Recommendations for used bookstores in Berkeley

Photo of the inside of a bookstore
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Sitting down after a long day and reading a good book is one of the most enjoyable acts. I adore sifting through the pages and smelling a glimpse of their scent.  

Unfortunately, the publishing industry and the amount of books that go unread each year are frightening to the environment. One might suggest e-books and Kindles as a solution. Perhaps online reading is one of the answers to this issue, but that’s not all. Avid readers know that electronic reading doesn’t provide the same sensation as physical books. 

Luckily, there are ways to be a mindful consumer and lower your carbon footprint. This includes buying secondhand books to give a copy another life. As nice as Barnes & Noble stores are, secondhand books often have a lower price tag and a benefit to the environment. 

Here’s a list of secondhand bookstores near campus and around Berkeley. 

Moe’s Books 

Moe’s Books succeeds in creating a comforting ambiance for consumers. There’s a vast selection of secondhand books, music records and knickknacks. This bookstore carries a variety of posters, calendars and so much more. As a result of the variance, there’s something for everyone. So, if you’re looking for something to occupy your time, Moe’s Books is a great place to check out!    

Half Price Books 

Half Price Books is a fantasy dream come to life for book lovers out there. Walking in you’ll see aisle after aisle of books from every possible genre. It’s easy to get swept into the lure of endless words. From mainstream books to rare editions of different books, Half Price Books will surely have your perfect match. They sell comic books and both board and video games as well!

Sleepy Cat Books

Sleepy Cat Books creates a peaceful environment thanks to the friendly cat named Lyla. This furry friend is constantly roaming around the store — a major plus if you ask me. It’s a small bookstore filled with many interesting titles, and definitely worth checking out if you enjoy a cat’s company or are just searching for your next read. 

Friends of the Berkeley Public Library

Friends of the Berkeley Public Library is actually affiliated with Berkeley’s public library, meaning all of the proceeds go there! The price selection is fantastic: You can purchase with as low as 25 cents per book — which is especially insane in this economy. The staff at the store are all volunteers and extremely helpful too. 

Well, that’s it! If you still need a little more convincing, just recognize that secondhand books have their own stories to tell, having likely had another life before you. There aren’t really any downsides to buying secondhand books either. No matter which stores on this list you choose, every step toward reducing your personal climate footprint is significant. 

Contact Annabel Chia at [email protected].