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Buying & Selling of Used Books? (October 27, 2019)

Use Library Books

What types of books do you buy?

We buy all genre of fiction and most types of non-fiction. We generally do not deal in the turbulent college textbook trade.

Our book buyer’s interest shifts with the tide (and market conditions), but a few steady rules are the following:

Captain’s Book Shoppe LLC buys perfect condition 1960s to present hardbound and softbound books. If the book has flaws and was printed after 1960, our book buyer is generally not interested in making an investment in a recently published book with imperfections. Books with imperfections can be acquired at Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Stuff Inc. or the Crowded Closet for a few dollars.

Yes, Captain's Book Shoppe buys books published prior to the 1800s. Age is not the primary factor that our book buyer considers. A 1960 Corvette with flat tires and does not run, is not worth as much as a Vette that purrs. The same is true with vintage books. Book condition matters. Our book buyer evaluates imperfections of books published in 1950 or before.

The Captain's Book Shoppe L.L.C.

True Crime, the Paranormal, Fantasy, Science-Fiction, History and Biographies are items currently selling well and in demand. Book condition is critical. Books with broken spines, dog ears, no dust jackets…. are of little interest to the book buyer.

The only type of soiled book the Captain will consider buying, are technically historical in nature such as U.S. Navy Manuals that were on warships in the 1940s or before. An oily book on naval ballistics is interesting- but generally, soiled books are not worth the labor that must be applied to clean them. Occasionally there is an exception. We occasionally find a book that will clean up nicely and is a real gem once restored. If you think you have such a book, please call us or bring it by the store.

One type of book that is rarely worth polishing up, are former library books.

Library Books.

It is worth saying it again. Captain’s Book Shoppe LLC does not sell books that were once in a public library. Our business model does not include selling used library books. There is simply not enough profit in dealing in used library books. We do not buy used library books. We rarely accept donated library books. Please do not leave former library books outside our bookstore. Thank you.

There are of course, exceptions to the library donation rule. Some of the exceptions are:

  1. The book is in perfect condition.

  2. The book is an interesting and a unique topic.

  3. The book has been officially withdrawn / discarded from circulation.

Discarded from Iowa City Public Library

If those three exceptions are met, Captain Jeff, maybe inclined to consider marketing the ex-library book.

If the library book is still in good condition but is not marked as a being withdrawn from circulation, we contact the library to see if they wish for us to send the book back to them. The amount of time and storage space needed for former library books, means we prefer to avoid library books.

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