McKay Used Books - the Best Used Bookstore in Manassas

Yes, it's cheaper than Amazon.

Josh Rachford
Josh Rachford

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McKay Used Books, or "McKay's" as it's called locally, is a fixture in Manassas. Deservedly so, as it's the best used book store in Manassas and, quite possibly, the world.

The bookstore, located on Sudley Road across from the Manassas Mall (what's left of the mall, anyway), accepts customers' books, games, and music in return for cash or store credit. Then they sell those used items to customers at extremely good prices – prices so good that in the afternoons you'll see people shopping with their phones out and loading carts full of books they'll resell on Amazon. Yes, it's cheaper than Amazon.

They sell books in every category, including books for kids: picture books, board books, young adult, you name it. Many books sell for under $1, but books in high demand go for more. For example, we bought a random board book our son liked for $0.99, but Ferdinand or The Little Engine That Could will likely be $5 or more. Books assigned by schools like Little Women, The Catcher in the Rye, or Canterbury Tales will similarly be more expensive (in the $5 to $7 range), while a random book could be much less. For example, I once bought Paul Johnson's A History of the American People at McKay's for $0.35.

The store also offers board games in excellent condition, Ty beanie babies and other toys (not a ton of these), comics and manga, CDs and vinyl records, video games, sheet music for your budding pianist/vocalist/multi-hyphenate musician, and puzzles. The puzzles are buyer beware, but am I really supposed to check that there are 500 pieces in the box? The one puzzle I bought at McKay's had pieces that didn't seem to want to stick together properly, so I cannot recommend getting puzzles there.

Free books are available in a bin outside, but when you see what's in there you'll understand why they are free: lots of manuals for obsolete operating systems and vanity books no one ever wanted anyway. Can I resist looking in the free bin? Yes. Er...sometimes.

There are also good books for kids outside of the kids' section. In the transportation section there are large-format books full of photographs of trains, planes, ships, motorcycles, etc. Many other sections, like science, crafts, or sports, have books that children would enjoy depending on their interests even though the book is not written for children. Our elder son's favorite book is on firefighting and came from a grown-up section. What I love about getting these from McKay's is when pages inevitably rip it's no big deal because the book cost $2.

Having been to many used bookstores from the Strand in NYC to random little English book shops in Europe, I have never seen one as excellent as McKay's.

Address: 8345 Sudley Road
Manassas, Virginia 20109

McKay Used Books Hours

Sun 10AM–8PM
Mon 9AM–10PM
Tue 9AM–10PM
Wed 9AM–10PM
Thu 9AM–10PM
Fri 9AM–10PM
Sat 9AM–10PM

Want to learn more? Visit the McKay Used Books website.

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Josh is a dad, management consultant, and ex-comedian who started Mom 'n Dad Co in 2021.