sell used books, you can be sure they buy them, too. If you’ve got old books that you’re ready to part with, head to the seller’s entrance of the Strand—located on 12th street between 4th Avenue and Broadway—Thursday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. You’ll have to stand in line, but you can sell up to 40 gently used books at a time and walk away with cash in hand, or an even larger store credit. That said, the Strand won’t buy everything, so be sure to assess the condition and commercial value of your books per the store guidelines before you pack ‘em up and shlep them over there. (Note: Larger book collections can also be sold, but by appointment only.)
2. Housing Works
If it’s not money you’re after, all of the numerous Housing Works thrift stores around the city are currently accepting small book donations of up to two boxes per donor, per day. In fact, donations account for 100 percent of the stock at this volunteer-run establishment, and all profits are used to fund the life-saving services the non-profit provides. It’s important to note that only the thrift store, not the Housing Works bookstore, will take small donations at this time. That said, the bookstore is still taking large, high-quality book collections—and if yours fits the bill they will even pick it up for free.
3. Westsider Rare & Used Books Inc.
Westsider Rare & Used Books is a charming uptown gem specializing in used and rare books and records. This buy-sell-trade biz will take good condition books (i.e., no writing or significant damage) in exchange for either cash or store credit. You can consult the website for a list of the categories they’re currently seeking, or just take a chance and bring all your unwanted books to the store any time after 12 p.m., provided you call ahead. Bonus: You can donate any books they choose not to buy, so you won’t have to haul the rejects back home with you. Plus, Westsider boasts an atmosphere so cozy and a selection so great that it’s well worth a visit whether you have books to sell or not.
4. East Village Books
If you have a scholarly or estate library to sell—or even just a small quantity of artsy or academic stuff—you should swing by East Village Books on St Marks Place. This cash-only joint pays high prices, but they’re fairly discriminating about what they will take. You can find a comprehensive list of subjects they’re interested in and those they aren’t on the website, but definitely keep in mind that genre books (i.e., bestselling fiction), self-help stuff and children’s books all fall into the latter category. One more thing to know before you hop a train with your critical theory collection: East Village Books requests that sellers contact the store before bringing in their books.
5. Midtown Comics
Midtown Comics is a Manhattan-based business (locations include Times Square, Grand Central and Downtown) that specializes in comic books, graphic novels, manga and the like. It’s also the only bookstore on our list that’s so keen on the genre that they will not only buy comics and graphic novels of any age, but also all manner of pop-culture memorabilia, including action figures and toys. Contact Midtown Comics by email (email@example.com) to start a conversation about selling anything from single items to entire collections, large and small.
6. Unnameable Books
Located in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood, this indie shop features an eclectic selection of poetry, philosophy, fiction and small press books, both new and used. Unnameable books will (selectively) accept good condition books in most any category—including children’s books and graphic novels—for cash or store credit. In general, sellers can head to the store any day of the week between the hours of 1 to 5 p.m. to offload their unwanted books. However, this is contingent on whether or not a buyer is available in the store at any given time, so it’s best to call before you go.
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