Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

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Eagle Bookshop /BEDFORD/16-20 St Peters Street  
The Eagle Bookshop   Open at advertised times
16-20 St Peters Street    BEDFORD  MK40 2NN
tel:  01234 269295  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday to Saturday 10.00 - 5.30, Sunday 11 - 4
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We are a large, inviting and fully accessible rare and second-hand bookshop with over 50,000 books on the shelves. We relocated from Castle Road, Bedford in October 2019 after trading there for 28 happy years. Our prices start at £1 (we have thousands of 'one pounders' in the 'Bargain Zone') while we also have hundreds of rare, collectable and antiquarian volumes in the display cabinets for the serious collector. Most of the books on the main shelves are priced between £5 and £20.

In a quiet part of the town, just outside the centre. A fairly large shop, with several rooms; very well laid out; a good mixture of modern and antiquarian books; friendly and helpful staff. Well worth a visit.  Richard Beaton 
Fairly large stock in this out of town shop. Owner certainly knew his subject. Very good local and regional holdings and some rare topography books.  Chris Harte 13.10.09
Lots of very erudite and arcane looking tomes. Few really readable books but some beautiful volumes on display. What a second hand bookshop should look and feel like but something was missing for me ...  Jon Morgan 20.02.12
Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Bedford otherwise refer to the comprehensive and interesting website first. During the week you will probably have the shop to yourself. Parking and refreshments nearby.  OWC 10.09.12
Lovely shop, knowledgeable owner, wide selection and fair prices. well worth a visit.  Astrid 06.03.13
Excellent, interesting and characterful stock in four or five rooms, moderately priced. Includes a "bookshop within a bookshop" as it's described: a room with shelves of £1, £2 or £5 etc books, with some nice finds. WWAD. Street parking outside.  Mark V 02.04.15
A very good bookshop if you are a keen specialist in the history of mathematics philosophy and the sciences. For those interests WWAD. Less outstanding, but still good and WAD. Certainly one of Bedford's more compelling features.  The Bookman 16.07.16
Excellent shop, the very epitome of what a secondhand bookshop should be. Strong on engineering and the arts as well as local history. Don't miss the vintage telegraphy equipment upstairs. WWAD if you're anywhere near Bedford.  Steven Kelly 08.04.17
Excellent shop. VG stock and good prices. We always call in when in the area. WWAD.  David 21.04.17
An excellent but pricey shop laid out across 5 rooms. 1 room upstairs has been turned into a sale room with books for £1 or £2. Those books seem unsorted so one needs plenty of time to browse. The history room for me was towards the back upstairs, and although the military holdings were extensive, I struggled to find any naval or aviation books to buy. Despite this weakness in stock I came away with 2 books so not a wasted journey. Pricing for me was on the high side as just about every military hardback I pulled out was £10 so 2 books on intelligence in WW2 I didn't buy as a result. Lastly there's an onsite toilet upstairs if like me you've travelled far.  Laurence Batchelor 25.09.18
A marvellous bookshop. I've been visiting it for years and always come away with wonderful things. Owner friendly and helpful and prices extremely fair. Very much the place to discover new and unfamiliar things, even for the seasoned collector.  Christopher 08.10.18
Excellent shop WWAD and with friendly and knowledgeable staff. Good range of subjects covered and strong on John Bunyan and local interest. Note that they are preparing to move into a larger shop in the town centre so check before travelling. Their website is well worth a look.  Steven 17.06.19
Reopend in magnificent premises at the heart of the town with 5,000 sq ft of ground floor sales space.  TBG 21.10.19
Same excellent stock. Nearly all subjects available, but especially good for non-fiction. Well lit and spacious. Sofas and chairs everywhere. Fair priced, owner gives generous discounts. Parking available nearby. Highly recommended.  Charles Day 28.10.19

Emmaus Village Carlton/CARLTON/School Lane
Emmaus Village Carlton  Open at advertised times
School Lane   CARLTON   MK43 7LQ
tel: 01234 720826  web 
Open:  Tuesday - Saturday 9.30 - 4.30, Sunday 10.00 - 4.00.
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Donated books and records.

Rather feels like an old school in an out of the way place in Bedfordshire. Very much a large charity shop with free parking and an onsite cafe. The place was busy on a weekday and I found the books to be spread between 3 rooms. The first fiction and children's, the second where the till and cafe were was named popular authors like Patricia Cornwell etc and the third was non-fiction. Pricing was £2 hardback and £1 softbacks. Quality was low but there was probably about 1000 books but I came away with 0 purchases.  Laurence Batchelor 24.09.18

Mary_s Bookshop/BEDFORD/6 Springfield Centre
Mary's Bookshop  Open at advertised times
6 Springfield Centre  Kempston   BEDFORD   MK42 7PR
tel: 07746512957  web 
Open:  Tuesday 10.00 - 2.00, Thursday & Saturday 11.00 - 2.00.
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Mary's Bookshop sells second hand books, records (compact discs, DVD's and tape). All have been donated and we have a stock which is possibly as large as 20,000 books. Raising funds for the Sue Ryder Care Home, Moggerhanger.

Still exists in a rather bleak and windswept arcade just o/s Bedford - many of other units shut down. Strange opening hours but looks like a large and varied stock thru the window. Free carparking at rear. Maybe WAD - to confirm.  Jon Morgan 20.02.12
There are indeed 20,000 books but mostly pulp fiction pretty much ready for pulping. Hard work to find and hard work to find much to buy but very good value. Slightly weird Samuel Beckett atmosphere that I thoroughly enjoyed.  rickenbacker 06.09.13
Visited Tuesday 8th November. Closed for refurbishment.  June Skelley 15.11.16

Oxfam Bookshop/BEDFORD/16 St. Pauls Square
Oxfam Bookshop  Open at advertised times
16 St. Pauls Square   BEDFORD   MK40 1SL
tel: 01234 213768  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.15 - 5.15.
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Small outlet at a busy junction in the bustling centre of Bedford. Broad range of titles with the CD and DVD section kept at bay. Average Oxfam prices.  Steven Kelly 08.04.17
Like the previous reviewer nothing much has changed this is a small outlet in the centre of Bedford. Paid parking near the embankment and then it's a pleasant walk past the castle ruins. The shop has very small sections on every category but the quality was low. The rare antiquarian shelves were also over-priced.  Laurence Batchelor 25.09.18

Word/BEDFORD/167 Castle Road
The Word  Open at advertised times
167 Castle Road   BEDFORD   MK40 3RU
tel: 01234 343353  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.00.
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We sell a wide range of Bibles and Christian books, both new and second hand. Specialist stock of children's Christian books. We also stock Christian CDs, DVDs, gifts and cards. We opened in September 2011 and are at the corner of Denmark Street. The Number 4 bus stops nearby.