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Louisville's Full Service Internet Bookstore--Buying and Selling Estates and Fine Book Collections Since 1998

General Info

A Book By Its Cover is Louisville's Finest Used and Rare Bookstore, with thousands of volumes of hard-to-find books on Louisville and Kentucky History, Genealogy, Military, Art and Art History, and much more.  Just click on our website and you can access our entire inventory in a variety of categories.  For internet orders, we accept checks, money orders, Mastercard/Visa and Paypal.


Regular Hours

  • Art
  • Art Books
  • History Books
  • Military Books
  • Military Surplus
  • Religious Books
Payment method
check, visa, mastercard, paypal
Hawthorne, Upper Highlands

Free in-home evaluation of estates and libraries available with just a phone call.  We offer the highest prices anywhere in the area along with same-day removal of books and professional courtesy throughout. 

Used & Rare Books, Book Stores, Antiques, Second Hand Dealers, Books-Wholesale & Manufacturers, Estate Appraisal & Sales


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Adele P.



I contacted the owner via the web site and bought the book I wanted on his doorstep ... literally. I would love to have browsed a bit, but a nasty storm was supposed to be a-comin' through, thus the rush buying. I will return another time. The book is as described (signed and in fine/like new condition). He also very kindly honored an online coupon, which is very much appreciated. Thank you, Mr Johmann.



A Book By Its Cover is the bes...

A Book By Its Cover is the best used and rare bookstore in Louisville--period. The owner KNOWS books and can give you an honest appraisal and a fair offer. I just retired from the university and decided to downsize my library earlier this week. When I called the store, the owner was able to stop by the same day and look over my collection. Really enjoyed talking with him about book collecting and we were able to make a deal on the spot. Thanks again.



Best used book store in Louisv...

Best used book store in Louisville! Awesome collection of Beat and Black Mountain poetry from the 50s and 60s. Even had signed editions of Ginsberg and others! Put this store on your Christmas shopping list.



I just came back to Louisville...

I just came back to Louisville to close up my father's estate and found A Book By Its Cover through YP. Two big thumbs up to the owner for meeting with me on short notice and helping me take care of my father's books in less than a day. This dealer knows his stuff!



This is definitely the place f...

This is definitely the place for Military History, especially Civil War and World War II. On my last visit I loaded up on both of those categories but he also had some stuff you don't usually see around Louisville, like the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. If you like military history, check this dealer's inventory on-line.



Many thanks for the courteous,...

Many thanks for the courteous, professional appraisal of our parents' estate. There are three children in the family and we had no idea how to divide up the almost 1000 books in our parents' library or whether any of them had any collectors' value. The bookdealer provided us with a written appraisal in less than a week and even divided up the more valuable books into three groups of equal value. All in all a pretty painless process at a very reasonable rate. I definitely recommend this dealer to anyone looking to settle an estate.



Excellent Service From a Professional Dealer

Thanks again for evaluating my grandfather's estate. You ended up saving us 100s of dollars in appraisal fees and we were able to wind up the books in the estate in just one day. We highly recommend this dealer for his knowledge of bookselling and taking the time to explain which books are worth keeping, which are worth selling, and for how much.



Thanks for the Last Minute Christmas Gift!

Thanks to A Book By Its Cover for shipping a last minute Christmas Gift in record time! Ordered the book on Thursday and the book arrived by priority mail on Saturday. Now it's wrapped and under the tree and I know my husband is really going to enjoy it. Outstanding!



Who Knew? Italian Music Scholarship For Sale in a Local Bookstore?! I Just Love It

I love cruising the local bookstores for the odd title you just can't find anywhere but I just checked out the newest selection of used books for sale at A Book By Its Cover and the owner has an entire bookcase of Italian Renaissance music scholarship for sale--most of it in Italian! Now that's what I call a great, eclectic bookstore! I dare you to find THAT at your local Borders or Barnes and Noble. Keep Louisville Weird! Any chance you'll be stocking Medieval manuscripts anytime soon?



What A Great Selection of Kentucky Books!

Can't tell you how happy I am to have found this store on-line. I've been looking FOREVER for some Kentucky county history books so I could do my family's genealogy. Last week I found this store through and ordered two Kentucky county histories that are not to be found anywhere else in the country--and believe me, I've searched. They arrived in the mail yesterday in BRAND NEW condition. Didn't even need to spend money on gas to pick them up! What a great service! Access the store's website and you can look at their entire inventory on-line. Their Kentucky section really is tops!

Friendly, Professional Service If You're Downsizing

My wife and I are moving into a condo and I needed to downsize my library by a few hundred books. Called A Book By Its Cover. The owner was able to come out the same day and bought a lot of the theology and Biblical commentaries I don't need anymore. He has a background as a Professor so it was enjoyable to talk books with him while he was here. It's nice to find a book dealer who actually knows the books he is dealing with. The price he offered was very fair and I was happy to see my books go to a dealer who will find a good home for them. Thanks and I hope your business continues to grow.



Thanks for the Operas on CD

Although their focus is on books, the owner carries a nice selection of opera on CD. Found his listings on Alibris and then called to confirm they were still in stock. The owner explained they all came from a single estate and were in like-new condition, so I went ahead and ordered three titlles, one by Handel and two by Mozart. They arrived in just a few days and they were everything I had hoped for. Thanks again for carrying these.



Thanks for the Easton Press Books

Needed an Easton Press signed first edition for an upcoming birthday present and found this store right here in town. The volume was beautiful--exactly as described in the on-line inventory. My father really enjoyed his present! Good going, A Book By Its Cover.



Very Courteous Dealer--Still Makes Housecalls!

Thank you Mr Johmann for coming to my parents' house last week and looking over their collection. My sisters and I were very happy with the offer you made us for the estate. Keep up the good work and we hope your car's shocks were able to stand up to the strain of all the books!



Top Notch Service and a First Rate Dealer

I always look for theology and Biblical commentaries but hadn't heard about this store till I found it on-line. Found some great New Testament commentaries and a few Hebrew/English and Greek/English dictionaries for really low prices. Ordered them on-line and had them shipped to me in Indiana. Arrived in just 3 days. Great experience.



Really Nice to Get an Honest Appraisal

Before I called A Book By Its Cover I had two other dealers tell me my book collection was worthless. They were only willing a give me a bulk price that worked out to 25 cents per book. A Book By Its Cover took the time to show me which books were valuable and which ones weren't and in the end I was able to sell the better books for a price I was happy with. Thanks!



Found Some Great Kentucky Books Here!

Found this store through the yellowpages and then clicked on their internet inventory. Found some great local history on Louisville and Early Kentucky history. Went ahead and made the purchase and the books arrived in 3 days. Terrific quality--just as described--and some of these are really hard to find books. I strongly recommend.



Excellent Appraisal Service--Fast and Inexpensive

Called the owner last week about about an insurance appraisal of my parents' library and he was able to look up the books and write up an evaluation within 5 days. The owner is also a professor with a lot of experience working with rare books. He treated me very courteously and took the time to explain which books are really worth keeping and which ones I should just throw away. Very satisfied.

Michael J.


Sold My Family's Estate in One Day

Excellent service--Called the store in the morning and the store owner was able to stop by in the afternoon and make a offer on my father's library. We agreed on a price and he was able to remove the books the same day.