Saturday, November 12, 2011


My new favorite bookstore is - Recycle Books in Campbell (also in San Jose).  This is, primarily, a used bookstore (hence, "recycle").  They will buy new books if there is a great demand, and they sell those with a little bit of a discount.  But if you want used books at a good price, this is the place to go.  They keep the inventory large (with all genres represented) by buying books from the public.  They will take most paperbacks as long as they don't have too many of that book already in stock and as long as the book is in decent shape.  They will only take hardcovers if the paperback version hasn't hit the stores yet.  There are exceptions to this rule - e.g. George RR Martin's Game of Thrones series and Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.

When they buy your books, they give you an option of taking cash or store credit.  You will get more money for store credit.  When I decided to get rid of my several hundred books a few months ago (with all of the ereaders, there isn't anybody left to loan books to), I went to them first.  I ended up with about $160 in store credit.  The rest I took to the public library.  Now, when I finish a book, even if I've gotten it from Recycle, I go to them first to see if they'll buy it.  They take most of them.

As for price, you typically pay half of the published price.  If you can get one of the hardcover best sellers there, you can pay $12-$14.  That sure beats the $24-$28 that most of them cost retail.  Even the more expensive paperbacks are only $6-$8 instead of $12-$16.  It makes quite a difference in the wallet.  The nice thing about buying the latest books at Recycle is that they usually look new.  They might have been read only once before they were unloaded.  If you're buying mass market paperbacks, then you will pay only $3-$4.  That's another heckuva deal.

I have bought a ton of books from Barnes & Noble and Borders through the years.  If I was lucky, I got a 40% discount off the cover price.  Most of the time, it was 20%-30%.  That's still going to cost me a little over or a little under $20 for a hardcover.  At Recycle, I won't have to pay more than $13 or $14.  That's kind of a no-brainer.

If you don't like to buy or read books that someone else has already handled, then ignore Recycle.  It's not for you.  But, on the other hand, if you're looking to save those hard-earned dollars, then give Recycle a try.  I don't think you will be disappointed.


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