We are staying closed to the public until further notice :) We appreciate your patience as we have just one worker for the time being!

We are still taking PHONE and EMAIL orders:


12pm - 5pm TUES - SAT (closed Mondays)

~curbside pickups or shipping~





We can help you find specific titles, we can curate and help you virtually browse, and we can special order :) We have books, puzzles, crossword & sudoku, movies, kids stuff, t-shirts, cards, gift certificates and more! Happy to send photos of cards, puzzles, used selection.

Our curbside pickup option is SAFE and SECURE. 

You can browse some curated lists of newer titles here:

(You can order through that site directly if you like, and we are very grateful for Bookshop, but we make a bit more money if you just use it to browse and order through us via email for the time being! ALSO: pickups are only available by ordering through us directly.)

We are also posting some of our wares on INSTAGRAM (@spectatorbooks, #spectatorbooksforsale) and FACEBOOK. We are happy to take orders through DM as well.

We can send Paypal invoices or call you for a credit card over the phone; we don't have a webstore at this time. (Sorry, no Venmo either!) 

We are unable to take trade-ins or donations yet, but we appreciate you saving them up for us for when we re-open, as we will really be needing stock then! We hope to have a solution to this part of our business by September.

We are SO GRATEFUL for the support as we work tirelessly to keep our shop treading water! We cannot thank you enough for your orders, and your patience as we deal with all these workarounds :) We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and taking care of one another. We have such an amazing community that rallies in times of difficulty -- we are grateful and we love you all :))

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. 

Recent Posts

Hours & Situation Updates

June 15, 2020

Hi everyone! How are we all doing? <3

We expect a lot of you are excited to be able to come back and browse soon, and we are excited too, we miss you!!


BLM Audiobook Fundraiser

June 3, 2020

Hello everyone!




COVID updates and how to order :))

May 9, 2020

Hey everyone! We just wanted to reach out and let you all know that our storefront is still closed for browsing at least through the end of May, but w...

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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!

COVID-19: Storefront closed! Call 12-5 or email for mailorder & pickups!

4163 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611, USA

©2018 by Spectator Books