Where to Buy Used Books

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Second-hand bookstores for toddler books

March 2006

My 2.5 yrs old toddler boy has suddenly taken a keen interest in books. I am looking for stores which carry good second hand books at cheap rates. Thanks AAG

Try the book sales at your local preschools. Little Elephant Montessori at Rockridge(5782 Miles Ave., Oakland; 510-597-1963) had a big Book and Bake Sale not too long ago. Some of the kids' books were brand new and most of the secondary ones were in excellent condition, priced between $0.50 to $1.50. The parents and teachers were friendly and helpful. Give that a try! anon

I'd go to your neighborhood library. I started taking my child when she was a toddler and sometimes I'd go by myself. Get a big stack of books -- they have board books if your child isn't ready for real pages. Exchange them for a new stack every week or two. It's a fun outing, and best of all it's totally free.

Toy-Go-Round on Solano, in Albany, has a large selection of used children's books, as well as parenting books for adults. They sell them for half the retail price. They are in very good condition. You can also bring in books you have, that you no longer want. Tuesdays they give an additional % off the price. Lori

Toy Safari in Alameda (park street at Central) has a nice selection of used books. You can also trade used toys there for store credit. This is a GREAT place! alameda mom

Where to find good quality used childrens' books

Oct 2005

Buying books can be costly. Does anyone know where I can buy used, in good condition childrens books? mom of a voracious reader

Do you have a library card? Using the library is a great, free way to give a voracious reader access to a lot of new books. Another big plus: the library has an online system that you can reserve books and have them waiting for you when you get there.

If you still want to buy, you could try Green Apple Books in the city, or Black Oak Books in Berkeley for used books, two great used book stores.

I like Half Price Books, which just moved from Solano Ave to downtown Berkeley, 2036 Shattuck Ave. at Addison 510.526.6080 Hours: 9 a.m.- 11 p.m. Every Day

Also The Friends of the Berkeley Public Library Bookstore, Sather Gate Mall, 2433 Channing Way, Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4:00pm, 510 841-5604. Cheaper but more limited selection.

A third good option is to check books out of the library. Berkeley Public Library has a *very* impressive childrens collection and is free whether you live in Berkeley or not. If not, there's probably a good library close to your home. David

All of the thrift shops sell gently used kids books. Bambino Thrift shop (College near broadway) and the one for Alta Bates (College near Keith) sell books for $0.25 to $0.50 each. Pendragon Books (college near crepevine) and Half Price Books (On Solano) often have some heavily discounted books. Child's Play on College (across from Cotton and Company...a bit down from Claremont Ave). Also, the Oakland Library has The Bookmark Bookstore in downtown Oakland (721 Washington Street). Daedalus books sells new and remainder books online and in a catalog - http://www.daedalusbooks.com/Default.asp Happy reading! Book lover!

Toy's Go Round on Solano Ave is an excellent place for used children's books. I usually get some good buys at yard sales posted on the Marketplace and school rummage sales. But most of all: Why buy? Do you really want to own everything your son reads? Most of the books aren't worth keeping beyond a one-time read. I'd recommend going to your local library once a week and get a fresh supply of free books to read and return. book lover

Several places: Pegasus Books(in Rockridge on College Ave. next to Crepevine & across from Rockridge Kids), Half-Price Books (on Solano), Garage sales, posts on this website. You can also get new children's books at discounted prices at Barnes & Nobles & Borders in their sales sections. Another mom with avid reader

Toy Go Round, on Solano Ave., in Albany has a great selection of children's books for all ages. They sell them for half of the retail price. Further up Solano, in Berkeley, is Pegasus (a book store) that has quite a few children's books used and new. In Oakland, on College, A Child's Place has some used kids' books. Further south on College is Pendragon, a book store connected to Pegasus, which has a selection of children's books both used and new. If you're looking to spend very little there are thrift stores all over the place that usually have children's books. The quality is more hit and miss, but the prices are really low. Lori

Hiya, I would like to let everyone know about a wonderful new resource that I have found. It is a website. www.Paperbackswap.com . I am always on the lookout for ways to keep the costs of books down. We love the library. However occasionally there are some books I want to keep them, or that i need for longer than the aloted checked out time there are also some resource books that I wish that i owned. This site was recommended to me for Sci Fi and Fantasy book. However I have gone crazy with Kids books. At all ages and levels. As A homeschooler this has really helped my keep my costs down and the general Quality of the books that I recieve are awesome. I have gotten a number of great books off of this site. I have also gotten some that I was really interested in but after reading found that they didn't work for me and the great thing is that I could swap them back for something that does. Quite literally something for everyone at every level and interest. I am hoping to Share this resource with more people. Here is what I like about itV

Easy to search. Easy to list books. It is free to get started. It is a 1 on 1 trade the only cost you pay is shipping (usually $1.48). It is totally ok for books to be used or old library books. They must be readable, not smell, have intact covers, and no water damage. They do trade in hardbacks. As well as Audio Books both tapes and CD's (slightly more for Audio 2 to 1 trade), if you find a title you want you can purchase tokens/credits to get them if you don't already have them. Credits are earned each time someone receives one of the books that you sent. And you can set up a wish list. If the book currently isn't in their system they will let you know when it comes in or you can set it up to automatically get it then. A reminder list for titles you are interested in but are not ready to get yet. It emails you when someone requests one of your books or when something on your wish list comes in. and did I mention it was Easy to use. Please check out this cool idea. Please tell them I sent you. Thanks Maragaret

I was a voracious reader too when I was a child, and I have very fond memories of frequent trips to the children's room at the public library to get new books to read. If you haven't already, I encourage you to take your child to the library to get his/her first library card--always a thrill! Particularly in the summer, the libraries often hold reading ''contests'' for kids who read lots of books, which your child might enjoy participating in. anon

Try Toy Go Round on Solano Avenue in Albany ( nice variety and 10% off every Tuesday!), Half-Price Books, also on Solano Avenue but up closer to the Alameda, and Darla's on San Pablo Avenue (at Stockton) in El Cerrito. Ruth

Black Oak Books on Shattuck in Berkeley has an excellent and large selection of used children's books in good condition. The bookstore run by the Berkeley Public library (at the Central location and their annex) is another source. Mom of big readers

Your child may be ready for the library if he's reading on his own. If not, Black Oak has a pretty good selection, I did a bunch of trade-ins and got credit enough for baby's first year. Library fan

It's not the closest place in the world, but Thrift Town up in El Sobrante has about 40 feet of used books [mostly from the scholastic book club it seems]. Whenever we're going take a long car trip, I go up there, spend about 10 bucks, and can offer 20 - 30 new books to my bookworm 4 year old. We just counted this morning, by the way, 14 Magic School Bus books in our collection, all priced somewhere between 29 and 49 cents. -Jean

Buy used baby books?

Oct 2003

I want to buy some used baby books and also have a lot of used general books (fiction/non-fiction) which I would like to sell or trade for kids books. Any ideas of bookstores in the East Bay that are good for this? gabrielle

The Lafayette Book Store is in the process of opening a new used store adjacent to their successful store in downtown Lafayette, and is looking for books. Claire

I think one of the best and best-stocked used bookstores around is Black Oak Books, on Shattuck and Vine in Berkeley. They even let you buy new books with trade credit. Wendy

Try Diesel or Pendragon - near one another on College in Rockridge.