Note: this piece was originally published in January 2016.

The efficiency of e-books and Kindle readers aside, there’s something special about a hardcopy of a book. A work that has taken painstaking attention to detail, a real labor of love, should be appreciated and passed on for years to come. I love a fresh new book, but finding a beat up copy of Catcher in the Rye or The Great Gatsby will always feel hipster-tastically satisfying. Let’s keep the used book market going strong as we carry weathered copies of On The Road in our back pockets for a rainy day.

Here are a few places where you can find cool used books for a steal:

1. AUBMC’s Bargain Box

This one is a little tricky to find at first, but worth it once you do. AUBMC’s Bargain Box offers a host of affordable books for those who aren’t looking for something in particular. You never know what you’ll find, so check it out if you’re feeling like taking a gamble. To check out the selection, head to the Children’s Cancer Center in the Issam Fares ground floor. An added bonus: The Women’s Auxiliary runs this volunteer-based program and all proceeds are donated to patients in need.

2. Souk Al Ahad

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Although I might have complained about Souk Al Ahad before, you can find some treasures there if you’re willing to look. Somewhere in the north-west corner of the market, there is a stand with hundreds of old books, in varying conditions. I’ve gotten lucky with novels and non-fiction alike, and if you’re willing to haggle (because stand vendors are willing to comply), you’ll likely walk away with interesting new additions to your book collection for really cheap.

Post edit: it seems that the book stand at Souk el Ahad has been sold and no longer runs.

3. Monot Street Book Market

Happening weekly, the Monot Street Book Market has a steady supply of new and old books. Located directly across from RectoVerso in Monot, the market features different stands of booksellers displaying their picks. The market takes place on the first Saturday of every month, so be sure to make it to the next one in March.

4. Halabi Bookshop

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Halabi Bookshop is one of the best hidden gems in the city. With their wide variety of novels and non-fiction books, the owners are always friendly and helpful. They participate in lots of fairs across the city, including the Biel Book Fair and Monot Street Book Market, with a mix of English and Arabic books. You can also visit the actual shop in Kaskas, on Jalloul Street to find what you're looking for!

5. Book Bazar

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The old bookshop on Sidani Street is well known to foreigners and locals alike, offering piles of new and old books from every genre. They used to buy books from customers as well, but it seems that due to the unfortunate decline of the physical book, times are a little hard. Support your local bookshop and check out their selection of comics, cookbooks, novels, classics, and much more.

6. Book Exchange Beirut

If you’d rather peruse from the comfort of your own home, check out the Facebook page Book Exchange Beirut. You’ll have to go collect the book from the seller, but there are a bunch of people across the city who are willing to trade or sell you their used books.

Reader submitted bonus:

7. Bookyard

BookYard is a book market that is organized in the CLAC Garden in Byblos Old Souks once a month. With a wide variety of books, you're sure to find something that will catch your eye! They are also happy to buy your books - you can learn more here.

Also, Cafe Younes in Hamra has a free book basket where you drop off a book and pick up another.

Happy reading!

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Gabriele Schaub on Feb 11, 2016 via web