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Used Books

Please be aware that the Friends of the Library Used Book Center will be closed until further notice. This action is part of the City of Huntington Beach's response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation. Thanks for your understanding.






The FOTL Used Book area on the main floor of the Central Library offers used books on a wide variety of topics.

Both hardback and paperback books are available and there are also sections for teens, children, CDs, DVD, audio books, magazines and more. At any given time there are more than 5,000 paperbacks on the shelves ranging in price from 25 cents to $3.00!

Fresh inventory is added to the shelves three times a week, so we encourage readers to check with us weekly.

We are always in need of used books. Click here for more information.

Used Books

Distinguished Volunteer

Maria Pfusterer

            Distinguished Volunteer of the Year 2017

   Maria Pfusterer (center) shown with Library  Director Stephanie Beverage and Councilman Patrick Brenden

Maria Pfusterer has been volunteering with the library for 3 1/2 years and volunteers in Used Books as a cashier.  She is scheduled for one day per week, in Used Books, but often comes in on her "off" days to cover for other cashiers.  Whenever there is a special event (Car Show, War Re-enactment or Members Only Sale), Maria is always one of the first to volunteer for extra duty.  In addition, she volunteers in the circulation department.  At the first of each month, Maria makes sure that Used Books has collected Genealogy money for the month, so that Genealogy gets paid.  She is very devoted to the library and to Friends of the Library.  She is the type of person Friends of the Library is lucky to have.


Some of the benefits of volunteering are that you keep busy and productive. You develop new friendships with others. These friendships are additionally cultivated through outside activities such as attending events and luncheons together. And, each year the library honors the volunteers at a large springtime luncheon.

To volunteer, email the Volunteer Services Coordinator, or call (714) 375-5114. Training and mentoring are provided.

History of Used Books

The early years

The Friends of the Library (FOTL) has been selling books for more than 20 years. In the early days, the books were being sold in the organization’s old Gift Shop. Selling used books started small but quickly grew into two big, annual sales in the 1990s. For one week twice a year, chaos reigned in the buying and selling of books!! Volunteers who worked these sales recall that books would be brought up in boxes from the basement to be displayed on long flat ables. The arrival of each new box resulted in a flurry of activity--vendors buying hundreds of titles and regular patrons filling their paper bags with books to read for months.

2006 – A Permanent Home

As FOTL grew, the organization progressed to a much more organized way of doing business. The present 2,100 square foot space on the main floor of the Library was turned over to the FOTL to be its Used Books area. This popular space (a 75’x28’area) is the public face of the organization’s large operation which includes a spacious area on the lower level that is used to receive, sort, price and categorize donations. This expansion occurred in the fall of 2006. The current setup with bookshelves and display cases is the result of lots of work and foresight by one of our board members at that time, Dee San Marchi. She played a leadership role in reorganizing our workspace downstairs.

Behind the Scenes

This “behind-the-scenes” office space is similar to a stock room. It becomes a beehive of activity each week day as volunteers bring in large bins of donated books that are individually examined. Of the many items donated, several veteran volunteers tell of finding a number of very valuable items in the donation boxes. For example, there was an autographed book that was researched for its value on the Internet. The book was worth $7,500. Proceeds from this and other sales goes into purchasing new books for the Library. Currently, Becky Roepke,  is the person in charge of the Used Books area. FOTL has had a number of outstanding leaders in charge of the Used Books area including Helen Lotaki, Mary Morgan and Lorraine Barksdale and Marcy Long.


Used Book Inventory

Wondering what you will find in the Used Books area? The hardback books are divided into categories such as Latest Fiction, Art, HowTo, Humor & Media, Religion, English, Education, Sociology, Crafts and Needlework, Reference, Sports, Travel, Gardening, Vintage, Science, Math, Foreign Language, Health, Psychology, History, Law, Computer, Cooking, Literature, Biography, Business, Bargain Fiction, Teen, Children, DVDs, computer games and music on CDs, magazines, vinyl records, box puzzles and audio books.

And, of course there are paperbacks in a variety of subjects including mystery, science fiction, fiction, romance, etc.

At any given time there are more than 5,000 paperbacks on the shelves ranging in price from 25 cents to $3.00! Because newly-received books are added to the shelves three times a week, we encourage readers to visit us weekly to check out the fresh inventory.

Other special items in the Used Books area are kept in three large glass cases. These displayed items include rare and valuable books and collectibles. Recently there was a collections of dolls in the original boxes. There are also numerous art pieces that have been donated. Be sure to look at those special items because they can make great gifts for the collector.

Books Wanted!

FOTL needs books to keep the Used Books area in business. We accept all books and go through them to determine their age and condition.

Bring your items to the Central Library and dropped off in the bin located inside the Library during regular business hours.

Donation receipts are available at each of the drop-off locations.

Book donations are also accepted at all library branches.

The FOTL accepts donations of books, media (CDs, DVDs, records), art, and collectibles. We do not accept cassettes or VHS.


Sorry, we do not pick up donations.

Some donated books, paperbacks and magazines that are out-of-date are given to the local Assistance League or other organizations.

Books that do not meet our criteria are recycled.


Photo Album of Used Book Area

Volunteers Needed

The Used Book Sales area is operated and staffed by Volunteers and is always in need of additional help.

To volunteer, email the Volunteer Services Coordinator, or call (714) 375-5114. Training and mentoring is provided.  

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