Got books to sell? We're buying by appointment only.

Sell Us Your Books

We're always looking for good books in good shape.

We are currently BUYING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

Exception: If you have a small number of books – less than a dozen or two – we can sneak you in almost any time. If you have more than two dozen, get in touch and make an appointment.

We are arranging appointments by EMAIL or IN PERSON as our phone system is currently being updated. Please inquire in-store or email us at selling@janusbooks.ca

Updated June 17th, 2024


What are we looking for right now?

  • Mysteries - Louise Penny, Anthony Horowitz, Richard Osman, and lots more!
  • Classics - Jane Austen, Dostoevsky, philosophy, etc. We love Penguin classics, Modern Library, and that kind of thing.
  • Sci-fi and Fantasy - Ken Liu, Frank Herbert, Terry Pratchett, J.R.R. Tolkien, Sarah J. Maas, and many, many more!
  • Comic books and graphic novels of all sorts. We don't usually take single issue "floppies".
  • Recent popular fiction

Did you know we buy second-hand books? From recent bestsellers to older classics, we're always looking for good books in good shape! 

We're famously picky about condition: we only buy books with no stains, no tears, and no smells. They don't have to be perfect, but they can't be gross.

We are offered thousands of books per month. We are offered more books than we can sell, so we have to be picky. We buy the good stuff.

If you have less than two dozen books, we can generally look at your books any time without an appointment. Keep in mind that some days, like Saturday, can be very busy. If you have more than two dozen, and you haven't sold us books before, we recommend you start with a small number of books so we can show you what we buy and how.

If you have several boxes, "hundreds" or "thousands", or more than you can count, we recommend you bring a single box of 20-30 books to get started. That will give you a sense of what we buy and what's worth bringing in. If this is impractical (perhaps you live faraway and are making a special trip) then reach out to us via phone or email. If you send a few pictures of your collection, we can let you know what's worth bringing in.

You can contact us by email at selling@janusbooks.ca or by phone at 226-486-1255. Or you can use the contact form. It may take a few days to get back to you, as we are being offered a lot of books! Please include at least some detail about the books you want to sell: questions like "Do you buy books?" or "I have 5 books, should I bring them in?" will probably get ignored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What kinds of books are you looking for?

We buy both paperbacks and hardcovers on all kinds of subjects. We are notoriously picky about condition, with some exceptions made for particularly high-demand or rare books.

The books we buy generally fall in to two categories:

  1. Recent and perennial bestsellers; think Coelho's The Alchemist, Aurelius' Meditations, Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings – there are lots of books we can't get enough of!
  2. Unusual and specialty books of interest to only a few people; we love to see books we've never seen before, or see rarely! If you think it's too weird or specialty to bring in, we want to see it!

In general, we're always looking for the following:

  • Recent bestsellers, both fiction and non-fiction
  • Recent award winners (Governor General's, Giller, Canada Reads, Booker, Pulitzer, Newberry, Hugo, Nebula, etc)
  • Classic fiction and non-fiction (especially Penguin Classics, Modern Library, etc.)
  • Classic and contemporary Mysteries (Agatha Christie, Louise Penny, etc.)
  • Poetry, especially Canadian poets (Anne Carson, Mary Oliver, etc.)
  • Literary and genre fiction, particularly popular authors like Stephen King, Thomas King, Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, etc.
  • Cult favourites such as Charles Bukowski, Philip K. Dick, etc.
  • Classic and contemporary science fiction and fantasy (Frank Herbert, Octavia Butler,  Isaac Asimov, N. K. Jemisin, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, etc.)
  • Graphic novels and manga including Vertigo, Dark Horse, D&Q, Image, Oni, Marvel, DC, etc. and especially indie or literary publishers
  • Popular teen and children's books for all ages, especially Rick Riordan, Chris Colfer, Robert Munsch, Dav Pilkey, Tamora Pierce, etc.
  • Popular general interest non-fiction, such as popular psychology, history, self-help, music, science, etc.
  • Some academic works, particularly primary sources in philosophy (Kant, Nietzsche, Epictetus, Kierkegaard, etc)
  • Eastern, western and world religions, including St. Augustine, Lao Tzu, Bhagavad Gita, etc.
  • Up-to-date and classic computer books (Python, Ruby, Rust, Go, etc, Knuth, Kernighan & Ritchie, Wizard book, Dragon book, etc.)
  • Engineering, design, architecture and technology books old and new (Tufte, Petroski, Norman, MIT Press, etc.)
  • Unusual books on aviation and aeronautics, trains, ships, automobiles, etc.
  • Nature guides, including trail guides, local natural history, and field guides, such as mushroom foraging, plant identification, bird identification, etc.
  • High-quality art and photography books, particularly from Abbeville Press, Abrams, Aperture, Phaidon, Rizzoli, Taschen, etc.
  • Most books from small and specialty presses like Gaspereau Press, Coach House, Black Rose, Subterranean Press, The Folio Society, Franklin Library, Easton Press, etc.
  • Interesting books from academic presses like Harvard, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford, MIT, Nebraska, Chicago, and many more.

