One Dollar Book Swap opens inside warehouse

Greg Murphy in the children’s book room of One Dollar Book Swap, which opened in July. CONTRIBUTED
Greg Murphy in the children’s book room of One Dollar Book Swap, which opened in July. CONTRIBUTED

Local man expands his fast-growing operation.

A new bookshop, the One Dollar Book Swap, is open for business inside of Murfbooks, a books recycling warehouse in Dayton.

Dayton native and Harrison Twp. resident Greg Murphy owns Murfbooks, at 1723 Webster St., in the Old North Dayton neighborhood.

During his years as an undergraduate business major at Wright State University, Murphy started his business, buying and trading textbooks, then selling them online. The business, Murfbooks, took off, taking so much of his time that 33-year-old Murphy, who received his bachelor’s degree and started his master’s program, is still two credits shy of his graduate degree and doubts he’ll ever finish.

“I was broke and textbooks cost so much, but the bookstore didn’t give us much for the used ones, so I started selling mine online, then bought them from classmates to sell, then in bulk, and it grew into this business,” Murphy said.

Murphy has 18 employees and buys three to four semi-truckloads a week from recyclers, thrift stores, libraries and other places that discard books.

They weigh in at 20 tons a load, “and we sell 10 to 15 percent online and recycle 50 to 60 tons a week,” Murphy said. “Basically, we’re garbage men. We put them on the conveyor belt and sort for the ‘gold,’ those that will sell online, and the rest we recycle.”

Murfbooks has outgrown three spaces, and so Murphy says that he is reluctant to buy the 60,000 square feet warehouse it now occupies because he’s afraid they’ll outgrow that site. “We’ve just added a second conveyor belt to the operation and pre-screening scanning software.” He primarily sells online and to bookstores and wholesalers.

In addition to selling and recycling books, he recently opened the bookshop at the warehouse.

“Many of the books we can’t sell online are too nice for recycling, especially children’s books, so we decided to open the One Dollar Book Swap.

“We open the shop to the public four days a month. Every book on display is a dollar, or, if people want to dig through a 700-pound bulk box, they can fill a bag with books for $10,” he said.

The One Dollar Book Swap is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on the first and third Fridays and Saturdays of each month and noon-5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month. The website is at

“The book shop is a great deal for the community, and I thought it would help teachers; we started in July and the people who have come love it.” In addition to books, divided into 40 categories, DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes and software are available at the One Dollar Book Swap.

And, Murphy’s still buying used textbooks for cash and trade-ins. For every two qualifying books a customer brings in, he gives a dollar trade credit for use in the store.

About the Author