Discovering my Neighborhood Used Book Store

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Earlier this year, I decided to go through my house and get rid of all the things we never used to reduce clutter and also to make room for all the new stuff we had just received for Christmas.  I started in the kitchen, finding all sorts of tools and gadgets that were collecting dust in our cupboards.  I opened one seldom used cupboard and found a much larger collection of cookbooks than I knew I owned.

When we plan our meals or look for recipes, our first reflex is to look online, either on Google or Pinterest.  Unfortunately, our pile of cookbooks hadn’t been used, likely since we got them or shortly after.  I quickly realized that our shift from paper to digital was not only true for cookbooks but also for novels.  We had a nice collection of novels which we had read once but were now collecting dust.

I decided that we need to make room in our condo as space is at a premium and would need to get rid of all these books.  I simply couldn’t bring myself to throw them in the recycling bin.  They were all in excellent condition and throwing them out felt like such a waste.  I felt that someone else could and should enjoy these books.

Being ever frugal, I decided to see if I could find a used book store that would pay me at least minimally to take the books off my hands! It really seemed like an ideal situation and a win-win.

I looked for used book stores in my neighborhood online and found one close by, Encore Books.  After a quick phone call to see if they were interested in cookbooks and novels, I brought the books over to be appraised.

When I arrived, a helpful employee took the books to be appraised and let me wonder around the store while they checked out the books.  The store is not huge, but they use every inch of space with a variety of used items from comics to records and DVDs.  Most of all, the store is filled from floor to ceiling with books of all types.  I could easily see a book-lover spending many hours browsing through their collection to find the perfect book! Had I not been on a mission to clear out the clutter, I may have been tempted to pick something up, but I resisted!

A few minutes later I was told the appraisal was complete.  I was told that unfortunately someone had brought in cook books recently, so they were being more selective.  They said they would buy 6 of the books for 20$ cash or 25$ store credit.  I was thrilled that not only my books would get a second life, but I also made a few dollars in the process, truly a win-win scenario!  They even offered to donate the other books if I didn’t want them back, which was also perfect.  This would ensure they wouldn’t end up in a landfill somewhere, but could be enjoyed by others.  Just as I had hoped would happen! The whole process was very quick and pain-free.  Much less effort than posting an add on Kijiji and answering requests and organizing meetings.

I headed home 20$ richer and a lot lighter having a cleaner house and having hopefully helped other by donating over a dozen books.  In the process, I also discovered a neighborhood gem.  With all the chains and big box stores, it was refreshing to see a family run shop who really care about the products they sell and their customers.  It felt like walking in a time machine to a simpler time.  Next time I’m looking for a book, Encore Books will definitely be one of the first stops on my list!


Is there a used book store in your neighborhood?  Have you made money selling used books or other household items? Share your stories in the comments below!

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