2nd Act Books

Welcome to 2nd Act Books

New This Month


Downtown Holiday Open House

Never too early to start thinking about shopping locally for any gifts you want to send to family and friends you may not be able to see this season. The Downtown Merchants' Association has put together a list of businesses participating in this weekend's glamorama parade of discounts. At 2nd Act Books, every item in the store will be discounted by 10% from Nov. 20-22. Remember - free parking in either garage Sat/Sun. We're open Thurs 11-6, Fri/Sat 11-8, and Sunday noon-5. Hope to see you this weekend.

Safety Updates

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we're asking that guests wear masks while in the store. If you don't have one with you, we have extras at the door. We're also looking out for your safety with gloves and hand sanitizer, as well as the most extensive plexiglass shield in the state!

Support Us Online

Our online stores are up and running! You can now browse our collections on AbeBooks and Biblio.

In addition to supporting us through ordering online, you can also go through Bookshop.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local bookstores. Bookshop's annual proceeds are also divided among all indie bookshops in the U.S.. They've already helped us cover two weeks of payroll!

Books for all Ages

Locally-owned | Free WiFi
Pets Welcome

We are on the historic Charlottesville downtown mall, across from the Paramount Theater, at the location of the former Read it Again, Sam. We carry the same categories of second-hand books that previous owner Dave Taylor stocked, although our specialty is a large children's and YA section. For those familiar with Dave’s store, you will be glad to see some familiar faces. Michael McGee, actor and teacher, is here to help with all genres. If you’ve been visiting for more than a decade, you’ll see that Michele Allen (with ten years’ experience in the book business) has returned. But wait –there’s more. Mike K Johnson, musician and IT geek, is our sci-fi specialist.


Get involved here in Charlottesville


We're excited to be working with the Virginia Discovery Museum -- with a mission of fostering intellectual curiosity and development in the children of our community, the VDM creates a deep and positive impact on the Charlottesville community. Check their website this fall to see our kids' events on their online calendar.

In partnership with the VDM, we're providing their members with a 'Discovery Deal' at 2nd Act.
VDM Discovery-level members receive one free children's book priced at $5 or less with the purchase of a book by the parent when they show their valid VDM membership ID card.

Staff Photo


2nd Act Kids Club

Starting February 2020, we're offering a Kid's Club discount on children's books. Buy nine children's books and get the tenth one free for up to $10 value. Ask for a Kid's Club card at the register!

2nd Act Logo


This store is a second act for owner Daphne Spain. Daphne taught in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia for thirty years before retiring in 2016. While still teaching, she volunteered to dust books at Read it Again, Sam. And look where it got her! From duster to owner in the blink of an eye.

Stop by and she’ll tell you about her grandmother’s bookstore, and show you the picture of her grandniece, who’s already reading in the bathtub at seven months. We want to encourage readers of all ages. Our children’s section attracts the younger set, with books and games to occupy them while their parents shop for award-winning fiction or a favorite mystery. Space is available for small reading events by local authors and poets.

We have come a long way since our empty shelves of February 2019. Thank you to everyone in the community who has donated books and/or time to help us succeed!