Boston has a long history of being the home to book lovers. It’s also the home to as many as 35 colleges and universities. Unsurprisingly, it has many bookstores where you can buy books—from bestsellers to textbooks—but also sell your old books.
If you live in Boston and have books and textbooks you no longer need, read on. In this post, we’ve collected the best places to sell used books, textbooks, and comic books in Boston.
Best Places to Sell Used Books in Boston
Boston College Bookstore
📌325 Beacon Street, McElroy Commons, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3800
If you’ve got textbooks that collect dust on shelves, sell them to one of the campus stores from the Boston College Bookstore list. To sell your book, you’ll have to come in person. Keep in mind that they don’t accept badly damaged textbooks with water damage, stains, and/or pages sticking together. So make sure all of them are in “good condition.” You can expect to get as much as 50% of your book’s original price (especially during major buyback periods); however, most commonly, college bookstores usually don’t pay that much. You should also keep in mind that they may not accept all the textbooks you want to sell, depending on whether they’re overstocked or for any other reason.
Brattle Book Shop
📌 9 West St, Boston, MA 02111
If you have different books, not just textbooks, visit Brattle Book Shop, one of the largest and oldest bookstores in the United States. This store dates back to 1825, and at the moment, it houses more than 250,000 books, postcards, and maps. The entire two floors (of three) are filled with used books, meaning they both buy and sell them regularly. The third floor contains an antique edition collection.
The bookshop accepts different books, but if you live in Boston and have a vintage, rare book, or a first-edition title, you’ll be definitely welcome. Keep in mind that they don’t accept walk-ins, so make sure you contact the book appraiser master Ken Glos or any of the bookstore experts before coming in.
Harvard Book Store
📌 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Harvard Book Store sells and buys used books in Boston. A very atmospheric place, it’s home to used books. They also collect all the small items they find in used books bought from customers and post them on the end of bookcases and on the wall. You can visit them just to get this feel of the bookstore and browse through their collection of old books. Alternatively, you can bring your used books from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm for appraisal. You don’t need to make an appointment; however, mind that you have to bring a photo ID to both make a purchase and sell books. You can expect 15% of the cover price for cash and 20% for store credit for your used books. Remember that Harvard Book Store doesn’t accept heavily worn books, so bring those in good condition without notes, highlights, or else.
Here is what they’d prefer in the first place: “classical studies, European history, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, Loeb Classics, and books in the Everyman Library, Library of America, and Modern Library.” Also, “fiction and nonfiction paperbacks in a variety of subjects including (but not limited to) mystery, science fiction, history, religion, poetry, science, psychology, and drama.” Do not bring “test prep, textbooks, ex-library copies, computer books, out-of-date travel books, romances, westerns, or true crime.”
📌Downtown Crossing – 9 Spring lane, Boston, MA 02109
Another place where you can bring your rare books, old maps, and antique prints in Boston is Commonwealth Books. The bookstore specializes in those exactly, so if you have some peculiar titles, this is the place for you to sell them well. The bookshop is quaint, with numerous small, low-ceiling rooms, each leading to the next. All in all, it feels like you’re entering a labyrinth—a book lover’s dream. To bring your books, you need to make an appointment. Contact them by email on the website or call directly at 401-487-0128.
📌60 South Street, Boston MA, 02130
Another fascinating place to sell books in Boston is Papercuts J.P. The place is sort of unique, as it’s a 500-square-foot woman-owned independent bookstore located in the beautiful Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. It’s run by Kate Layte, who opened the store in 2014. According to many reviews on Yelp, it’s one of the best places to sell your used books in Boston. You can find literally anything there, from classics and bestsellers to the works of independent authors. Besides, the company also has a tiny publishing house called the Cutlass Press, where they design and print everything they find interesting and worthwhile—from memoirs and short fiction to anthologies. To sell your books in Boston, either text them during business hours at 617-522-3404 or visit them in person. You can get quite reasonable buyback price offers at Papercuts if your books are of interest to them.
