My perfect spring afternoon includes a cold drink in one hand, and a good book in the other. Unfortunately, this hobby of mine gets expensive—especially if you read as fast as I do. To get my fiction fix without feeling guilty, I found 3 used bookstores in Calgary that stock thousands of titles. Is your inner bookworm ready for a thrill?
Books Between Friends- 14, 3434 – 34 Avenue NE
Books Between Friends’ huge selection runs on the cheaper end of the recycled reading market. Typically, children’s and pocket books sell for $1; hard and traditional sized soft covers for $2. They carry over 50 000 titles at any time. Looking for something specific? Contact the store to check their inventory before coming in.
What makes this budget book shop extra special is that Books Between Friends donates its profits to local charities. Louise Nesterenko founded Books Between Friends to share her love of reading and to help others. Despite the low prices, Books Between Friends donated $85 000 to a handful of Calgary’s charities in 2016.
If your bookshelf is starting to burst, think about giving back! Gently used book donations are accepted during store hours.
Fair’s Fair (For Book Lovers) Inc.- multiple locations
All’s fair in love and…reading? Fair’s Fair’s claim to fame is stocking the “widest book selection around,” including genres I didn’t even know existed.
Fair’s Fair is a family business that boomed. In 1988, George Henderson opened a single basement bookstore on 9th Avenue southeast. From there, Fair’s Fair has grown to three locations: Inglewood, Mount Royal, and Chinook. Henderson’s family still runs the shops.
While their books all come from previous owners, they are anything but outdated. The owners track the ever evolving selection through an online database, following market trends of demand for specific genres. Call ahead to have a specific book searched and shipped to your nearest location. When you’re finished reading your gently used Fair’s Fair finds, return them for an instore trade credit or cash.
Cabin Fever Books- 2101-B Centre Street NW
Cabin Fever Books steps up the electronic inventory theme of my other favourite used bookstores by granting customers online access to search for their favourite titles on their own. But don’t replace a physical trip to the store with a few minutes browsing online! Cabin Fever Books also stocks used vinyl LPs, pottery, pictures, paintings, and prints—all of which are not included in their public inventory.
While Cabin Fever Books is the expensive used book shop on this list with most titles in the $10-20 range, it’s where you will find those classic pieces of literature that impress your well-read friends.