Best used bookstore in Seattle?
April 11, 2005 7:47 PM   Subscribe

What's the best used bookstore in Seattle?

I know we aren't going to have the equivalent of Powell's, but even Anchorage has a really nice used bookstore (Title Wave) with a huge selection.

I'd like to know which bookstores:
* Have the largest/best selection
* Give the most cash/trade for books, and accept the most books

These traits might be found in different bookstores, and that's fine. I tried Half Price books, and they offered very little in credit. I tried Twice Sold Tales after reading about it in Skot's blog, but they didn't want about 85% of my books. (Nice cats though.)

Bonus q: Where do you sell your used CDs?
posted by agropyron to Shopping (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You mention Anchorage and you mention Portland, so allow me to mention a place in-between, in the old part of Bellingham - Fairhaven.

So - further North from Seattle, there's beautiful Village Books at 1210 11th St, Bellingham WA, 98225 - (360) 671-2626 just off the I-5

If you sell your used books, you get 30% of the book's value, but if you trade (for a in-store voucher, which you can redeem for other used books) then you get 50%. I don't think there's a limit to the number of books you can bring in, but be mindful of the used-librarian's hours, he usually begins at 11am

I recently brought in a big gym bag full of books - most were taken in, and the rest I donated to the Bellingham library (on site donation).

The store is located in a beautifully restored old Fairhaven building, it's worth a visit to Bellingham just for Village books - for a long browse, and a trip to their little cafe upstairs.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:49 PM on April 11, 2005

Twice Sold Tales is what I would have suggested, but yeah, they can be a bit choosy. Depending on what you're looking for, there are a few speciality book stores (cooking, travel, gardening, music) down 1st Avenue on the way to Pioneer Square.

Also, used to sell my used CD's right down the street at the Orpheum (B'way and Aloha-ish), got decent rates for them. There are a couple of places on the Ave that buy used CDs as well, but I've forgotten their names, since I moved away in 2000.
posted by psmealey at 8:50 PM on April 11, 2005

Have the largest/best selection

I can maybe help with this question, probably not the others. It really depends on what kind of book you are looking for, particularly in Seattle -- I still haven't found a great general bookstore. That said:
Louis Collins Books has a small but very nice selection of out-of-print mostly old books. In particular I recommend their history (mostly American) and cooking sections.
Recollection Books (half a block north from the 65th/Roosevelt intersection) has an impressive but disorganized selection. Great for war history. Ask if you can't find a section.
The Twice Sold Tales in the U-district (corner of 45th and the Ave) is good for beat poetry and the surrounding genres, and science fiction.
Magus Books advertises as having scholarly books -- I'm guessing they end up with much of the Dead Professor books. Good science and psych/phil sections, very friendly.
The Twice Sold Tales on Capitol Hill has a varied but sparse selection, lots of art monographs/criticisms though.
There are a number of good places in Fremont, but no names are coming to me (I don't get down there very often).
I'm sure I'm forgetting some good ones. I'll post if I think of any more.
posted by j.edwards at 9:11 PM on April 11, 2005

Third Place Books is a great place to start if you want to buy used books. I think they have the best used book selection. I know of two in Seattle: Ravenna Third Place, and Elliott Bay Books. There's also one in Lake Forest Park. Although the websites say that they offer 30% for cash and 50% for trade, I think it's more accurate to say that they offer UP TO 30%. I've gotten 50 cents for books that they then re-sell for $4. And they are pretty selective about what they will buy.

Half-Price Books is less selective about what they will take, and offer the same for cash/credit. (Essentially, they take what Third Place won't.)

I sell my CDs to Sonic Boom or Half-Price Books.
posted by luneray at 9:16 PM on April 11, 2005

but they didn't want about 85% of my books

Have you considered the possibility that the books you offered had little or no resale value? Meaning, they were fairly common and/or the store already had multiple copies on the shelves? I work in a used bookstore, and you wouldn't believe the stuff folks bring in sometimes, expecting cash payment. If you're not dealing with books in a retail setting regularly, you may not have the most accurate picture of what's sellable.

That said, at my store we're more likely to take certain books - those we see a lot, e.g. - for credit. Why pay cash today when it's a great bet someone who prefers credit will bring the same books in tomorrow?
posted by mediareport at 9:31 PM on April 11, 2005

The Lake Forest Park location for Third Place Books is really worth checking out - it's big, has a great selection of used next to new titles (IOW, they'll put the same books together, used and new).
posted by ValveAnnex at 10:18 PM on April 11, 2005

A friend of mine purchased a first edition Bukowski from Twice Sold Tales in the U-District and found that they'd glued an anti-shoplifting doohickey inside the book. The page was ruined in attempted removal. Not the best way to treat a collectable and a good thing to bear in mind when purchasing from the store.
posted by stet at 12:27 AM on April 12, 2005

seawallrunner, next time you're in Bellingham also try Henderson's Books. Village is cool too, but Henderson's has a more extensive used selection, I think.
posted by jeffmshaw at 9:57 AM on April 12, 2005

« Older Where to stay in the LA area?   |   Why not 611? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.