Used bookstore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A store of used books in Madrid

Used bookstores buy and sell used books and out-of-print books. A range of titles is available in used bookstores, including in print and out-of-print books. Book collectors tend to frequent used book stores. Large online bookstores offer used books for sale, too. Individuals wishing to sell their used books using online bookstores agree to terms outlined by the bookstore(s): for example, paying the online bookstore(s) a predetermined commission once the books have sold.

Used bookstores can range in size offering from several hundred to several hundred thousands of titles. They may be brick-and-mortar stores, internet-only stores, or a combination of both. A book town is a locale where numerous bookstores are located and serve as the town's main attraction to tourists.

Bookstore tourism[edit]

Powell's Books NW 10th & Burnside entrance
The Strand Bookstore at 828 Broadway (and 12th St)

Bookstore tourism is a type of cultural tourism that promotes independent bookstores as a group travel destination. It started as a grassroots effort to support locally owned and operated bookshops, many of which have struggled to compete with large bookstore chains and online retailers. The project was initiated by Larry Portzline, a writer and college instructor in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania who led "bookstore road trips" to other cities and recognized its potential as a group travel niche and marketing tool.[1] The most famous bookstore tourism destination is Hay-on-Wye in Wales.

In 2007, The New York Times argued that the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, is the "most author-saturated, book-cherishing, literature-celebrating place in" the United States. [2] In particular, it discussed three bookshops in the region, Amherst Books in Amherst, Massachusetts, Broadside Bookshop in Northampton, Massachusetts, and The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts.[2]

In 2008, USA Today listed nine top bookstore travel destinations in the United States as: Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida; City Lights Books in San Francisco; The Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle; Politics and Prose in Washington, DC; Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon; Prairie Lights in Iowa City, Iowa; Tattered Cover in Denver, Colorado; That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, Arkansas; and the Strand Book Store in New York City.[3]

Bookstore tourism is encouraged by organizations such as the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers (MARIAB). Founded in 1976, the organization has 125 business members as of 2013, publicizes its member bookstores with a website and a free annual directory booklet, and sponsors an annual "Pioneer Valley Book & Ephemera Fair".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Larry Portzline
  2. ^ a b In the Valley of the Literate
  3. ^ Nine destination bookstores worth putting on a tourist's itinerary
  4. ^ "[Homepage]". Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers (MARIAB). Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers, Inc. (MARIAB). Retrieved 2013-12-27.