And much, much more! We have more than 70 sections and we're always looking for good books in good shape in all of them. You can browse our current inventory to get a sense of what we buy.

Q. What kinds of books are you NOT looking for?

We rarely/never buy:

  • encyclopedia sets (e.g. 45-vol. World Book set from 1972)
  • Harlequin romances
  • magazines
  • old textbooks* (e.g. undergrad Introduction to Psychology)
  • generic "coffee table books" other than high-quality art, photography and reference books
  • anything stained, torn or smelly

* Exceptions: We do buy high-quality academic reference books, primary sources, etc. For example, we would buy Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics or Wilkinson's Chinese History: A Manual. Bring them in!

Q. How much do you pay for books? Do you offer cash or store credit?

We pay between 1/4 and 1/3 of what we think we can sell something for. We sell most of our books for about 1/2 of the current cover price, although there are exceptions, particularly for out-of-print books or hard-to-get books in high demand.

We offer 50% more in store credit than we do in cash. For example, if we might offer you $20 in cash or $30 in store credit. Store credit can be used to buy books from us the same day, or kept on file and used later: it does not expire.

Q. Can I send you pictures? 

Sure! We are offered thousands of books a week, far more than we could ever possibly use. Photos helps us see what you've got so we can let you know what's worth bringing in. It's often much easier to send a few photos than to load up a car load, drive it down, and wait around while we look at them.

You don't have to photograph each book: just a few snapshots of books on a shelf, in a pile, or spread out on a table is fine. We just need to be able to see the title and author and get a general sense of condition.

You can email pictures to selling@janusbooks.ca

Please keep in mind that we get a lot of email, so it can take a few days for us to get back to you.

Q. Will haggling get me more for my books?

No, but it might get you less. Please keep in mind that we've been buying books for almost 15 years and we have no shortage of books coming in. We know what we can afford to pay. We also pay the highest prices of any used bookstore that we know of.

Q. Do you accept donations?

We buy what we need. If we're not willing to pay for it, we're not likely to take it as a donation either. That said, if we make you an offer on some books and you just want to give them to us for free, we can probably work something out!

There are a variety of places in the area that take donations of books, such as thrift stores, charity shops, and seasonal book sales. Sorry, we can't maintain an up-to-date list, but a little bit of research should turn up several options.

Q. Do you buy "old books"?

Depends on your definition of old! Most of the books in the store are less than a few years old, but we have many nice editions that are decades old. We rarely see anything over a hundred years old that we're interested in.

We do not discriminate based on age -- we consider content, condition and general saleability when purchasing books. If we're not interested in your books, we're happy to recommend other booksellers who might be.

Q. I'm in a rush today. Can I drop off my books and come back in a few days, or weeks?

No, sorry, we just don't have the space to warehouse books we don't own. We look at them on the spot and we're quite fast: the average time to look at a single box of books and make you an offer is less than 10 minutes, even when we're busy.

Q. Do you buy old textbooks, encyclopedia sets, magazines, etc?

No.

Q. Do you buy books with stains, tears, or smells?

No.