Recycled reading: Used bookstores in Calgary

For those of us who collect great reads, buying used books is a budget-friendly way to build a home library. Alternatively, most second-hand bookshops accept trade-ins for cash or credit. This list includes specialty used shops as well as shops offering textbook buybacks and second-hand stores that carry books. Image credit:

Fair's Fair

102 61 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0B2

With five locations around the city, Fair’s Fair is well known among bibliophiles for its huge selection of titles. Too many books on your own shelves? Fair’s Fair purchases books in good condition for cash or store credit.

WorldServe Thrift Store

105 58 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0A4

WorldServe is a great thrift shop just a couple of blocks from Chinook Centre. A tidy store supplied by donors, it carries housewares, clothing and electronics. The shop also happens to feature an extensive and inexpensive book selection. Also find plenty of DVDs, Blu-ray discs, CDs and records.

Books Between Friends

1816 25 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7K1

Books Between Friends founder Louise Nesterenko donates the majority of the shop’s profits to a variety of charities. Located within Alberta Computer Cable, the shop accepts donated books on weekdays, and volunteers are always welcome. Volunteer as a group to contribute to the charity of your choice. Books are typically priced under $2. If you’re looking for a specific title, e-mail a query before you visit.

University of Calgary Bookstore

402 Collegiate Blvd NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

While the university may not be the first place you look for leisure-time reading, its well-stocked bookstore on the first floor of MacEwan Conference & Event Centre does purchase and sell used textbooks as well as classic novels. Textbook buybacks are held twice annually.

Aquila Books

826 16 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2M 0J9

Aquila Books buys and sells rare and specialty books, manuscripts, artwork and antique scientific instruments. Its book selection includes many Western Canadian, oil and gas, and military history titles. Hunting and fishing, polar exploration and mountaineering are also topics you’ll find on its shelves. Most instruments are dated from the late 19th to early 20th centuries, and include medical, dental and drafting devices. Artwork and instruments are viewed by appointment only. Located on 16th Avenue Northwest close to SAIT Polytechnic, the shop is open for business Tuesday through Saturday.

SAIT Polytechnic

Located on campus, SAIT Polytechnic Bookstore satisfies your post-secondary, used-book needs. The shop offers a buyback service, and so carries gently used books from previous semesters. Any savings on school supplies are always welcome!

Calgary Chinook Goodwill Thrift Store

5707 MacLeod Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0J7

Good old Goodwill always carries great second-hand clothing and household goods at affordable prices. Its well-priced wares include books in all genres as well as music, movies and games. Also find plenty of DVDs, Blu-ray discs, CDs, records, video games and board games. The shop’s multiple locations are not specialty shops, so the best way to find new titles is to visit regularly.

MCC Thrift Shops

100-2946 32 St NE, Calgary, AB T1Y 6J7

MCC Thrift Store in Sunridge carries a wide selection of home decor items, clothing and electronics. It also features a well-organized selection of books priced below $5, with many newer titles available. All MCC stores support the global relief efforts of the Mennonite Central Committee. Get involved by donating or volunteering.

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