Title Wave Used Bookstore is a Retirement Home For Portland Library Books

When the Multnomah County Library retires books—typically as surplus stock—they’re sold at Title Wave for only a few dollars.

On a shelf at the back of Title Wave Used Bookstore (216 NE Knott St., 503-988-5021), there are currently dozens of glossy, hardcover copies of Fire and Fury. After a month of watching customers pass by Michael Wolff's infamous Trump administration exposé, Title Wave really wants rid of them. Each book costs $1, but the staff might offer you one for free.

When the Multnomah County Library retires books—typically as surplus stock—they're sold at Title Wave for only a few dollars, with the Dewey decimal sticker still on the spine. A spacious building with tall, arched windows, Title Wave operates in a 100-year-old former library in the Eliot neighborhood. Walking the aisles feels like browsing the runoff of pop culture—oddities like a Hello Kitty cookbook and a dual Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez biography, both for $2.

But Title Wave sells more than just junk. It also stocks books that were buzzy just a few years ago, like $1.50 hardcover copies of Zadie Smith's most recent novel and Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance.

And since Title Wave gets new books every day, there's no telling what you'll come across. It's a treasure trove of rarities you'd never think to look for—German novels with spines like illuminated manuscripts, a first edition Of Thee I Sing from 1932, an unheard of Japanese novel with gorgeous illustrations, or a lesser-known Mark Twain novel for half what it would cost at Powell's.

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