Walkabout Books is an online antiquarian bookstore located in southwest Washington State. We buy and sell books, ephemera, manuscripts, and archives, with specialties in Americana (especially California and the West) and the literature of travel and adventure, including travel narratives, travel and tourism ephemera (travel diaries, vintage brochures, guidebooks, etc), exploration, mountaineering, and other outdoor pursuits. We also carry fine books in other fields--including literature, world history, social sciences, art and architecture, natural history, and history of science and technology. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA), the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA), and the Ephemera Society, and we regualrly perform IRS-qualified appraisals of books, manuscripts, and archives. We are always interested in purchasing collections or individual books of value (click on the Services link at the top of the page for more information).
Owner Elizabeth Svendsen has been selling books professionally for 18 years. After starting out as an online seller, she established a brick and mortar used bookstore (Blue Jacket Books in Xenia, Ohio) in 2006. Five years later, she sold that business to devote more time to the antiquarian and collectible side of the book trade, founding Walkabout Books in 2011. She has a master's degree in American history from Princeton University and is particularly fond of material relating to quirky 19th century Americana (new religious movements, health crazes, traveling entertainers, cons and frauds, etc). She is also an inveterate armchair adventurer, drawn to the literature of travel and adventure of all kinds, and in particular, tales of wilderness survival, solo sailing, and climbing perilous peaks, as well as books about the exploration of Africa, South America, the American West, and Alaska.
Elizabeth also did graduate work in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University and has worked as a parole officer, domestic violence prevention program coordinator, and social science writer and editor, among other things. She is the co-author (with her father Allan Kronzek) of the New York Times Bestseller The Sorcerer's Companion, A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, an encyclopedic guide to the real history, mythology, and folklore behind the popular series.
Vaughn Svendsen, Elizabeth's husband, recently joined Walkabout Books after a 25-year career as a mechanical engineer, during which he worked in precision machine design and on improving the performance of bearings for gas turbine engines used in military aircraft. He is a lifelong bibliophile who buys books on a very wide range of subjects, from military history to blacksmithing to advanced mathematics. Vaughn is Walkabout Books' photographer, shipper, and bookkeeper at the moment, but will no doubt be adding book cataloging to his bag of tricks very soon.