We are staying closed to the public until further notice :) We appreciate your patience as we are operating with a skeleton crew!

We are taking PHONE and EMAIL orders (email preferred -- same day responses):


phones are answered

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

~curbside pickups (same hours) or shipping available~

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 email photos of cards, puzzles, used selection -- we are FAST!





WE ARE UNABLE TO TAKE TRADE-INS OR DONATIONS AT THIS TIME. We do not have the staffing capacity to handle them yet but we are actively working on solutions. Thank you VERY much for your patience, we know this service is a big part of our appeal as a businesss! Please sign up for our mailing list to receive updates, which will also be posted here. 


We have also suspended our punch card program for the time being. If you have store credit or gift certificates, you are very welcome to use them! However, if you have the means to hold off, it does help. 


You can browse some curated lists of newer titles here:

THIS IS NOT WHAT IS IN STOCK AT OUR STORE. It is what is available from our distributor, and stock varies. 

PLEASE ORDER DIRECTLY THROUGH US VIA EMAIL. We appreciate if you order through our page on Bookshop very much too, but your support of us stretches further if you order 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 take credit cards over the phone; we don't have a webstore at this time. (Sorry, no Venmo either!) 

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. 




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. 

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About Us

Spectator Books has been in business since 1994! 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 be able to visit soon!

Currently: using book witch magic to sustain community through disaster capitalism. Thank you for your support -- it is a vote for a better world!