Book Adventures

Buying Used Books at Baldwin’s Book Barn

Situated in the Philadelphia suburbs is the historic and unique Baldwin’s Book Barn. This bookstore sells used, rare, and antique books in a variety of genres.

Baldwin’s Book Barn is located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The barn itself is just over 200 years old, and it has been transformed into a dream bookstore for readers that prefer old, loved, and secondhand copies of books. Wandering through the five-story barn is a magical adventure within itself. Each floor contains multiple rooms and is filled to the brim with rows of high shelves packed with used books. The many rooms and winding shelves are filled with quiet shoppers flipping pages and stacking their finds into paper bags for purchase.

Visiting Baldwin’s Book Barn feels like a place where one could stay for hours and hours on end just browsing. There are quaint corners with wooden chairs hidden around the barn that are perfect for settling down and read a few pages of a new book. One can’t help but stop to browse titles about local history after passing through the enchanting old wood barn door and into the lower levels of the barn.

The modern fiction titles are stored on the higher floors, and upon entering the barn shoppers are first welcomed by displays of beautifully made rare and vintage books.

There are so many titles to choose from. As I mentioned in my post about the Friends of the Library Book Sale in Ithaca, New York, I think the best way to visit a used book store is with an open mind and no TBR agenda. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of options in the Book Barn. I took home both young adult and regular fiction titles, my mom bought a nonfiction book about art, and my dad found a first edition of an older book in good condition. There’s cookbooks, world history, romance, children’s books, science fiction, and so much more.

I visited the book barn in January, and some of the sections on the upper floors (particularly the modern fiction section, which is separated from the rest of the barn by a door) can be quite chilly in the winter, so make sure to wear a warm coat for your browsing experience.

The books are relatively well priced, seeing as they are used. I was both surprised and excited to find a copy of Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada hidden on a high shelf in the modern fiction section.

This hardback book in good condition cost me $8 which, when compared to the price of a new hardback novel today, I would say is a pretty good deal. I’m crossing my fingers that this book holds up well beside the iconic film adaptation!

There’s more than books sold, too, and I’d be remiss to not mention their wonderful collection of music, paintings, maps, and other collectibles for sale. If you love buying used books, historic sites, and a unique shopping experience, Baldwin’s Book Barn is a must-visit stop in the Philadelphia area!

Outside the book barn with my wonderful mom.

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