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Buying and Selling Magazines at Bookmans

Posted in In Our Stores on 18 Aug by

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* by Bookmans Mesa Cashier Supervisor Roland Wakefield

Have you wondered what to say on a date with Don Johnson? How to write a love letter to Bruce Willis? How they got Tick-Tock from Return to Oz the walk? Or why Burke and Hare hasn’t been released in the U.S. and whether or not it should? Answers to these questions and more co-exist in the magazine aisle at any Bookmans location.

Bookmans takes magazines that we think will sell or make someone laugh. We see a lot of technical magazines. Some we take because there are no books circulating about the subject that won’t sell immediately. Some we take because the information changes so rapidly that any book we see on the subject is obsolete. Visit our magazine section to catch up on whatever interests you. The best part about the magazine section at Bookmans Mesa and Bookmans Flagstaff is that you can take the magazines to the café and peruse them out at your leisure. What could you need beyond a latte and a Teen Beat article informing you “How to love a hunk”?

The latest dose of brain fodder that I gathered for my personal collection is a Cinefex from 1985 that contains possibly everything available on the making of Return to Oz. The DVD has nothing but the movie on it (which I also bought at Bookmans) so this magazine and other interviews in sci-fi mags of that year are all there is. Apparently Tick-Tock was a radio controlled head with a contortionist balled up inside working the legs with his feet. It has photos of the wheelers and the rigs they had to wear to roll around with wheels for hands and feet. It also goes into details about the stop motion animation used at the end of the film for the rock king and the compositing of the actors into the shots. It’s no “dating tips on what Wil Wheaton likes in a girl”, but nevertheless it’s random, rare and was on our shelf waiting for anyone with the interest and $2.50 in store credit.

Another nugget is a Canadian entertainment magazine from 1985 containing an article about Pee-wee Herman at the peak of his popularity in which he says he’s working on a theme park based on Pee-wee’s shows and movies and how he wanted the second film to be a musical. After raising my fists into the air and screaming because I could have ridden a Pee-wee roller coaster, I realized how that fact (although I didn’t need to know it) changed my conversations for the next week. Every after-work outing is better when you’re contemplating a Pee-wee roller coaster and the song he would write to play during the ride and/or the wait in line. Sure, I should have been thinking about how I’m gonna pay my insurance next month, but this is more fun. Also I don’t like pulling my hair completely out and actually looking like Bruce Willis.

Look for Famous Monsters of Filmland articles about Love at First Bite implying a Birdcage-like sequel that never was…

Keyboard Monthly articles about “Accordion Power” with Weird Al on the cover …

or an issue of Los Angeles Magazine with a full article written by Steve Martin about how the town has evolved.

You’ll find magazines on cross stitch, gun cleaning, diabetic cooking, mountain bike repair or horse grooming. Somewhere in my office I have a Teen Beat with an interview with Jason Lee telling giggly little girls to listen to Sigur Ros (magical Icelantic ambience) to pump themselves up for the day. All this wonder in the same place for around a buck or two. What else do you need to better yourself or just better your quiet public giggles?

An article about Jean Claude Van Damme’s caffeinated chewing gum commercial shoots in Japan? It was there. The Rolling Stone issues from the ’70s with article written by Cameron Crowe about Led Zepplin? They’re there. An issue of Gear Magazine with 20 things you didn’t know about Shriners — 2 bucks.

Oh the marching sounds on the Nine Inch Nails song Pilgrimage is a box full of nails being shaken. Thank you Spin from 1999. The Tool song 46 & 2 is based on a book by Bob Frissell about aliens and evolution (that book is on the shelf at Bookmans for $4). Thank you Alternative Press from 1995.

The magazines that collect in any of the Bookmans stores range so vastly in purpose and detail that to me it is by far the best and most unpredictable part of the store. Ours is slightly better than other book stores because only so much entertainment is to be gotten from current magazines; our rows of magazines have the collective useful and uselessness from the past 50 to 60 years.

As for Don Johnson, tell him you love Italian food and rocking out to his pop sensation Heartbeat while driving around. Tell him to take you out on his boat named My Vice. Bruce Willis? Call him by his nickname “Bruno” according to All Stars from 1987. He loves that. Want to see Burke and Hare, the new John Landis movie with Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis in America? Empire Magazine from the U.K. tells you who to e-mail and tell. I didn’t read the article on how to groom a horse but I saw it while looking for old interviews with Tom Selleck from the movie Runaway. It’s there if you want to read it yourself. The Tom Selleck interview is not, because I bought it.

22 Responses to “Buying and Selling Magazines at Bookmans”

  1. judy baker says:

    I have been searching online for hours trying to find any place that would pay money for the tons of magazines that I have collected over the years and have not been able to find any in the augusta ga area. I’m trying to see if anyone could help.

