September 18th, 2013
If you’ve tried to sell books lately in the United States, you know the Kindle has made them virtually worthless. But in Mexico City, where English books are scarce – and when available, prohibitively expensive for the average person – your books are worth more than just money.
Chiefly, books – but also we are looking for a large antique area rug – around 10 x 12 – with significant damage that we can hide under a bookcase, and table and standing lamps.
We have a shipping address in Austin, Texas for easy mailing from U.S. locations. Books should be sent as media mail, packed stacked flat or spine-down, and all books and furnishings can be sent to our Austin drop by arrangement with us (email email@example.com).
I should say first and briefly what kind of books we don’t take: textbooks, medical books, computer books or large quantities of pulp mystery, romance, horror and science fiction. We don’t exclude any of these genres strictly, but our inclusion of titles from these categories is very selective.
What we do want – broadly – is literature, history, biography/memoir, criticism and works on music and film (especially songbooks and screenplays), politics, philosophy, psychology, popular science, how-to, fine art books and graphic novels. Anything about Mexico, translated from Spanish or Japanese, the NYRB series, the Oxford and Norton anthologies of literature, Modern Library editions and recent Moon, Bradt or Rough Guides are particularly wanted. We also want issues of the literary journals N+1, The Paris Review, Granta and Grand Street. The list below is by no means comprehensive, and does not include writers we love but whose books are quite easy to find – John LeCarre, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Willa Cather or William Shakespeare, for example. (We’re very happy to accept those as well, naturally.)
Specifically, the authors we want most, in very broad order of importance, are:
Vladimir Nabokov, Roberto Bolaño, Joan Didion, Malcolm Lowry, Jack Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, Haruki Murakami, Anne Carson, Philip K. Dick, Zadie Smith, Cormac McCarthy, James Merrill, Graham Greene, James Joyce, Yukio Mishima, David Foster Wallace, Elizabeth Bishop, Thomas Pynchon, George Eliot, John Berryman, Jorge Luis Borges, Oscar Wilde, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ezra Pound, William Gaddis, Ernest Hemingway, W.H. Auden, Toni Morrison, Wallace Stevens, Don De Lillo, Sharon Olds, Denis Johnson, Virginia Woolf, Raymond Chandler, Jennifer Egan, Allen Ginsberg, Bruce Wagner, Philip Roth, Charles Bukowski, Joseph Conrad, Stephen Wright, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Howard Zinn, Elena Poniatowska, Michael Herr, Kurt Vonnegut, Bruce Chatwin, W.S. Merwin, John McPhee, George Orwell, Wallace Shawn, David Mitchell, James Baldwin, Geoffrey Hill, J.M. Coetzee, Noam Chomsky, Edmund Wilson, Orhan Pamuk, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Chabon, Cornel West, Nick Hornby, John Fante, Edgar Allan Poe, David Lida, Jon Krakauer, Flannery O’Connor, Hunter S. Thompson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gertrude Stein, H.P. Lovecraft, Lawrence Durrell, William Faulkner, Philip Larkin, Robert Hughes, Mark Twain, Arthur Phillips, Margaret Atwood, Seamus Heaney, Emily Dickinson, George Saunders, Leo Tolstoy, Rumi, Ralph Ellison, Gunter Grass, Alice Munro, William T. Vollmann, Russell Hoban, bell hooks, Helen Vendler, Jonathan Safran Foer, Fran Lebowitz, Georges Perec, Michel Foucault, Chris Hedges, Gore Vidal, Ian Frazier, Dave Eggers, William Blake, David Berman, Chris Ware, Isaiah Berlin, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Jonathan Lethem, Neal Stephenson, Katherine Anne Porter, Morris Berman, John Updike, Carl Jung, Truman Capote, Paula Fox, Bret Easton Ellis, Karl Marx, John Keats, Raymond Carver, Barbara Kingsolver, Adrienne Rich, Walter Benjamin, Marilynne Robinson, Emile Zola, Octavio Paz, J.G. Ballard, Tony Kushner, B. Traven, Henry Louis Gates, George W.S. Trow, Robinson Jeffers, Annie Proulx, Brendan Behan, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Louis Auchincloss, Erik Larson, Jane Austen, Percy Shelley, Guy de Maupassant, Christopher Alexander, Harry Matthews, Jennifer Vogel, Rudyard Kipling, Chuck Palanhiuk, Wislawa Szymborska, John Ashbery, Robert Musil, Dorothy Parker, Ivan Turgenev, Carlos Castaneda, Lewis Carroll, Anton