Secondhand bookshops

(47 Posts)
MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 03-Apr-13 16:04:19

So as not to hijack the Dorothy Whipple thread too much.

Clearly I'm not the only one who would rather spend time in a secondhand bookshop - or even a new bookshop - than in a fancy boutique or shoe shop.

Which are your favourite shops?

Also (or should this be a separate thread?) I'm going to be spending two or three hours in Hay-on-Wye soonish, haven't been for decades. Any particular shops to visit? I'm especially interested in fiction, literature and gardening. DH likes a good murder mystery so I assume that Murder and Mayhem is the bookshop for him.

KelleStar Wed 03-Apr-13 16:10:33

Oh for me, it's the BookBarn, it's mahoosive and a 5 minute drive away. We also have some great charity shops around Bath for books.

I once got excited about a set of books at the BookBarn, took them to the desk to buy before remembering that I'd had a clear out a few months before hand and they were my books sad so put them back. Don't need more books that I have already read.

MordecaiAndRigby Wed 03-Apr-13 16:13:52

I live about ten minute drive from here it is my most favourite place EVAH. grin

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 03-Apr-13 16:25:49

Mordecai Wow, that looks fantastic! Not a million miles from us, will have to have a visit one day. Love the George Eliot connection, too, one of my favourite authors.

Kellestar Where is the BookBarn? I've bought books for DH from the local charity shop which he'd read and donated back.

PaddingtonBearsDuffleCoat Wed 03-Apr-13 16:51:51

I haven't been to Hay for a few years but I found all the bookshops there massively overpriced. You can get the same books for less in independent bookshops all over the UK. When we were holidaying near Wigtown in Scotland I spent my birthday browsing in all the bookshops there and in Gatehouse of Fleet. Wigtown calls itself Scotland's book capital and I loved it. Do go onto the second-hand booksellers association website to find small shops and details of up-coming book fairs. I find booksellers will often give a better price if you buy several of their books or are a regular.

anonymosity Wed 03-Apr-13 18:09:52

Skoob books - London

Excellent for mooching about in. Not expensive and if memory serves correctly, on certain days they will do a "swap" if you bring in a certain number of books they're prepared to re-sell then you get a massive discount on the books you want to buy.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 03-Apr-13 19:51:48

Yes, I wondered if Hay would be relatively expensive, although I do remember all the outdoor bookshelves where books were just 50p or so each (probably more now).

I think I'll go with a list of authors to hunt for rather than buying lots of random titles.

Rarely go to London, but skoob looks well worth a visit, thank you animosity

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 03-Apr-13 19:55:47

I love bookshops, I have a great Oxfam bookshop and a hopsice bookshop on the way home from work, I also love to browse in waterstones and can spend fortunes. My favourite birthday was when I abandoned DH and DC's for two nights and took myself off to Oxford, Waterstones, Blackwells and a lovely hotel room all to myself.

We have a lovely small second hand bookshop in our nearest town. I think is an Oxfam bookshop, and it is incredibly well stocked with quality and varied titles. You pay anywhere between 1.50 and 2.99 for paperbacks and many of them look like they have hardly been read. I love browsing and rarely come away empty handed!!

KelleStar Thu 04-Apr-13 18:58:36

near Bristol

It's quite epic, and the coffee shop does huge slices of cake smile

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 04-Apr-13 20:37:05

Today I found a really good shop in Uppermill (Saddleworth/Oldham) called Moorland Books. It was fantastic. Not too big, but decent size and lots of good quality literature. The classics sections were full of good titles. The prices were good, too.

beatricequimby Thu 04-Apr-13 22:14:29

For anyone in or going to Northumberland, I would recommend Barter Books in Berwick on Tweed. Very good value, great adult and children's books. Staff are really helpful.

There is also a fab 2nd hand bookshop in Alnwick in the old railway station. Its very atmospheric and I could spend the day there. More expensive than Berwick though.

beatricequimby Thu 04-Apr-13 22:17:08

Also agree with Paddington about the bookshops in Wigtown. Its really worth going there for the weekend. My favourites are the women's one with a nice cafe and the children's one.

carlajean Thu 04-Apr-13 22:19:08

there's an excellent community bookshop in Clevedon

EggsEggSplat Thu 04-Apr-13 22:25:32

My favourite Hay bookshop as a child was always the Old Cinema, and it probably still is - it's massive, has a bit of everything. Last time we went, I sent them off on a quest to see who could find the weirdest book...

