​Hours: 11am - 9 pm daily (Trading hrs: 11-2 & 3:30-5:30, 2 bag max!)

4163 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611, USA

©2018 by Spectator Books

Welcome to Spectator Books

4163 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, California

(cross street is Linda Ave, we are catty-corner from Piedmont Theater)

Come browse our extensive collection of used books at great prices, our carefully curated new book selection (including backlist gems and classics), our unique array of greeting cards, & our DVDs, puzzles, journals, curios, maps & ephemera, and more!

We have mysteries, science fiction & fantasy, children's books, art books, metaphysical books, eastern & western religion & philosophy, science & nature, psychology & self-help, cookbooks, business books, travel guides, song books, foreign language, extensive cultural studies & histories, poetry, graphic novels, a sale section, and many other genres for your browsing pleasure!

Our knowledgeable and courteous staff can help you find what you are looking for, and if we don't have what you need in stock, we are more than happy to see if we can special order it for you quickly. 



~WE TRADE BOOKS AND DVDS FROM 11 - 2 & 3:30 - 5:30 DAILY ~


It never hurts to call ahead ~ we reserve the right to cut off buying or shorten hours as needed

We have a small parking lot for your convenience. We buy for store trade only, but it does not expire and is good for just about anything in the store, and also special orders. TWO GROCERY BAGS OR BANKERS BOXES PER DAY PLEASE!

As a general bookstore, we will look at just about any type of book, but we do tend to avoid buying the following: 

--most encyclopedias

--most magazines

--most books with heavy damage, including water damage, mildew, broken spines, extensive writing or highlighting

--most condensed books (some exceptions for children's) 

--most ex-library books (some discard-stamped okay)

We have many years of experience in buying and selling, but we are a relatively small store, so while we will gladly make accommodations and offers as long as we are able, we generally don't look at huge amounts of books at once, buy entire estates, buy exceptionally expensive or rare volumes, or visit homes to make purchases. We will on occasion make an exception to our store-credit-only policy for an unusual collection of art, philosophy, metaphysics or other specialty books -- please email for more information (link below)!


Please do reach out to us via email (link below) if you would like us to consider carrying your book in our store! We have limited space and generally only carry Oakland or Bay Area authors on consignment. 


About Us

Spectator Books has been in business since 1994! Tim and Karen Hildebrand, who owned and ran the store for over 20 years, retired in March of 2017, and the new owners, Stacie, Tibby, Idit and Galia, took over in April 2017. We are committed to our community, and aim to be a zone of connection, education and comfort for all who enter. We believe in equality & diversity, that knowledge is power, and that a good book can very often be, or lead to, the cure for what ails us. We hope you will visit soon!


Recent Posts



November 28, 2019

Happy Holidays, everyone! 

Today was our last day of trading in books and movies until mid-January (check back for a firm date), so that we may better...

So Many Great DVDs/Blu-Rays in store now!

February 7, 2019

We've been going through a massive estate collection of exceptional DVDs and Blu-Rays! Our DVD shelves are packed with gems, including box sets, colle...


December 13, 2018

EDIT: Position has been filled! 

We are looking to hire a full-time store clerk for our new & used bookshop! We are seeking someone with STRONG organiz...

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