While you are dining with us, we hope you can stroll through the second-hand bookstore after which we are proudly named. Summer hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 to 5 and sometimes in the evenings as well. You can call 508-349-3154, before coming, to make sure it is open.
Step inside and you are stepping back in time, into a used bookstore, which is increasingly hard to find these days. Oceans of Books by the Sea is a real print lover’s haven of crammed shelves bending from the weight of books. Our bookstore is here today and it will still be here tomorrow. In this special place, there will always be an unusual book that it is hard to find anywhere else, or a good novel to read on the beach.
The bookstore started in 1934, as The Auditorium, named after the Memorial Auditorium in Worcester which had just been built. The owner, Stephen Willins (aka Grandpa), stocked the shelves with literature that would please and inspire the many different readers. There were comic books galore, for the kids, and daily newspapers for their parents, as well as books of all genres for old and young.
When Mr. Willins’ daughter and son-in-law moved to Wellfleet, he supplied them with books to start their second-hand bookstore on Railroad Avenue. A few years later, he followed them, bringing just a few more books, and opened Oceans of Books by the Sea in the back of The Cape Cod Clam Box.
Today, Oceans of Books by the Sea specializes in rare and antique books, including medical reference, religious, historical and nature hardcovers. In the store, one can find first edition and signed antique books. These beautiful artifacts often contain imprints inside them. The store also sells an extensive variety of vintage magazines, vintage pulp magazines and pulp paperbacks, and, still, comic books galore.
While it seems unkempt, many a customer has been baffled by being able to find just the book she or he was looking for, by following their nose. When you hear a loud shout of “Oh Wow!” or “Ah ha!!” from an aisle or two over, you’ll know someone just found the second-hand book that they had been looking for.