The Book’s End, Syracuse, NY

Address: 2443 James Street, Syracuse, NY

Contact: 315-437-0938,


Social Media: Facebook

Happy Spring, friends! It’s a little warmer today and the sun is shining, so it seems a great time to get back to blogging. The last few weeks of winter were a whirlwind for us. We had a vacation shortly after my last post, and then we had a couple of illnesses in the family and a couple of family events that made it difficult for me to visit local businesses. But I’m back now and very excited to feature more great local businesses in the Central New York area. To give you a heads up, I am looking forward to covering the wider area of Upstate New York (hence the blog name “Local Treasures of Upstate New York”) this summer. For now, it’s hard to stray too far from home.

And speaking of home, one of the things that have always helped me feel at home is a great book store. If you have time to kill, if you’re meeting a friend, or if you need some intellectual or creative stimulation, a great bookstore is really good company. When I lived in Washington, DC, I worked near Kramer Books in Dupont Circle and spent lots of time there. In my last year in DC, we lived one block from Politics & Prose, and I wrote most of my Master’s thesis there. When I moved to Syracuse, I loved several book stores that have disappeared in the last 15 years, which I find incredibly depressing, but I’d like to count my blessings.

For shiny new books, we still have Barnes & Noble, which I truly think is a local treasure. They do wonderful things for the community and serve as a great meeting place for conversation and coffee/tea. However, Barnes & Noble is not a small business, which is the focus of this blog. And as much as I cherish B&N’s presence in our community and don’t want it to disappear (as it has from several other communities across the country), there is also an important niche that can’t be filled by the giant bookstore. Buying books online doesn’t cut it.

Several of my daughter’s friends have said they would love to bring back small-town bookstores to our village, and I think it would be fantastic to have one in each town. However, there are a few still around if you know where to look, and if we want to keep them there (or better yet, invite more to open!), then we should be sure to patronize them. The Book’s End near the Palace Theatre is one of those small bookstores still standing, and it’s absolutely worth a visit for any book-lover. The store opened on November 2, 1987, making it Syracuse’s oldest used bookstore.

First of all, let me emphasize there is no time like the present to visit! The Book’s End is running a huge sale starting today and ending on April 1st. Everything in the store is 25% off, so I thought this would be the perfect time to highlight their business. In addition, they have a frequent reader card that is punched for every $10 you spend. After $100, you earn 10% off your purchase, so save that for a future visit.

The Book’s End specializes in used, rare and out-of-print books, but that doesn’t mean they only have books that have been out for several years. They have several newer reads, and many books from the last couple of years. If you want to know if they have what you’re looking for, you can search on their website and even order online (though if you don’t find it on their website, you may wish to call – they state clearly on their website that some books aren’t listed online). Shipping is not free, but it’s reasonable, and their books are lower in price because they are secondhand.

One of my biggest concerns with a used book store is always a potential odor – I have visited plenty of bookstores where the books have a mildewy (or even moldy) odor, and I have a very sensitive nose and am allergic to mold. I didn’t detect any bad odors during a recent visit and was impressed with the cleanliness of the entire store.

They have a nice Children’s books section right up front, so I could let my children hang out there while I shop for myself – and shopping for myself is loads of fun here because there are so many choices in fiction and non-fiction. One thing I love about small bookstores like The Book’s End is their ability to sub-categorize the books. There aren’t just “Mysteries & Thrillers” but several smaller categories so you can browse and find exactly the kind of mystery you like. It makes it easier to find a hidden gem on the shelf and discover a new-to-you great author.

There is a sizable section of Large Print books, so I picked up a couple for family members that need them. In that area of the store, I also discovered their collection of antique postcards for sale, which are separated by location and type of photo. For anyone who collects postcards, this would be an enjoyable visit for sure.

If you have a shelf full of books in very good condition (or a few bins in the basement), give The Book’s End a call. They purchase books as well, so it may be a great way to clear out that space in your home and know the books are going to a good place.

A quick note on parking – there is a parking lot in the back of the building with free parking specifically for customers of The Book’s End. You can choose to pay for metered parking if you wish to be out front, but it’s nice to have the option.

Happy reading, and happy Spring!

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