Chessler Books
Rock Climbing - Mountaineering - Exploration
New - Used - Collectible - Signed
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J K L M Mc N O P Q

We Buy Mountaineering Books!

What we buy and do not buy in Mountaineering Books!

We buy collections or individual books like the ones on this website. That means books on Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Exploration, Tibet, the Himalaya, The Arctic and Antarctic, and other true adventures.   

We prefer hardcovers, the older the better, with Dust Jackets if they had one, in nice condition. We like Signed books, old climbing guidebooks, and generally books that we sell for more than $50.  We do not usually buy paperbacks, very recent books, books in poor condition, magazines, and books that we would price under $50.  We really like to buy older books, books in nice condition, and uncommon books.

Although we do not buy magazines and paperbacks, as they are a lot of work to sell, we will take them for free if we are buying other books from you. Paperbacks were created to sell at a low price. We do not buy books that we will sell for $5. 

We also buy old climbing gear, pitons, ice axes, goldline and manila rope, etc.

Prices of used books has been dropping for several years. That applies to all used books, not just mountaineering.  Since 1960 more nice climbing books have been published than at anytime in history. But the internet has now made most of them easy to find, which means they now fetch low prices even if they were expensive 25 years ago. So if your books were new when you bought them, as opposed to used books and decades old, most have very low value right now. 
Whether you have 5 or 500 books to sell, please call us before you make a list. Call us at 720 560-4963  any day, all day, or e-mail us at We need to talk on the phone as it is much better than e-mails. If you have already made a list of your books, please e-mail it to us. But don't start making a list until we talk. 90% of what is written on a list is unnecessary for us. A photo of the whole shelf answers most of our questions. See our example below. 
If your collection is very large, we can even fly or drive to you to pick it up. We have done this dozens of times over the last 45 years. We pay generously for fine collections, and we can do all the work. Since the Pandemic in 2020 we have driven over 10,000 miles to Phoenix AZ, Durango CO, Silicon Valley CA, Seattle, Oregon twice, and towed numerous U-Haul trailer loads of books to our bookshop. In 2021 I even flew to Juneau AK to buy books and in 2023 I drove to Toronto and pulled a trailer of books back! 

This summer of 2024 we will be driving to California and Washington to buy some larger book collections. So if you have books to sell, please call us to start the ball rolling as we will be a day's drive from you if you live in the western USA. 

How much do we pay for books?

Used book sellers do not buy at a percent of their selling price. Nobody buys a box of books or a room full of books by any formula. And we will not look at a list of books with the prices taken from ebay or our website and come up with a price we will pay based on selling prices. Every book has different demand, and supply, that affects the price.

Why not? For the same reason food, clothes, houses and cars sell for different prices and mark-ups. Each item is unique. Used book prices are usually based on the demand for the specific book, in the condition of each book, and the current supply both on-line and through our other ways of buying books. 

Right now, in the 2020's, it is much easier to find, and harder to sell, many of the books that were scarcer 20 years ago. 

A Hint on Taking Photos of Your Books

If you do not have a list, an easy way to let us know what you have is to take photos and email them to us. Here is an example of some books that a fellow had on his shelves. Just get them well lit (daylight is best), take some images, and send them to our email: Make the longest dimension at least 800 pixels, oir 5 inches.  

Some hints on packing books for shipping:

If you ship your books to us, we have some ideas on the best way to do it. 

Pack books tightly in a sturdy well taped box with crushed newspaper between the books and the box, and between the stacks of books, so they wont move and get damaged. Best way to stack books is flat, and never vertically with the spine up. Vertical is okay for cheap books to fill space. If the books have dust jackets wrap each book so the jackets don't get damaged. Ship them by the Post Office's Media Rate, the PO will try to upsell you to a faster service which is a waste of money. 

I never use insurance. If you like, insure for the minimum only, as the Post Office never loses insured packages, and they also never pay for high value losses! Keep the boxes light, between 20 and 30 lbs. I am almost 80 years old and can't lift heavy boxes!

UPS and FedEx ground services are premium services, and in our experience they are not much faster or careful than the Post Office. The Post Office's Media Rate is a bargain, it costs only a fraction of UPS's cheapest rate. However, UPS will pick up boxes at your house if you are unable to carry boxes to the Post Office or a UPS store. 

In 2023 we have noticed that Post Office delivery has speeded up! 

If you need to buy boxes to mail your books, we recommend buying a bundle of 25 boxes from, a great supplier of business supplies. Our favorite size is 16''x12''x8'' or smaller. That will hold 25 lbs of books, and works for even the largest picture books, as well as stacks of normal 9'' books.  

U-Line boxes are  cheap, $1 to $2 each, and even with shipping charges to you, they cost half of what U-Haul charges. The U-Haul book box is 16x12x12, similar to our recommendations, but is 25% larger and gets too heavy to lift when full of books. Also, they use lightweight cardboard that can blow open. You spent a lot to buy your books, and took care of them for decades. Don't let them get damaged at this point. 

