Secondhand love: Where to donate, buy or sell old books in Beijing

Give your books a second chance at life with our mini-guide

Photo: Thoughtcatalog/Unsplash.com 
If you love something, let it go as the old adage goes, and we believe it's the same with books collecting dust on the shelves. So whether you're looking for a new home for your pre-loved books, to earn a bit back from them or to give old ones a second chance at life, here are some places to do just that.

Venues

Roundabout Store

For those of you looking to rehome for your pre-loved books, Roundabout has a charity shop on the border of Chaoyang where you can drop your books off (and perhaps take a peek at their secondhand items ranging from furniture and clothes to books, of course, to see if there's something you can bring home). If heading over isn't an option, they also offer pick-up for secondhand items: Minimum 30RMB donation for 4-6 large bags or boxes, minimum 50RMB donation for 1-3 bags or boxes and free if you're donating over 6 large bags or boxes. Their books are resold at their book fairs, at their book shop, at their flea markets and some through their WeChat group, 'Roundabout English Book Sales'. To join the group or learn more, add CHOWLZHOU on WeChat.

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2 Xiangjiang Bei Lu (Chaoyang, Chaoyang)

The Bookworm (书虫)

Though more known for its vibrant events and for its expat-friendly bookstore, the Bookworm's impressive wall-to-wall book-filled shelves will keep bibliophiles coming back for more. And how did these books happen to line the shelves, you may ask? You'll have the previous book donors to thank for that, which could possibly be you as well when you bring some books over. Granted, not all donated books will land on the library shelves. Some may be resold while others may go on the third-floor balcony. Either way, rest assured The Bookworm's got your books covered.

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Gongti Bei Lu (Sanlitun, --select--)

Beijing Riviera Country Club (香江花园具乐部)

Just by the play area inside the country club is a small reading nook with children's books donated by local residents and visitors alike. If you're living nearby and have some books to give away, just head over and drop them off as well. Young bookworms (and their parents) will thank you for it.

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1 Xiangjiang Bei Lu (Chaoyang, --select--)

F2N Market (Farm to Neighbors)

In addition to selling organic food and a variety of creative, handmade products such as shoes and house items, Beijing's weekend organic market also has a zero-waste corner that includes a secondhand book swap. Several books are stacked up on a table, and guests can come and pick one up or donate old books for, no kidding, free. Again, your financial situation shouldn't be a deterrent to read, but make sure you donate or bring the book back after reading it!

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19 Dongfang Dong Lu

Libraries

Believe it or not, many libraries will actually be happy to accept your (well-kept) books. As we mentioned earlier, The Bookworm is one of them, and for those with kids in schools, talk to your school librarian and let them know you're interested in donating some books. 

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Rumble in the Jumble

Rumble in the Jumble

Born out of a love for British jumble sales and American thrift stalls, the monthly hutong market has since then taken on its own magnificent form featuring a mix of haberdashery and homemade goodies. From baking, clothing, jewellery, second hand books and more, the bazaar is a one-stop shop for all things vintage, craft and even the most unexpected. Bookworms ought to pay attention to its secondhand books corner called the Rumble Booksellers, a community stall where books can be bought, donated or sold. For interested sellers, it costs 10RMB to be part of the stall. For more information contact Rumble in the Jumble at rumble.jumble.bj@gmail.com.

WeChat groups

Books Beijing

Books Beijing

In case you're not in enough WeChat groups already, here's another one to consider joining. Besides Roundabout's online bookselling group that we had mentioned earlier, there's also 'Books Beijing' with more than 200 members selling and buying books from each other. Add us on WeChat (ID: timeoutfamily) and we'll add you in.

Book Swap Beijing

Book Swap Beijing

Photo: Thoughtcatalog/Unsplash.com 

If you prefer your secondhand books free, then you're in for a deal. The WeChat group Book Swap Beijing is all about the trade. Post a set of three books with pictures of the front and the back, and if anyone is interested they can offer you three books to swap as well. You can accept or decline, and someone else gets to have their chance at the set. Add the moderator (WeChat: nicki_sharratt) to join.

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