Secondhand Books

I now have a lot of old, and I mean old, secondhand books (they were my sister’s). I’m wondering what to do with them as I have no room at all for them. They’re a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, hardbacks and paperbacks, including many children’s books. So far I’ve only looked at the Enid Blyton books; some are first editions and some are later impressions of first editions, all in differing conditions. I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg – there are boxes and boxes of books. Not knowing the secondhand market I have very little idea of their value. I could see if the charity shops would like them, but my sister bought them intending to sell them. So I’m wondering if I should do that – but what would be the best way??

If anyone has any experience of selling secondhand books I’d be delighted to hear from you.

11 thoughts on “Secondhand Books

  1. Gosh, if I were you, I’d go through them all first and see what you might love amongst them. I know nothing about selling, so can’t help you there, but I’d love to come over and look through those boxes! :<) There must be used bookstores over there who would love to hear from you.

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  2. As Nan said, I’d love to come over and look through all those boxes. I think I recognize a Bobsey Twins book in one of them! The Enid Blyton books must be worth oodles, I would think! Wish I could help you figure this out. I wonder if Karen (aka Cornflower) has any ideas.

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  3. I once helped my mother-in-law who had to deal with the estate of a distant relative. She had a whole collection of fairy tale and myth books, some of them first editions of works illustrated by Rackham and Dulac. They were gorgeous. It depends on the rarity value of what you have there. My mother-in-law contacted Sothebys and they suggested a book expert who came (eventually) and picked out the books that were worth auctioning. The rest were sold to specialist antiquarian bookstores. I wish I knew how much money was raised from the sales in the end but I have no idea and suspect it was less than I would have imagined or hoped. I’d suggest you look in your yellow pages for antiquarian book dealers and ring up asking for a recommendation of someone who could come and assess what you have. You might like to get a second opinion too. And good luck – do tell us how it goes!

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  4. Nan, I’ve only just started to look at them – it will take some time yet. I shall keep the ones that have sentimental value, but really cannot keep the rest.
    Les, yes there isa Bobbsey Twins book there – and many more besides.
    Litlove, that is so interesting. I’ll look for an antiquarian bookseller, but I don’t think there’ll be many books of such value – but you never know.

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  5. It’s daunting, isn’t it? When my stepbrother died he left a huge collection of books, and I hadn’t time to pack them nor space to keep more than a handful. I kept a small pile, including some of the books from his childhood, but for the rest we approached the local secondhand bookshop, who made a reasonable offer. Less, perhaps, than we might have made by selling some individually, but quite enough to make me confident if I had to do the same again.

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  6. Hello Margaret, as Cornflower has already mentioned me, I thought I would chip in! If you want to drop me an email I’ll do my best to help. I can talk you through the options and I might be able to recommend a specialist dealer in your area. You can see my business website at http://www.clhawley.co.uk

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  7. Wow, they look so enticing. You can sell on abebooks – there is a fee, and it’s only for people selling in bulk, but it sounds like you might have enough. Otherwise you could use this site to sell some?! Or, of course, ebay and Amazon etc. – but you might not want to bother with all the posting, and rather sell lots at once.

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  8. If it would be easier, you could just mail them straight to me!

    In all seriousness, it sounds like you have some treasures there, so explore your options. I sort of wish I had that problem!

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  9. Cornflower, thanks for the link.
    Lisa I’ve been thinking about ebay, but there are so many books I’m not sure about it.
    Geraniumcat, yes I think I’ll be going to a secondhand bookshop for advice at least.
    Simon I found abebooks, thought about selling on Amazon and even here but I’m not sure about the amount of work it would involve and packaging, posting etc.
    Oh Tara it would be good if you and all the other book bloggers could come here – would could have a great time sorting through the books. It is a nice problem even though I hate to get rid of books.

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