How to Clear Out (And Fill Up) Your Bookcases in the Hamptons

Photo: Thanarak Worakandecha/123rf

The East End is lucky enough to have more bookstores than most communities our size. Coming east on the South Fork, you’re never more than a village away from filling up your bookcases with the hottest summer reads and the newest, most beautiful coffee table books. But you probably did that last summer and need to make some room.

You could have a yard sale, but that’s a lot of work with little return. Donating! That’s the way to go. There are several bargain bookstores that will take your donations, and give the proceeds to good causes, selling the books you want at great prices—you might even save a couple dollars building up your library after you clear it out. Here are a few that Dan’s Papers editors often find ourselves at, donating old books and scouring the stacks for beach reads.

The Friends Bookstore is run by The Friends of the Hampton Bays Library. It’s located at the northwest corner of the library building, down the outside stairwell in the basement—a fitting locale for a bookstore with bargain basement prices! Hardcover fiction books are only $2; trade paperbacks, $1. Come to think of it, those $2 hardcovers are the most expensive reads in the place. Mass-market paperbacks go for $.50 each or five for $2. Most of the books are in very good condition as they don’t accept books with odor, mildew or foxing. The space is big, allowing for comfortable, unrushed browsing of the well-organized stacks. Don’t forget to watch out for the flash sales and featured authors, which offer up even more ways to save on that summer beach read. The Friends Bookstore is open year-round on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. 52 Ponquogue Avenue, Hampton Bays, 631-728-6241,

You might have seen that big blue sign outside Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton: Friends of the Library Book Sale. The book sale offers thousands of books neatly organized at low prices—pretty much nothing is more than $5, including mass market paperbacks at five for $1. There’s a respectable fine art books section and even a bookcase of free books for paying customers to grab something extra on their way out. The book sale operates on Saturdays year-round from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for the same hours on Wednesdays from May until December. The money raised through the book sale support the library. 91 Coopers Farm Road, Southampton, 631-283-0774,

Then there’s the Bridgehampton Association’s Book Bay in Bridgehampton, in the old firehouse on School Street across from the Candy Kitchen. The space is chock-full of books in every category and recently went through a renovation including a thorough cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, new lighting and a brand new carpet. It looks as great as their prices. Book Bay is entirely volunteerrun and is open Friday–Sunday in the off-season and almost every day during the summer.

The Ladies’ Village Improvement Society (LVIS) has been helping to keep East Hampton beautiful since 1895. They also keep the town’s residents on budget by operating the Bargain Box Thrift Shop, at 95 Main Street, near Herrick Park and the parking lot behind Main Street. The stop sells just about everything from clothing to dishes, linens and kitchenware—and even furniture and art in the Furniture Barn next door. And books. Lots and lots of books! Fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks, travel, history, philosophy, hardcover and paperback: they have it all, and for cheap. Generally, a fiction paperback will only set you back $4, and they’re mostly in good to new condition. The bookcases are full and well-maintained making for a pleasant browsing experience. They also have sales, so don’t be surprised to walk out with a lot more books than you thought you were going to. 95 Main Street, East Hampton, 631-324-1597,

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