Visiting used bookshops – what a dreamy assignment for a former librarian, lifetime avid reader (who learned by example from her mother), blogger, writer, and book club member. Perhaps you may be inspired by the descriptions of these unique local businesses that buy and sell second-hand books.
Back Creek Books
The polished wood shelving, cabinets with sliding glass doors, and antiquarian fixtures of Back Creek Books exude a relaxing and historic vibe like an old library or museum. Owner Rockford Toews describes his shop as “a bookstore that is not a bookstore.” Second-hand books and a variety of collectibles are artfully displayed. There are globes, maps, figurines, photos, posters, and art objects that are reading-related. The book inventory consists of those of lasting appeal reflecting all fields of study including local history, biography, nautical, literature, and travel. Located at 194 Main Street, it was the site of another bookstore from 1904-1929. Afterward, a pawn shop operated until 1971, followed by a general store. Toews has occupied the space for six years. Antiques presented as an accent to the book collection are offered for sale and he will always discuss purchasing good books that need a new home.
Old Fox Books & Coffeehouse
Thinking about celebrating your wedding at a bookstore? Old Fox Books was recently the venue for a small wedding. There’s a beautiful deck and garden in the backyard that serves as the perfect backdrop. The inside of the shop is charming with gleaming old hardwood floors, exposed brick, and antiquarian decor. Old Fox Books and Coffeehouse is located at 35 Maryland Avenue. This busy shop buys and sells books. Owner Jinny said that the biggest sellers are used fiction, children’s books, and unique stationery items. They carry fiction, classics, nautical, historic books – new and used. There’s a special outdoor playhouse and a popular indoor kid’s area with Friday storytime for pre-schoolers. Within the store is the Brown Mustache Coffeehouse under separate ownership, featuring cafe seating and a full range of locally sourced products. Old Fox has a full lower level filled with more books and comfy sitting areas. Check out the four active book clubs and come by for stories and good conversation.
ReReads Used Bookstore
Rereads is a hidden treasure located at 2133 Defense Highway in Crofton. It’s quietly situated off the road in a small commercial complex where it has been in operation for 11 years. This shop isn’t fancy but contains a huge inventory of used books in amazing condition at great prices. Although there is organization by fiction, nonfiction divided by subject, graphic novels, and a children’s section, be prepared for the fun of hunting high and low. There’s current and popular fiction as well as a large selection of classics. The nonfiction books are arranged by subject in several adjacent rooms. While I was looking at the well-stocked children’s area, a customer confided that her grandchildren love coming here. The owner said that customers visit by word of mouth or googling used books. He sees an increase in foot traffic in the summer for beach reads, as the school year begins (for classics), and at holiday time.
B.I.G. (Books for International Goodwill) Warehouse
“B.I.G provides services for recycling books discarded by current owners and puts them in the hands of new owners.”
In order to fund the shipment of books to countries around the world with the mission of spreading literacy, Parole’s Rotary Club conducts book sales from its warehouse location at 451 Defense Highway, just two miles west of the Annapolis Mall. Sales are open to the public and are held on select Saturdays from 8am to 2pm. The final two dates this year are November 2 and December 14. This large warehouse space is well stocked and organized. Used books are shelved by fiction, nonfiction by subject, paperbacks, children’s areas and more. Prices are very reasonable. There’s a drop-off shed at the location that is open 24/7 to accept book donations. Volunteers are always welcome to help with this wonderful project.