Second-Hand Astrology Bookshop to be launched May 2024

With effect from May 2024, I shall be starting a second-hand mail-order bookshop specialising in astrological and esoteric books. Its holdings will be advertised on Astrolearn and occasionally promoted in the Astrological Association Facebook group. They will not be listed on Abebooks, Amazon, Alibris, or any of the other large bookselling sites.

My initial motivation for this move is to clear out duplicates from the library in order to free up shelf space. However, I also want to help astrologers find and acquire interesting second-hand books to add to their own collections and reading resources. So I’m going to take the task of selling further than just clearing out duplicates. From time to time, and as far as income from sales permits, I’ll be actively buying up unwanted collections for piecemeal resale.

As any second-hand bookseller will tell you, it is much easier to buy books than to sell them. I’ll need to exercise discrimination in the selection of books I pay for, because not all will prove viable. The following general policies will apply to those approaching me with collections they want to sell to my shop:

  1. Both astrology books and astrological magazines will be considered for the shop; please read the term ‘books’ as a catch-up to include both terms in all the points that follow below.
  2. Books written primarily in English, French, German, Latin, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Swedish will all be accepted. Other languages will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is harder to accurately describe and trade books in languages you can’t read.
  3. Both general astrology books and academic history books of relevance to astrology will be accepted.
  4. As a prospective seller of a collection to my shop, you must be prepared to provide a full inventory including author, title, publisher name, year of publication, binding format (including, for hardback books, mention of whether or not any original dust jacket is included) and condition, for all books prior to my making a provisional offer. Where condition is concerned, it is important for you to report any defects to bindings and any internal markings other than in plain pencil.
  5. Full payment will be made only after I have received the books from you and had time to inspect them adequately. Provisional offers will be made based on the description given by prospective sellers (see point ‘4’ above), but will be subject to confirmation or adjustment when the books are actually seen and checked.
  6. I reserve the right to reject whole collections for any combination of reasons including condition, a poor ratio of valuable titles to low-value ones, and not currently having the funds available to make new purchases.
  7. For antiquarian astrology books printed before 1960 and worth £40 or more, I’ll pay 33% of their estimated optimal realisable resale value in the condition presented
  8. For antiquarian astrology books printed before 1960 but worth less than £40, I’ll pay 25% of their estimated optimal realisable resale value in the condition presented
  9. For modern astrology books printed in or after 1960, but worth £40 or more, I’ll pay 25% of their estimated optimal resale value in the condition presented.
  10. For modern astrology books printed in or after 1960, but worth less than £40, I’ll pay 20% of the estimated optimal realisable resale value, subject to them being in good condition, without inked or coloured-pencilled underlining, highlighting, or other serious condition issues (on common modern books, these issues are commercially prohibitive). This lower rate is because these books are not a priority for my shop, and come with fixed time costs attached that are harder to justify when their values are relatively low.
  11. No payment will be offered for any astrological titles if their condition is deemed to be so poor that they are likely to be unsaleable to my customers or that the amount of time it will take to thoroughly inspect and accurately describe their faults is likely to outweigh their retail value. For example, books with broken bindings and disbound or missing pages, and books with severe damp-staining, internal highlighting, or heavy red-inked underlining to their pages. I may accept such books as donations but will not pay for them unless they are of such age (for example, if they are printed earlier than 1860 and deemed to be worth £100 or more in spite of the serious condition issues) that their inherent value justifies it. These stipulations are in addition to the more stringent requirement for books printed after 1960 and worth under £40 to be in good condition (as outlined in point 10 above).
  12. No payment will be offered for non-astrological titles unless they are esoteric titles determined at my sole discretion to be ones I have a reasonable chance of selling through my website because the subject-matter is likely to be interesting to astrologers even though it is non-astrological. Other esoteric titles may be accepted as donations.
  13. I will not accept non-astrological, non-esoteric books even as donations – there is not space for off-topic books. Please find other homes for these.
  14. Books will not be accepted for sale on a commission basis or on the basis of sale-or-return. I will only purchase collections outright; and all purchases are final.

These policies are designed to be both fair and, at the same time, sustainable. Those who want higher prices for their collections and who have the patience to sell individually will always have other options than to sell them to me, but those wanting to support the library and my historical research work may be prepared to accept my terms to help sustain the work I do.

If not, I’ll make my own purchases of collections at auctions from time to time to keep the shop going.



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