Frequently Asked Questions

Do you buy books?
We do buy books, although we are very selective. We only buy uncommon books in very good or better condition. Please see our "Sell to Us" page for more details.

I have many books that I wish to get rid of, but I don't want to throw them away and you are not interested in purchasing them. What should I do with them?
We recommend contacting Wonder Books and Video in Frederick, MD. They buy ALL books. Sometimes your local library or Goodwill will accept book donations. You can also donate to The Book Thing of Baltimore and the Maryland Book Bank.

I would like to visit your shop. Do I really need an appointment?
Yes, please make an appointment and wait for confirmation before arriving. At least one of us is usually at our shop in Savage Mill on Monday - Friday from about 10 am - 6 pm; however, we also work from home on occasion, close for book fairs, and regularly run errands (post office) during weekdays. We can not guarantee that we will be here unless you make an appointment in advance. We are rarely able to accommodate weekend appointments, unless they are made well in advance. We do not check voice messages or emails over the weekend. ALL of our inventory can be browsed or searched on our website. If there are specific items you wish to see when you visit, please send us a list in advance.


Do you still offer curbside pickups even though the public health emergency is over?
Yes. Please contact us in advance if you wish to make a curbside pickup, and wait for confirmation from us before you arrive.


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?
No. The IRS has recently changed its requirements and we are not certified to offer appraisals for tax purposes. Please visit the ABAA Bookseller Page to find an appraiser near you.

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, create an account on our website and add your wants to it.  Our website 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: print catalogs featuring new acquisitions in our areas of specialty, print and e-letters targeting 1 - 25 books of specific interest to our customer, and monthly e-newsletters. Customers on our print mailing list may expect 1 to 3 mailings per year. Customers on our e-newsletter mailing list may expect 12 - 24 e-mails per year.

Click here to create an account on our website. This will automatically add you to our e-mail mailing list and means that you will receive our monthly e-newsletter including updates on special offers, new arrivals, 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.


Do you have any tips on storing books?
It is best to store books sitting upright on shelves out of direct sunlight in a room with low humidity at room temperature.
DO NOT store books:

  • In damp, humid environment such as your attic or basement.
  • In direct sunlight
  • In sealed plastic bags; this may trap humidity & cause mold to form

How should I handle my books?

When handling a book, be careful to support the covers of the book with both hands. If a book will not lie flat, do not force it open. Handle fragile items carefully and infrequently. When removing a book from a shelf, be sure to grasp the boards of the book near the spine. Do not "pull" a book down from the head of it's spine, as this can cause chipping and tears.

What can I do to remove bad odors from books?
Place the closed book in a plastic container. Pour kitty litter over the book and seal the container with a lid or with plastic wrap. Let the book sit for a few days or longer depending on the intensity of the odor. Remove the book and clean off any dust/litter that remains. Repeat for a longer period of time if the odor persists.

My book is in need of repair, what should I do?
We no longer offer book binding or restoration services. We recommend the following binders:

  • Advantage Book Binding in Baltimore, MD
    Best for new library style bindings (Bibles, dissertations, etc.) and basic repairs for used Bibles and less valuable books

  • Cat Tail Run Hand Bookbinding in Winchester, VA
    Best for conservation, paper repair, and restoration of more valuable books

  • Green Dragon Bindery in Shrewsbury, MA
    Best for replica bindings in leather and restoration / re-backing of more valuable books

All of these binderies can be contacted via email. If you provide a description of the job and/or pictures of the book you need repaired, they should be able to provide a ballpark estimate.

For more information on the care of books visit the following websites:

Library of Congress

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the American Library Association