Hello! Like you, we have been following all of the developments around social distancing and flattening the curve. We have decided to adjust our approach a bit: We will be open on Saturdays, 10 to 5 like normal. We will open the shop by appointment during the week.
What does "by appointment" mean? Give us a call, send us an email, and we can literally set up a day and time for you to visit the shop. On short notice, sometimes you can catch us nearby, and we can meet you at the shop. Get in touch, and we will work out something.
We have definitely noticed that many of our customers are staying home, limiting their trips. But we have also had some customers who really appreciated us being open. A used bookstore may not seem like much in the big scheme of things, but it's a meaningful part of this community in many small ways. We are trying to strike a good balance. We're a small little business, with a big roomy space, so crowding and personal distancing has not been a problem.
For protection during your visit, we are taking precautions, including cleaning counter tops, door knobs, and surfaces frequently. We can offer hand-washing with soap at two different sinks in the shop. For handling the books, we have free disposable gloves for anyone who wants a pair. We have been happy to see our customers embracing the free gloves.
Did you know that we hand-clean every book that comes into the shop, before it goes on the shelf? Yes, all of them! We've been doing that since the day we opened, and we will continue to do so.
As an extra precaution, we are also bringing trade credit books that come in for a brief quarantine upstairs before processing. So, please do keep bringing in those books. Per usual, we'll give you store credit to make further purchases in the shop half price.
Please, be safe out there. Once the big structural changes have been made, like closing down all the gathering places, it comes down to everyone exercising caution and common sense. If you are showing symptoms or have had contact, stay home! If you are out and about, take care. We'll see you soon.
For those who are not leaving the house, we can also help over the phone. Give us a call, we'll help you find what you need. A friend can come pick it up, or we can ship to you for a small fee.
(Also, if you are looking to buy new books and want an alternative to Amazon, try searching and ordering through our Blue Train Bookshop.org storefront.)
It's no secret: if you are motivated, or have lots of time on your hands, there are piles of books that you can find to dig through. But who wants to dig through piles of cruddy books? Our bookshop is hyper-organized, with lots of specific sections, organized by author and subject. We hand clean every book.
That's right: literally, we invest personal time in every book before we put it on the shelf for sale. We remove the old labels and gummy residue. We apply protective dust jacket covers to every hardcover book. We might use some special acid-free book tape to repair an old western paperback, so that is can be read a few more times.
If a book was ever exposed to water, has that wet moldy smell, we don't shelve it. If a book stinks, we don't shelve it. If we don't think a book is good enough for you, we don't present it for sale. Part of our purpose is to save the books that are worth saving.
We have a trade credit system, the way that used bookstores like ours have been doing it for years. We give you credit for the books you bring us, and your store credit can be used (right away, or another day the future) to cover half the price of books in our shop.
For example, our already low-priced $2 paperbacks become $1 paperbacks with your credit on file. There is always cash involved to take home more books--that's how we pay our rent. But half price is a good thing!
For the most part, we're just not in a position to pay money for books. We are small-time, a very modest community-centered bookshop. No one is drawing a salary from our tiny enterprise, and we simply don't have the cash to buy inventory.
That's not to say that we never buy books. If you have a collection of old books, something interesting like a Civil War collection, or pre-1970 first editions, maybe we can find a price that makes you happy and meets our very modest budget. If not, we can maybe put you in touch with more "serious" book dealers who buy collections and rare books--but be warned, those dealers are pretty choosy!
Like a lot of things, the economic forces of supply and demand rule the world of books. We talk to people almost every week who have invested hours in making lists of all their books and calling every book dealer in a 200 mile radius to find a ready buyer for their collection. We get it, really: you love your books. But please take it from us: selling books is hard. If we could do this full time, we would have quit the day job long ago!
We do! We are not a charity, but people donate books to us all the time. Why? It's about the Love. We love books, and people who accumulate a lot of books love them too. What we can offer the book lover/collector is that we will find new readers for your beloved books. They won't just end up in a big pile.
We sincerely believe that books are multi-generational. You may own it now, but maybe someone owned it before you, and someone else can own it after you. To each person along the line, a book is a treasure. When you are ready to release your treasured books into the wild, we can help ensure that the next reader finds it in our shop.
All kinds! If you go to the trouble to bring us some books, it's not our way to turn you away and take them home. We carry mainstream fiction and non-fiction, lots of different genres, and we also love the obscure and the unusual. But there are some kinds of books that are especially hard to come by: the latest bestsellers, favorites of literature, children's books, high-school reading list books, and non-English language books. We are always happy to have these kinds of books.
Yes we can. For a modest service fee of $5, we can locate and order books for you over the internet, from other booksellers in far off places. We can find you an inexpensive reading copy or a gift-quality collectible edition. Give us a call, or come on in. We'll do our best to help.
We do not put all of our books into a computer, but we are particular about how we organize and shelve everything. If you are wondering whether we have something, we know right where to look.
For your new book purchases, you can help support Blue Train Books and independent bookstores across the country by searching and ordering through our Blue Train Bookshop.org storefront.
For used books, we do list a few things online, but it's not a big part of our business. We put most of our energy into having an awesome shop that is worth the drive. We sometimes sell things on eBay, mainly when we happen into something unusual. If you are a reader, coming in to visit us is the best way to see what we have.
We love cash, and checks are good too. We do take credit and debit cards of all kinds, but below $15 we add a 40 cent service fee, to cover the bank fees. Did we mention that we love cash?
Yes! We have Christian-oriented fiction and non-fiction, including Bibles, study guides, Christian living, theology, devotionals, and more.
A lot of people wonder about that term, ephemera. This generally means interesting items printed on paper: old photographs, pamphlets and brochures from year ago, vintage advertisements, restaurant menus, maps, art, and more. We have a nice collection of such things, priced affordably, and lots of fun to look through.