The other good general one is Richard Booth's new(ish) bookshop on Lion Street - I also hear good things about the cafe there, though I haven't tried it myself. Also, make time for an icecream at Shepherd's on the market square - best icecream in the country, IMO. <salivates> Sorry, we were meant to be talking about books, weren't we? But Hay is increasingly foodie these days.

boogiewoogie Thu 04-Apr-13 23:50:23

There is also a Barter Books in Alnwick which is probably the one that you are talking about beatrice. You could easily spend a whole day in there.

My other favourite is Last Century in Innerleithen near Edinburgh.

ellesabe Sat 06-Apr-13 16:27:48

There is usually a great second-hand bookstall on Brighton beach underneath the ruins of West Pier but I've noticed that the whole area is cordoned off for building work this summer sad

Will have to find out where he's relocated to...

marissab Sat 06-Apr-13 17:44:56

I have a yorkshire nomination. There's an old old bookshop in beverley east yorks. I could spend an age in there. They have a massive section of vintage childrens books do i can get janet and johns for my daughter. Love it.

I've recently discovered the book shelves in local charity shops. I normally use the library or buy for kindle but I can't resist a cheap paperback.
Can't stand the local cancer research selection though because they are all just put on the shelf randomly, whereas the British Hear Foundation are in perfect order smile.
A lovely coffee shop near me has a book corner stocked with good quality donated books. You are asked to pay £1 per book into a charity box. I came away with Gone Girl and a Simon Kernick for £2.00!!

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 07-Apr-13 17:10:19

Oxfam often have excellent books, including classics.

Oopla Tue 09-Apr-13 14:16:48

Daisy lane books in Holmfirth is my absolute ideal of a second hand book shop. Books just piled up wherever they'll fit and so very random!

Pootles2010 Tue 09-Apr-13 15:30:18

OOOh thank marissa, I live near there and had no idea! Roughly where is it? Barter books is possibly my favourite place on earth. I luff it.

Pollaidh Tue 09-Apr-13 15:43:16

Hay on Wye is rather overpriced.

Edinburgh - book shop on the lower part of the Royal Mile, on the right hand side as you go up. Can't remember its name though. A lot of collectors items.

Betws-y-Coed - a bookshop near all the cafes. It's a small village so easy to find.

Cambridge - The Haunted Bookshop - collectors childrens books upstairs and a mix I think downstairs.

Bath - for cheap paperbacks the Guildhall Indoor Market is a good bet. Also an Oxfam bookshop.

Bristol - not sure if it's still there but there was a nice Oxfam bookshop in Clifton, on the Triangle/top of Park Street.

EggsEggSplat Tue 09-Apr-13 15:49:51

Bristol has at least two good Oxfam bookshops - the top of Park St one, and also (nicer in my opinion) the one on Cotham Hill, which has a very good range. They both have quite a lot of academic and non-fiction stuff as well as fiction, being so close to the university.

There is also the Amnesty bookshop on Gloucester Road, which is pretty big.

The other brilliant second-hand bookshop in Bristol is Bloom and Curll, on Colston Street, near the top of Christmas Steps. Small, quirky, friendly. Actually, I haven't been in that area for a while - I hope it's still going.

iseenodust Tue 09-Apr-13 15:55:31

marissa what street is the Beverley one on please ?
Wigtown was great on a rainy day, just moved along to the next bookshop and some do fab cakes.

OrWellyAnn Tue 09-Apr-13 19:07:37

Barter Books in Alnwick. They have some wonderful books there, I could easily spend all day, and there is a train running round above the shelves which keeps ds quiet. (for at least 5 minutes!)

TunipTheVegedude Tue 09-Apr-13 19:13:48

The Beverley one is fabulous. I always spend more money there than I do in any of the ones in York - probably because it is cheaper.

DH and I spent a weekend in Hay pre-kids and came away without buying a single book. Saw lots of things we wanted but nothing at a reasonable price.

LifeofPo Tue 09-Apr-13 19:17:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scarthin Books in Cromford, Derbyshire is great. I too read a lot of e books since getting my kindle, but there is always a place for paper. Hard copy purchases now tend to be objects of desire rather than utility. Quick reads are done electronically.

I went to Hay 20 years ago and I thought my head was going to explode. I love books and bookshops, but there were so many that I just couldn't cope and kind of ran about in circles wanting everything.

elkiedee Wed 15-May-13 02:21:32

I love charity shops - two of the best for bargains in north London are Dalston Oxfam and the Green Lanes (Harringay) Marie Curie shop near the Ladder roads.

