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The Captain's Book Buying Guide

Bottom Line: The Captain buys science fiction, fantasy, and horror in generally any condition.

He is currently buying LARGE PRINT BOOKS of any type (in good condition).

The Captain is not buying college textbooks.

Is the Captain buying other kinds of books?

Answer is yes.

(Please call to discuss.)

Please call the Shoppe to set up an appointment.

The Captain only buys books by appointment.

No appointments required for browsers and book buyers.

Captain’s Book Shoppe Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Book Buying Guide

Phone (319) 351-3166

1570 S. 1st Avenue, Suite H

Iowa City, Iowa 52240


August 4, 2021

Updated October 28, 2022

1. Captain’s Book Shoppe buys books only by appointment. Please call before you bring books into the store.

  • Please set up an appointment by calling the bookstore at (319) 351-3166.

  • Please avoid coordinating your initial appointment via text or email.

  • Numerous factors go into setting up an appointment.

  • Telephonic discussion between the buyer and seller is the preferred method to set up the initial appointment.

2. This guide is how Captain's Book Shoppe LLC, as a singular, independent used book dealer, evaluates items for potential resale. Your item(s) may have value, and it maybe marketable with a different vendor or if you sell it yourself.

3. The book market changes with the tides. One day a specific out of print book by Otep Shamaya will be at $60. The next day, that very book will drop on the internet to five dollars. Book values and what is selling literally fluctuates like the stock market. If you desire to maximize your cash payout for the books that you sell to Captain’s Book Shoppe, please follow these tips.

4. The Captain and crew buys science fiction, fantasy, and horror paperbacks in nearly any condition. He also buys softbound or hardbound graphic novels, if in superb condition.

5. Certain items have potential value such as comic books and certain magazines.

a. The Captain is currently not buying comic books but will accept donated comic books in any condition.

b. The Captain does not buy magazines.

c. No records. Exceptions are if a book was published and it came with a 45 record... etc...

d. No VHS, DVD movies. (No cassette tapes). Exceptions are a book was published and a CD / DVD or other media came with the book.

f. Captain's Book Shoppe LLC will not buy textbooks.

6. The Captain's Book Shoppe LLC sells all genre of used fiction and non-fiction, therefore the Captain maybe interested in acquiring your books. Book condition is a critical factor.

7. The Book Shoppe accepts book donations during normal store hours. 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.)

8. This guide will be modified as conditions change.

Book Condition Matters.

The buyer prefers hardbound books published in 1980 or later to be in near perfect condition with a dustjacket. The Captain is less critical of book condition prior to 1980, but book condition remains a primary factor concerning book value. The store does not purchase modern books with a bad spine. defines “spine” as: “The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf. Also known as the back.”[1] Modern books with defects are easily obtainable at local thrift stores for a few dollars. Modern hardbound fiction requires few defects to have resale value. Therefore, the book buyer scrutinizes book condition.

The Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) book condition definitions are at the following external website link: Condition Definitions | Independent Online Booksellers Association ( defines “