📌279 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446-2908
Brookline Booksmith has been there since 2004. Its Used Book Cellar is a small bookshop and a well-kept secret every book lover in the Boston area knows about. Highlighted in numerous publications, it’s some sort of an underground treasure trove where you can find all sorts of books, both new and used. Besides, they also hold various cultural events such as literary reads. Also, it’s one of the best places to sell books in Boston. You don’t need to make an appointment to bring your books; however, there’re a few requirements you have to meet. They only accept used books on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 10 am to 4 pm. You’re likely to get either 15% of the original book price in cash (check if over $50) or 20% in store credit. They don’t accept donations; however, they give away some of their books as donations (check this form to learn more). Here is what they’re mostly looking for: “gently used and up-to-date paperback fiction and non-fiction” and “hardcovers in graphic novels, art, cooking (published post-2010) and unique vintage editions (published pre-1980).” Check their “What don’t we take?” section for more information on the books they accept and do not. You can email them at email@example.com if you have any specific questions.
The Book Rack
📌13 Medford Street, Arlington MA, 02474
Not precisely in Boston, this bookstore has been located in Arlington center since 1999 (but it’s way older than that, as it originally opened in 1975 in Lexington). You can consider visiting The Book Rack if you have some used books to sell and don’t mind a short trip. They sell used books at 50% off the cover price and a great variety of new titles. They also take in “gently used books for store credit valued at up to 1/4 of the original cover price.” According to what they write on their website, they’re always accepting books, which is really a great alternative to some other thrift bookstores that only accept books on certain days and at specific times. You’re only asked to add a piece of paper with your name and phone number to your bag/box. We suppose it’s worth a trip to Arlington.
Raven Used Books
📌23 Church Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02138
The next store on our list is Raven Used Books, and we recommend visiting it if you have used books on “philosophy, social theory, art and architecture, music, history, classical studies, science, religion, literature, and more.” Since they curate a carefully selected collection of scholarly and literary books, you’re highly unlikely to make them interested in your Harry Potter collection. On the other hand, university presses titles will be most likely welcome. They say that they’re looking for “scholarly and general used books that are gently read.0;”>” So you can expect 50% to 80% off the cover price. “For Fiction and Poetry, we like both classics and contemporary literary authors.” You can expect 12% to 20% off the cover price for those. It all depends on the book’s author, subject, and condition. To get more information, check out their Facebook page. Before coming, you need to call to make an appointment.
Manchester by the Book
📌27 Union St., Manchester, MA 01944
Manchester by the Book states that they “are always looking to buy quality books in any subject!” So you can bring them your old fiction, classics, scholarly, art, and other titles. Located in Manchester-By-the-Sea, they sell everything from general fiction and mystery to religion, art, and history, and they also accept books in all genres. To sell your books, if you live in Boston, yet again, you have to make a trip to Manchester-By-the-Sea. If you plan on selling more than 100 titles, they can come to your place. It’s best to call before you come anyway to ensure the owner is there. Or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the pictures of the books you’re looking to sell.
The Outer Limits
📌437 Moody St., Waltham, MA 02453
The last bookstore on our list is a peculiar place with a history. At The Outer Limits, they’re all about comic books and always looking to buy old comic books. If you have something, especially from the 1930s–1970s, you’ll surely be met with enthusiasm. The store is run by Steve, who writes that “I wanted to sell comics for the rest of my life! And that’s what I’ve done since October of 1983.” We encourage you to read the entire Steve’s story on the bookstore’s website (which is as much fascinating as the website’s design). At the moment, it’s probably “one of the best comic book stores in New England…ah heck, the whole USA,” according to Steve. They’re specifically looking for old monster magazines and Big Little Books, as well as a very long list of toys, collectibles, vintage pop culture stuff (you can read all about it on the website), and comic books, of course. A fantastic place to visit, even if you’re not exactly a comic book fan.
Ok, what if you live in Boston but don’t really like wasting time visiting places and making appointments? We have an alternative—find where to sell your old and used books via BookScouter. It’s an online price comparison platform with 30+ vendors where you can find the best offers for your books. Convenient for those who prefer to do things online, save time, and get profit fast, BookScouter is the best solution. You simply enter your book’s ISBN and get the choice of the vendors that are currently buying your title. You can compare prices, choose the best offer, and sell your book immediately. The only other step you’ll need to take is to ship your book. However, if you’re selling several or many books, it’ll be just one trip to the post office to ship them all instead of visiting all the places mentioned above in person.
The thing about selling used books in Boston is that you can bring them to one of the bookstores; however, each of them has its own requirements. You can sell textbooks at one place, old romance books at another, etc. If you prefer doing things in person, we hope you find this list of Boston bookstores very useful. However, if you prefer to do things faster, you can use BookScouter, or combine both options.
Happy bookselling in Boston!