In central London, Any Amount of Books is near Leicester Square tube station and they have a lot of review copies of books come in. If you buy a lot they'll say "call it x" so things often cost a bit less than marked prices.

Afrikasmum Thu 16-May-13 14:14:12

I very much enjoy a nostalgia hit with Jane Badger Books. She has an online bookshop selling vintage children's books, including a vast selection of pony books.

PatriciaHolm Thu 16-May-13 14:42:40

There is a lovely one next to the Ironbridge in Ironbridge gorge. Next to a tea shop so the kids and I ran back and forwards between DH and tea and cake and the bookshop!

Bloodybridget Mon 20-May-13 13:59:33

For old children's books my favourites are Ripping Yarns in Archway Road, London, and The Haunted Bookshop in St Edward's Passage, Cambridge.

Limelight Mon 20-May-13 14:07:32

Absolutely Barter Books in Alnwick. It's my favourite favourite place in the world!

michelleblane Fri 24-May-13 13:54:34

I know two people have already mentioned it, but Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland is a must. Books on everything, rare out of print, and up to date best sellers. It is in the old railway station, roaring fires, self service coffee and biccies in one part, or cafe with delicious food and seating in the old waiting rooms and buffet! I visit at least twice a week. If you take a bag of books, they look through them and give you credit. Any book you buy has the price and their stamp clearly marked. Then if you return it you get 50% back in credit. You can take your dog too and they have jars of doggie treats to help yourself to. (for the dog)

NowIncognito Sun 28-Jul-13 22:33:21

Anyone who is familiar with Barter Books in Alnwick - do you know whether they would give any credit for secondhand children's books (in good condition)? Going there in a few weeks, and not sure whether it's worth finding space in the car for a couple of bags of books the kids have grown out of.

Campaspe Mon 29-Jul-13 18:35:21

Bookbarn - it's in Hallatrow, a little Somerset village just a short drive from Bristol/Bath. The books are stocked in a rather haphazard fashion, but you can uncover some real gems. Best of all, all the books are just £1 each. Well worth a visit.

There is a small, second-hand children's bookshop that has recently opened in Colston Road in Bristol. It's a rather quirkly little place, but well worth a visit. The owner is on twitter as @bookben76.

Are there any decent second hand bookshops in Oxford? I'm going there for a visit soon, and as a booklover, what should I aim to see or visit?

Campaspe Mon 29-Jul-13 18:37:35

Here is a link about this children's bookshop in Bristol:

littlerach Sun 04-Aug-13 17:58:58

The Bookbarn is awesome - my friend and I and our three children spent over three hours there and came away with a stack of books each. And hey have a nice café smile
I can recommend Crabpot Books in Cley next the Sea in Norfolk - grea selection ad a friendly owner who knows her stuff.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Mon 05-Aug-13 08:45:55

Campsape sorry, have you been to Oxford yet? Only just seen your post.

If you've not been, Blackwell's in Broad Street is the place to go. Make sure you visit the Norrington Room, a huge underground room. Secondhand and Rare Books are now on the second floor, a bit cramped but worth browsing. They have an Art Book shop across the road.

Sadly, some of the secondhand bookshops have closed over the years, but Oxfam have two good ones, in Turl Street and St Giles. There are a couple of very specialist academic secondhand booksellers, but I haven't been in so can't recommend.

If you've already been, I hope you had a good time.

aoife24 Thu 22-Aug-13 13:38:16

I like rummaging in charity shops and just seeing what turns up, I love the serendipity of it. Obviously, some areas deliver 'better' findings but I find the Bethany shops are all worth an explore, not sure why that would be though.

Campaspe Tue 27-Aug-13 19:03:45

MiddleAge - no, I haven't been yet, I'm going on Saturday. I will definitely be looking for Blackwell's and the Norrington Room. Thanks for the recommendation.

GypsyJo Thu 29-Aug-13 19:53:36

Scarthin Books at Cromford in Derbyshire is brilliant. It's on about 4 or 5 floors, has a veggie cafe and lots of hidey holes, secret door and rooms of different genres. Shame it's about an hour away from where I live but I go as often as I can.

VJONES1985 Thu 29-Aug-13 21:47:17

The best one (and the biggest in the UK) is Baggins in Rochester, Kent. It's in a Tudor building sloping floors, ceiling high shelves that go back and back and thousands of books on four floors. It's a maze! And amazing!

lotsofdirections Sat 31-Aug-13 00:12:30

Charlie Byrnes in Galway

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sat 31-Aug-13 14:27:13

Campaspe you're probably in there now! Let us know how you got on. I will be going some time next week, I'm looking forward to it.

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