    • Rebecca Ballenger says:

      Hi Judy, It sounds like you’ve put a lot of effort into finding a new home for your magazines. Unfortunately, we only operate in four cities in Arizona and don’t make remote buys. We wish you the best in your efforts.

  2. Lisal says:

    I have 25 sports ills. Magazines all 2014
    I have 7 people mag. One cover death robin Williams an another cover prince George 1st birthday
    I have 7 Oprah mag. All my mag. Are 2014

    • Rebecca Ballenger says:

      Are you looking to sell your magazines? All our offers are made in store at our trade counter. You can call the stores to see if we have a need for those issues, but they can’t tell you what we would offer or even if they can make an offer. All the stores’ information including phone numbers can be found here: Best!

  3. Teresa says:

    Are you guys not taking in magazines at your 19th and Northern location? The monthly women’s section had very few current selections. I perused ALL of the shelves and did not see a price tag that had a date past 12/30 on it. I made a specific drive , about 20 to 25 minutes, to come to Bookmans for magazines. Very disappointed. Less knick knacks and more reading material and music please.

    • Katy Spratt says:

      Hi Teresa, thank you for your message. I will talk to our magazine buyers and give them your feedback, we definitely want all of our customers to find what they’re looking for. We’d also be happy to check on items for you over the phone and put them on hold. Please feel free to contact me directly anytime, Thanks again. ~Katy S.

  4. Grant Nelson says:

    Hello I live in Los Angeles and recent came across a collect of vintage playboy’s from 1958 to 1974 I would love to sell them. I have ever months issues from 60 to 74. I also can across a huge collect of popular mechanics from the early 50’s to the 80 almost every months issue. Again I would love to sell them please advise if you are interested or know anyone in my area that would be intrested.

    • Rebecca Ballenger says:

      Hi Grant, It sounds like you have a couple of nice collections. Each of our stores makes trade decisions autonomously based on things like customer base and current stock, which varies by store and over time. To find out if a particular store can use your collection, you’d have to contact them directly. Additionally, our trade staff can’t make offers online or over the phone. I’m not familiar with what might be available to you in Los Angeles, but if I hear of something, I will let you know. Rebecca

  5. Tim gravely says:

    I. Have nine magazines. Outdoor Life, Sports afield, Fur Fish and Game. Dates are 1925,1930,1936,1939,1940,1942,1943,1944,1949. Any place to sale them Near Elkton Maryland or Newark ,Delaware. Do you thank they will sale at your store.

    • Rebecca Ballenger says:

      Hi Tim, We only make offers in person over our trade counter rather than speculating online or over the phone. It doesn’t seem likely that we can make a deal with you in Delaware from Arizona. Considering the dates of your magazines, it may be possible that Ed, our acquisitions person, would want to learn more about them. You can reach him at

  6. brian g says:

    Hi all, if my magazines are not needed at my local store do you have a donation box or something similar to that?

    • Katy Spratt says:

      Hi, Brian. Thanks for the comment! All of our stores are happy to donate your magazines to local organizations. Just ask at the trade counter and our staff will add your items to our donations. We’re glad you want to give those magazines a new life! Please feel free to contact me anytime with further questions. ~Katy S.

  7. steph says:

    do you buy HP computer keyboard?

    • Rebecca Ballenger says:

      Hi Steph, We make all our offers in person over our trade counter, so I can’t speculate online about your HP keyboard. You can call your closest Bookmans ( to see if it’s an item they are currently looking for.

  8. Robin Streeter says:

    Good Evening,

    I launched a new kids magazine I will like to know if you will display the magazine in your stores?

    • Rebecca Ballenger says:

      Hi Robin, Congratulations on your new magazine! Literacy is one of our core values and we are thrilled to hear from people who look to strengthen early literacy skills. I recommend that you contact the stores directly as each Bookmans location stocks their own shelves. You can either call or email the stores to inquire. Their contact information can be found on our Stores Page.

  9. Mike says:

    I have money card for store in tucson, can i sell it?

    • Rebecca Ballenger says:

      Hi Mike, Your trade credit is yours to do with as you wish. Trade credit can be used at any of our stores and never expires. We don’t pay cash for trade credit though. If you want cash, you make that deal with us when you bring in your items to trade.

  10. Mike says:

    no, it is the item that I want to sell. Do you buy it? No exp.

  11. Mike says:

    My money card from restaurant and others, do you buy them?

    • Katy Spratt says:

      Hi, Mike! We do not buy or sell gift cards from other businesses. But please feel free to bring in your books, movies, music, video games, magazines and other media for trade credit or cash. Thank you! ~Katy S.

  12. Burl walter says:

    Have 20 plus years of play boys 4 sale…

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