Frequently Asked Questions
- Do you buy books?
We do buy books, although we are selective. We only buy books in very good or better condition.
We generally buy:
We DO NOT buy:
- books with fine leather bindings
- first editions of important writers or works
- illustrated books
- books that are signed by notable authors
- books written about books and book arts
- books printed by private presses (esp. Kelmscott Press)
- books in these subject areas: Baltimore, Maryland, military history, American history, medical history, art, fashion, film, photography, the occult, travel, and some literature.
- popular fiction, romance, or science fiction novels
- mass market paperbacks
- Reader's Digest Condensed or Time-Life Series
- magazines printed after 1950
- any books in poor condition
- I have books to sell that I think you may be interested in purchasing. What should I do?
Before we can buy books, it is necessary for us to see them. Providing us with a printed list is somewhat helpful, but eventually we will need to see the books.
- If you have just a few boxes of books, then we would encourage you to bring them to our shop. You do NOT need an appointment. If we are not able to peruse them immediately, then we may ask you to leave them with us for a few days; we will issue you a receipt. After researching your books, we will call you.
- If you have an entire library to sell, please call us and we will schedule a visit to your home if the books sound of potential interest
- Books left unclaimed in our shop for over 1 month will be donated to a local non-profit organization.
- I have many books that I wish to get rid of, but I don't want to throw them away. What should I do with them?
Please call us. If we are not interested in your books, we can refer you to another bookstore or we can give you information about donating your books to a local organization.
- What makes a book rare?
Many different factors may make a book rare including importance, scarcity, and desirability. Age alone does not make a book rare and rare books are not necessarily valuable.
- Are rare books always expensive?
No. Prices depend on the condition of the book, its availability, and demand. Some "rare" books may retail for just a few dollars, while others are worth thousands.
- How important is the condition of a book?
Very! Books in poor condition with detached boards, torn pages, soiling, and/or heavy chipping are significantly less desirable and less valuable than those in very good condition. Unless the book is both scarce and desirable, a book in poor condition can not be sold.
- How can you tell if a book is a first edition?
Nearly every publisher has a different way of designating the edition of their books and these methods change yearly. This makes it quite difficult to verify the edition of a book without a bibliography or guide to first editions. The words "first edition" printed within a book do not always signify that the book is a true first, especially with modern books.
- Do you appraise books?
Yes, we offer appraisals for donation, tax, and insurance purposes. We do charge for appraisals by the hour.
- Do you order books for customers?
No. Due to many problems in the past we no longer special order books for customers. If there is a book that you are looking for, please call us or create an account with us and we will notify you if we acquire a copy.
- How can I get on your mailing list and what mailings will I receive?
We generally send three types of mailings: catalogs featuring new acquisitions in our areas of specialty, postcards advertising sales, and letters targeting 1 - 25 books of specific interest to our customer. Customers on our mailing list may expect 1 to 3 mailings per year. We also send out e-mails every other month or so about upcoming events, sales, featured items, and more.
Click here to create an account on our website. This will automatically add you to our e-mail mailing list and means that from time-to-time you may receive updates on special offers and events. Sign up now!
If you would prefer to have mailings sent to you via snail mail, please send us an e-mail with your address.
You can also e-mail us with a list of your interests. The more specific you can be about your interests, the better. For example: if you tell us that you are interested in "books about art," of which we have hundreds, it would be very difficult to highlight just a few that may interest you. However, if you are more specific, i.e. "books on Baroque painters," we could provide you with a list of books more relevant to your interests.
CARE OF BOOKS
For more information on the care of books visit the following websites:
Library of Congress
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works