LaVey, Denise Levertov, W. Somerset Maugham, E.E. Cummings, George Santayana, Jules Verne, Doris Lessing, William Trevor, James Ellroy, Stephen Fry, Jane Bowles, H.G. Wells, Charles Bowden, Susanna Moore, S.T. Coleridge, Derrick Jensen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Hitchens, Ted Hughes, James Agee, Anne Sexton, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Nathaniel West, Octavia Butler, Anton Chekhov, John Casey, Andrew Marvell, Keith Gessen, John Donne, Stephen Crane, Daniel Clowes, Seth Kantner, Djuna Barnes, Henry Miller, Dave Hickey, Shirley Hazzard, Randall Jarrell, Jean Paul Sartre, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Henry Rollins, Paul Bowles, Mark Bowden, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lorrie Moore, Lord Byron, Elias Canetti, J.D. Salinger, Samuel R. Delany, Joy Williams, Vendela Vida, Tomas Transtromer, Ann Patchett, Tony Cohan, Jonathan Franzen, Murray Kempton, Dante Alighieri, Chogyam Trungpa, Samuel Beckett, Evelyn Waugh, Ryan Boudinot, Anonymous, Herman Melville, James Merrill, Paul Theroux, Bruce Chatwin, Michel Houellebecq, Ray Bradbury, Andre Dubus, John Cheever, Jane Austen, Greil Marcus, Matthew Arnold, Emily Bronte, Bertrand Russell, John Berger, Paolo Freire, W.G. Sebald, Paul Muldoon, Joyce Carol Oates, Henry Green, Kathy Acker, Michael Herr, Sharon Olds, Saul Bellow, Mark Harris, Dylan Thomas, I.F. Stone, Martin Amis, Sapphire, S.J. Perelman, Knut Hamsun, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Immanuel Kant, Boris Vian, Robert Lowell, Irvine Welsh, DBC Pierre, Joseph Heller, Albert Camus, Nelson Algren, Anthony Burgess, Barbara Kingsolver, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Geoff Dyer, Michael Cunningham, James Dickey, Homer (tr., Fitzgerald, Fagles), Patricia Highsmith, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Michael Chabon, Aleister Crowley, Norman Mailer, Philip Hensher, Simone Weil, William S. Burroughs, Albert Camus, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Edith Wharton, James Salter, Henry James, Alex Garland, J. Bronowski, Chuck Palahniuk, Robert Graves, Soren Kierkegaard, Rick Moody, Thich Nhat Hanh, John Hollander, Steve Erickson, Angela Davis, Charlotte Bronte, Colson Whitehead, Gary Shteyngart, Marquis de Sade, Stanislaw Lem, Philip Pullmann, Alex Ross, Dietrich Bonhoffer, Steve Almond, William James, Mikhail Bulgakov, Carlos Castaneda, Audre Lorde, Larry Brown, David Sedaris, Derek Walcott, Claire Messud, Nathan Englander, A.M. Homes, Deborah Eisenberg, August Kleinzhaler, James Howard Kunstler, Anais Nin, Rebecca Solnit, Viktor Shklovky, Michael Ventura, Allen Tate, Marc Maron, Brian Greene, Jay McInerney, Bob Mould, Alan Stillitoe, Henry Green, Constantin Stanislavsky, Hubert Selby, Jr, Joe Klein, Kate Braverman, David Mitchell, W.D. Snodgrass, Jeffrey Eugenides, Lydia Davis, Jacques Derrida, Chuck Klosterman, Keith Richards, Gary Snyder, Nami Mun, Douglas Adams, Nicole Krauss, Malcolm Cowley, Edward Said, Gary Jennings, Helene Cixous, and Paul Auster.
And, of course, we want the books we don’t know that we want. Our customers are some of the most appreciative anywhere. We provide the best our culture has to offer and are proud and happy to accept your donated books and pass them along to continue the most important process we know about, the sharing and appreciation of literature.
As a hybrid of a literary bookstore and an educational institution we survive by the skin of our teeth, and would greatly appreciate gifts postage-paid. We understand, however, not everyone can swing that, and if you have some of the titles or authors listed above, arrangements can be made through our account with USPS.
- Because of Mexican tax law, we need to prove our books are donated. So please include a letter with your books certifying ‘To Whom it May Concern’ that this quantity of books (__) is a donation, dated and signed with a return address.
- Pack books flat or spine-down to FILL a sturdy box (we find file boxes to be best) include your donor certification letter, and secure the box with packing tape.
- Affix our address: Under the Volcano Books, Cerrada Chiapas 40-C, Col. Roma Norte, Del. Cuauhtémoc, Distrito Federal, MEXICO 06700
- Mail via USPS, Fed Ex, or DHL: be sure to ask for media mail or book rate.
- Enjoy our deepest thanks and know you have helped to build a growing institution of cultural significance. Visit us soon!