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Established in 2017, quality book marketing at reasonable prices.  A rare, used and new book buyer and seller.
Assisting clients to ethically grow, protect or liquidate their book collections.
Sunday:  Closed

Monday: Open 12 Noon-5PM

Tuesday:  Open 12 PM-5PM

Wednesday: Open 12PM-5PM

Thursday:  Open 12PM-5PM

Friday:  Open 12PM-5PM

Saturday:  Open 10AM-2 PM

Closed on Major Holidays
1570 South First Avenue
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
Phone: (319) 351-3166
If you have books that you wish to sell please contact us!
Jeffrey@captainsbookshoppe.onmicrosoft .com
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Jeff Rothermel

Owner / General Manager. 

     Cap'n Jeff, is the primary book buyer.  He enjoys travelling to acquire interesting, rare and affordable books.  He has collected books for over 30 years.  He has been buying and selling since 2017.


Vivian Diveney

Inventory control, pricing, cataloging

 Focus Area:  Sport (Billiards)


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Anne Tanner

Former co-owner of

Locust Grove Used Books

Upstate New York circa 1985

Operations consultant.

Focus area:  Journalism, travel and

Iowa Authors.


The Captain's Book Shoppe

is an independent book dealer.  

The Captain conducts socially responsible operations.  He is currently conducting online, telephone sales, shipping, book deliveries,
curb-side pick up, and in-store-sales.  
We buy books only by appointment.
Please call 319 351-3166.

     The Captain's Book Shoppe sells all genres of fiction and non-fiction to include professional journals.  The Shoppe maintains and displays over a thousand books that are for sale in the European styled bookstore.  Numerous interesting, used books are added weekly to the showroom shelves. 

     The Captain is an online bookseller.  The showroom is a working bookshop.  It is where he acquires, sorts and assesses books for internet sales.  Most of his books are warehoused off site.  If you are looking to personally view a book listed online, please call before your visit so the book can be in the shoppe. 


Quality Books at Affordable Prices.

Rare, Used & Collectable Books.

                       University Press                                           First Edition Fiction

                       Biographies                                                 Classic Literature

                       History                                                          Vintage Pulp Fiction

                       Maps                                                            Science Fiction

                       Spiritual                                                        Fantasy

                       Religion                                                        Graphic Novels

                       Travel                                                            Mystery / Thrillers

                       Food / Wine books                                     Romance



     Store front parking is free.  Handicapped parking is directly in front of the store.  

1570 South 1st Avenue, Suite H

Iowa City, Iowa 52240

(Across the Street from Java House)


The Store opens daily, Monday thru Friday, at 12 Noon.

The Store opens on Saturday at 10 AM.

Current store hours are always listed on this page and at

home page.  

Store hours are also listed on voice mail at:

(319) 351-3166

We are also open by special appointment.


(Closed on New Years Day: 1 January, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day,

the 4th of July, November 11th, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.)


Assisting world-wide clients to ethically grow, protect or liquidate their book collections.


Coordinating with clients to find and connect with the right expert for their book(s) while maintaining confidentiality when required.  Accepting clients operating on a budget.


Call to set up appointment

(319) 351-3166

Jeff prefers to physically see, open and smell the book.  There is no charge for the initial consultation in order to determine scope of work and feasibility of the study.  Captain's Book appraisals are often a written document (with photos) regarding the monetary value of a book or books.  

Upon completion of the book valuation appraisal, all items must be removed from Captain’s Book Shoppe within 14 days at the cost of the client.  Property left over 30 days maybe held in lien and sold in accordance with State law.


By Appointment

Once you have made a book buying appointment, the Captain looks at your items during the appointed time and usually gives you cash the very same day.  (Exceptions to this trend are science fiction and military history.)  Potential sellers with large or special collections may wish to set up an appointment for our buyer to visit you.  Appointments for book buying or appraisals can be scheduled for any day of the week. 