How to tape a box of books:

Most boxes we see do not use enough tape. Use better quality tape, not the cheap stuff. For 10-20 boxes you only need a few rolls of tape, and we can supply you with tape, as we buy the best quality available. 

Tape all the places where there is an edge of cardboard. Boxes burst open where the are made to open, where the flaps lift. So tape the long seam on the top, and bottom. Then tape the edges where the top flaps meet the sides. Do not wrap the box with tape. Well, okay, do whatever you want. But tape it this way is the correct way. We often use a second layer of tape, then press it down with our  hand.  On the photo  below, notice the  raw edge on the left. Yes, put tape on that weak spot as well.  It is the only place the box is glued, so reinforce it. 

Above: The box in the photo is about 16x16x12, too large by my standards. I used boxes this large when I was 30 years old. I used to ship boxes up to their legal limit, 70 lbs. Now I am too frail to lift that much, and the books are thanking me for using smaller boxes. 

Where to pack books, ship books and tape a box:

Below: Please look at two things. One, he has double taped each place he used tape.   You are taping the box so it will not open accidentally. Even the best tape can break open or lift off. So use a double layer and rub it with your hand to be sure the tape is adhering properly. Note that also that he has taped every place where a box normally open. The folded edges almost never break. However, the vertical edges are where boxes will break. In the next photo we will show you how to protect against that.     

Nobody ever told me how to ship books or tape a box. So we looked at boxes that came to us and had broken open. The photo below is a real order we are shipping. Notice that eight edges are taped, actually double taped. That is the strongest way to tape a box. 

Also note that we are not using plastic tape, rather reinforced paper tape. It is much stronger and adheres better than plastic tape.  It took Amazon ten years before they finally saw the light, and they are now using reinforced paper tape. They went away from plastic tape after replacing nobody knows how many lost and damaged orders. Plastic tape works fine if you use the best quality tape, and make sure it is stuck on really well. Of course when using a plastic envelope like the Post Office Flat Rate Priority Padded Envelope, only plastic tape will work. 

Also notice the use of reinforced filament tape around the box. But where?  Not around the top and bottom in the middle like a suitcase, but protecting the edges and corners which are the vulnerable places where a box can fail.  If we are buying your books and putting them in our truck or trailer, this much taping is overkill. We tape this well when the box is heavy and going through the post office, UPS or FedEx. If we buy your books and ship them to us, this is the way we like to see the boxes taped. We can supply you with tape as sometimes it is only available in quantity.

How to pack books for shipping.

Books should be shipped in stacks. The worst way pack books is on their edge with the open end down and spine up. They can be shipped spine down, or standing up like they were on a shelf, but I think flat stacks are best. 

Most books are between 8 inches and 10 inches tall. Sort and pack them them by size. If we provide the boxes, we use a box size that is 14''x12''x8''. That lends itself well to accepting two stacks of books, yet it will also accept large picture books. 

If you are providing the boxes I recommend purchasing them from The box is item S-4530. That is a 200 lb test box, which is the normal cardboard strength we need.  In 2024 they are only $1.29 each. However, shipping the boxes to you can be as much as $2 or more for each, and they come in bundles of 25.  There are lighter weight and a heavier weight boxes available but they are not appropriate for shipping books. 

U-Haul book boxes are too large and too flimsy. Boxes from Office Depot and UPS Stores are good, but are very expensive, which is okay if you need only a few. Costco sells heavy duty tape in packs of 6 rolls. It's good stuff, we used it for years. U-Line tape is equal or better, and cheaper, but only comes in boxes of 24 or 36 rolls. And a case of the reinforced paper tape is over $100!

Also get some clean scrap cardboard, heavy duty plastic tape and some 3/4'' filament tape.  

Boxes are weakest on the bottom, the corners, and where the flaps meet the ends. If you are using a used box that has old tape on it, remove the tape unless it looks like it is really on there well. Old paper tape always needs some good plastic tape over it. All old plastic tape should be removed and replaced. 

Get some scrap cardboard. Cardboard has a direction that allows it to be folded easily one  way. Cut some pieces that are 6'' x 12''. Cut them to size and fold them so that it folds easily into an L shape. Slide it down into the corners of each box.

If you have a lot of oversize books, they can be stacked in a box, but never fill more than half a box with big books. Big books are much heavier than normal books, so on top of big books I fill up the box with regular books. Use crushed newspaper between the books and the box, especially in the corners. It is important to have the books not touching the corners of the box.

All boxes have one seam in a corner. That is the weakest part of the box. Use a double layer of tape on that corner, also extra tape on the long seam on the bottom of the box. When a box is full, you should tape all the edges where the flaps touch the box. Sometimes I also tape all 4 of the corners, not just the glued seam. Wrap the box with filament tape as in the photo. Boxes are weakest on the bottom, the corners, and where the flaps meet the ends.