Fulfill Your Book-Loving Dreams

Story By: Joy Rowden

Books are essential to our daily lives whether you read for recreation or school. Barnes & Noble and Amazon have a huge monopoly on book sales. Because of this smaller bookstores, especially used ones, get forgotten. I visited several of the local bookstores and was amazed by the quality, selection, and price of the used books.

At the time, I was searching for writing reference, Korean, and Spanish books. I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a certain book, search for it at a used bookstore before consulting online.

Sometimes, you will luck out and find a gently used book or a bestseller. Also, you do not have to travel to Los Angeles (The Last Bookstore) to find a used bookstore. For example, there are more than six used bookstores located in Long Beach or in nearby cities.

I recommend taking a peek at a used bookstore before purchasing your next textbook. You might be surprised what you will find. Below are three used bookstores located near CSULB.

Once Read Books

5422 E Village Rd, Long Beach, CA 90808

This bookstore is located in the Parkview Village shopping center across from Heartwell Park. According to the store’s website, they have been in business since 1987, but have only been in their current building starting back in 1999.

It is a great place to stroll by after having coffee with friends at the Village Cafe, which is across from the bookstore.

Photo: Joy Rowden  Enjoy a nice walk around Parkview Village before stopping by for some good reads.

Photo: Joy Rowden

Enjoy a nice walk around Parkview Village before stopping by for some good reads.

Inside the store is a decent collection of older books and a few antique types of books. It is a smaller store, but it is crowded with shelves of books on all sides. Unlike other bookstores, they do not carry a lot of newer books.

On their website, they list several of the books in the store, which can be purchased online. If you are looking to trade your paperback books, this is the place to do it. In exchange for three paperback books, you will receive one of theirs for free.

At the moment, they are looking to buy books about art, military, transportation, and history.

Photo: Joy Rowden  In such a lively center, Once Read Books has everything you need in your radius.

Photo: Joy Rowden

In such a lively center, Once Read Books has everything you need in your radius.




BookOff

Lakewood Center Mall, Lakewood, CA 90712

BookOff is a Japanese bookstore chain and is one of the largest bookstore chains in Japan.

It is a larger bookstore that offers a wide variety of new and used books. I have seen the same book several times in one visit. This place is open later during the week compared to other local bookstores. Monday through Friday, the store is open from 10 AM to 9 PM.

Photo: Joy Rowden  Book-Off has more than just books to satisfy your wallet.

Photo: Joy Rowden

Book-Off has more than just books to satisfy your wallet.

Need extra spending money? Put your neglected books to use by selling them at BookOff.

Books are not the only item on sale at BookOff. They also sell DVDs, video-games, antique collectibles, action figures, TV/computer screens, stereos, DVD players, gaming systems, guitars, amps, cameras, phones, keyboards, and CDs. These items are sold at a cheaper price than if bought new and are in mint condition.

Photo: Joy Rowden  Book-Off is the place to go if you are looking to get rid of unused books and a bit more cash.

Photo: Joy Rowden

Book-Off is the place to go if you are looking to get rid of unused books and a bit more cash.

Their books are categorized by the following:

Children

Young-adult

Sci-Fi

Non-fiction

One-dollar paperbacks

Special interest (art, photography, business, religion, foreign language, cooking, reference, etc)

Classic literature

Comics

Manga

Politics/History



Gatsby Books

5535 E Spring St, Long Beach, CA 90808

Photo: Joy Rowden  The Gatsby Books offers more than their great selection in books.

Photo: Joy Rowden

The Gatsby Books offers more than their great selection in books.

“So what makes the store special is that we have a bookstore cat named Ruby that lives in the store. We have plenty of customers that come in and never buy a book but come to see Ruby and that is totally cool with us,” said Sean Moor, the bookstore owner.

Moor started his bookstore business eight years ago, and sells new and used books. The prices can be on the higher end compared to other used bookstores. However, the price matches the quality of the books.

The store constantly has incoming books. Also, you won't have to worry about spending too much time searching for a book, because the store is very organized.

Are you a writer? Do you want to learn how to write? At Gatsby Books, there is a writers group that meets every Tuesday at 7 PM. This is a great opportunity to share your current works with other writers and enhance your creative writing skills.

Photo: Joy Rowden  Gatsby Books has a little bit of everything for all readers.

Photo: Joy Rowden

Gatsby Books has a little bit of everything for all readers.

All events that Gatsby Books hosts are free to the public. They usually have two to three events each week, which all happen inside the store. Sometimes they have poetry readings, author visits, bands, and book clubs. It is important to Moor that the store acts as a performance space for writers and artists.

“We offer free coffee and water. We try to make it basically like you are stopping by someone’s house,” said Moor, “The store for its size, we are about 1,000 square feet, I think we have about the best selection of any used bookstore in California for our size. You would be hard pressed to find a store that is as small as this one and has as much good stuff on the shelves and not junk.”

The community is an important aspect to Gatsby Books. They sell books published by local authors. “We have a lot of books that are published locally, including people from CSULB, and even books from CSULB professors,” said Moor.

Photo: Joy Rowden  The famous Ruby is another point of attraction to customers.

Photo: Joy Rowden

The famous Ruby is another point of attraction to customers.

Did not find the book you are looking for? Just ask the front desk to order the book for you.

“We do new and used ordering. If you want a new book, we are plugged into the same places as Barnes & Noble. We can get any new book within three to four days. I also know all the used bookstores on the West Coast,” said Moor.

In need of extra cash? Bring your new and gently used books and sell them to this store. You can either receive cash or store credit. If you are trying to declutter your living space, you can also donate your dusty books here.

“We buy and sell new and gently used books. So, if you have books around the house or textbooks, you’ll probably do a lot better taking them here [Gatsby Books] to sell back than the college bookstore. Because we actually value the books you use in college. At the end of the semester, bring that pile of books to here [Gatsby Books] first and you will be pleasantly surprised,” said Moor.

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