Captain's Book does not buy records, cassette or VHS tapes.   Occasionally, the Captain acquires audio book CDs.      

As a general rule, the Captain does not buy used textbooks.  The Captain accepts donated textbooks.

The Captain's Book Shoppe has limited showroom space.  Therefore, the Captain is not conducting walk in book buying.  Please call to make an appointment.  Thank you, in advance.  


Yes, Captain's Book Shoppe accepts boxes of donated books.  The Captain will find your donations a great home.  Some books due to condition, will be sent to a local paper recycler.    Book donations are accepted during normal business hours any day the store is open.  Captain's Book Shoppe LLC does not provide a written monetary valuation of the donated books. (Appraisals are invalid, if the appraiser had a financial interest in the items.)


Donated books are sold or sent to recycling.  All items left at Captain’s Book Shoppe without a signed receipt are considered a book donation.     


If you are looking for a book, please give Jeff a call at (319) 351-3166.  As he conducts his travels, he will attempt to locate the specified book.  Once it is found, he will contact you to determine if you are still interested in the item, prior to his negotiations with the current owner.

The Captain will ship your purchase via the most economical method that ensures a safe passage.  If you desire custom shipping (faster); please include that in your order request.  The requestor may incur additional shipping costs for special delivery orders.  If you have a question about shipping charges you may send us an email or give Jeff a phone call.


The store's owner, Jeff Rothermel, transitioned from three decades of U.S. military service, passion for travel, collecting books, and professional study of history into the book tradecraft.  He generally travels to find primary and secondary sources for his own private studies.


The Captain's Book Shoppe LLC was founded in 2017.  Initially, the firm sold books only via the internet.  The firm expanded operations in 2018.

Captain's Book opened the doors at its current location, 1570 S. 1st Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240 on 10 June 2018.  It has outgrown its current location.  Captain's Book is in search of more storefront and warehousing.  Jeff looks forward to hearing from, you, if you have reasonably priced retail / commercial property opportunities. 

Bookselling in a pandemic 

No tall tale.

By order of the Iowa Governor all book stores in the State were closed

27 March - 30 April 2020.

The Governor on 27 April proclaimed that 

bookstores in 77 Iowa Counties could reopen. Captain's Book Shoppe was in one of the 22 Iowa Counties where book stores were to remain closed until 15 May 2020 due to growing COVID-19 rates.  The Governor revised that order on 6 May, allowing for bookstores to reopen on 8 May at 50% capacity.  Captain's Book opted to remain closed thru 15 May 2020.

Captain's Book Shoppe Showroom conducted social distancing with all 

guests and staff wearing masks from 15 May 2020 thru May 20, 2021.  The Captain and crew continue to remain vigilant and prudent concerning in store browsing.  

Before COVID... 

The Captain's last trip prior to the world's knowledge of COVID-19 was to Europe (15 December 2019 - 9 January 2020). 

Cap'n Jeff's last westward book buying voyage was 30 January - 6 February 2019.  It included a stop at the Pasadena, CA Book Fair on 2 February.  The Captain made a book buying trek on 8 July - 28 July 2019 through the Southern United States.  If you have books that you think Jeff would be interested in seeing, please contact him.  He is always looking for a reason to travel!

The storefront was closed to browsers for fifty-seven days beginning on 20 March 2020.  Book Acquisitions were suspended from March thru 1 July (90+ days).
The Captain resumed book collecting travels on 28 October - 18 November 2021 with a trip to Germany.  

the end notes....

Captain's Book restocks their shelves on a daily basis.  You are welcome to frequently visit our show room store.  Browsers Welcome!  

Check back often to see our current collection of books!  

Browsers Welcome!


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Betsey Sue Neipert

Saturday Shoppe Keeper (Before COVID)

Focus Area:  Religion

Former Crew

Joe Stammeyer

Accounting & Book Collector

(Captain's Book:  Jan - Jun 2022)

Focus Areas:  Business,

Sci-fi & Fantasy


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