Do Pawn Shops Take Books – What Do They Pay – ANSWER!

Brian McCracken


Pawn shops take all sorts of funny things. We all know about jewelry, tools, electronics but would you believe that some pawn shops will even take in books? I’m serious!
Now, that’s not to say that pawn shops will take just any book in off the street. There’s got to be something unique or special or something that is somehow desirable about the book in order for a pawn shop to take it in.
But that having been said, if you are a big nerd just like me, then you may be shocked to find out that you might be sitting on a gold mine!
This is especially true if you have a collection of much older books that are in very good condition or books that might have documented signatures, autographs or really anything that can be certified as being genuine in them.
Crazy right? Who knew that the book signing from 40 years ago might mean something so valuable today but it’s often the case that when an author signs a first edition of a book and the book is in very good condition – if that book becomes popular of that author becomes popular, it could turn that book from a $5 fun read into a $5,000 item that has just been taking up space on your shelf for all of these years.
So what’s the rules here, how does pawning books really work anyways?
You might be surprised to learn that some pawn shop do take books for a loan or to buy outright. It’s always worth checking to see what your old books might be worth to your local pawn shop.
Rules For Pawning Books
The single most important thing that you’ve got to realize when thinking about pawning books is the condition that they are in.
When it comes to books, they can age quickly, even if they just sit unused on a shelf for years so the condition that they are in is absolutely critical in determining their potential value for a pawn or an outright sale to a pawn shop.
You’ve got to keep things like:
Any possible paper yellowing.
The condition of the paper (creases, folds, rips, etc.)
The condition and stability of the book binding.
The condition of the covers including the hard covers and any other overlaid covers.
Any writing that may be in or on the book.
Any water spots or stains on the pages or cover of the book.
Look at all of these things honestly, you can begin to get an idea of what may harm the collectible of the book and therefore negatively affect its value.
Further more, if there is anything that may improve the value of the book, such as an author’s signature, try to document that as well as possible or have it certified. That way the pawn shop knows that it is a genuine signature and can assess it’s value more accurately based upon that certification.
How Much Do Pawn Shops Pay For Books
Pawn shops will pay extremely well for books if they are highly desirable or have things about them that make them truly unique, one of a kind pieces that any collector would want to have in his or her private library.
One of the easiest ways pawn shops will quickly determine a book’s potential value is simply by checking to see what similar books in like-condition and the same editions had sold for previously.
In very rare cases, if the book really warrants it, they may ask that you get an appraisal done by a certified expert or professor in the field. This however is pretty rare.
They will then determine values based on all of these factors, including the condition factors listed above and you could be offered anywhere from $1 to thousands of dollars depending on the book and any other unique qualities about that particular piece.
Tips For Pawning Books
Pawning books overall is a pretty straight forward process because either the book will be valuable or it won’t be right from the start. Sure there are rare occasions where someone really famous signed it or wrote a note in just some random book, but those are odd scenarios and not the majority of the situations you will run into – and at that point you are really pawning the signature, not the book that it happens to be in anyways.
Don’t Use Liquid To Clean The Book Or Covers – Don’t get a wet towel and wipe down the book. That is a horrible idea and will likely cause water spots and damage the value of the book in question. Just don’t do it.
Don’t Try To Correct Any Writing Or Marks In The Book – If there are marks on the pages of the books, don’t try to use an eraser on them or anything else. That’s something that should be left up to a true professional – someone with museum quality experience and proficiency and even then it’s very hard to do correctly and without causing further damage.
Don’t Fake A Signature – One thing I’ve seen people do is take a very collectible book and fake the author’s signature in it. What ends up happening the that the signature fails certification and appraisal and you just end up destroying the value of the book because now it has a forgery in it. Don’t do it.
Keeping these things in mind, take a look at the books that you have on your shelf and you may be surprised to find out that you actually have more there than what you might initially think.