Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

New bookshop Books on the Hill

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Books on the Hill /ST ALBANS/1 Holywell Hill
Books on the Hill   Open at advertised times
1 Holywell Hill  ST ALBANS  AL1 1ER
tel:  01727 807248  e-mail   web   
Open: Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5:30, Sunday 11.00 - 4.00
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We are an independent family-run bookshop in the heart of St Albans, Hertfordshire. Our doors first opened on 11th November 2019.

The prices are high for fairly common books but their condition is exemplary. Unusually much of their stock is arranged by the colour of their bindings, so if you want a purple book, this is the place for you.  Gary 28.11.21
A beautiful shop, divided roughly 60/ 40 New / Secondhand. The latter are mainly collectable antiquarian rather than more modern second hand and although the building and the set-up are second to none, I found little of interest here.  Firedrake 02.12.21
Yes, lovely shop and very pleasant staff. The back room has all the second hand stock. Some shelves of fairly common old Penguins, rather overpriced, but the majority of the stock consists of many sets of shelves of elderly jacketless hardbacks, all arranged by spine colour rather than subject. Decorative but very hard to search through. I didn't see anything worth buying.  PeterM 30.08.22

David_s Bookshop/LETCHWORTH/14 Eastcheap
David's Bookshop  Open at advertised times
14 Eastcheap   LETCHWORTH   SG6 3DE
tel: 01462 684631 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 8.00 - 7.00 & Sunday 11.00 - 5.00.
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A new bookshop with a large general stock of secondhand and some antiquarian books.

A long established cheap shop with a good turnover and frequent sales. Very likeable staff. One of my very favourite shops for 24 years.  M.G. Conor 
I have now made three recent visits to this shop and each time I find treasures hidden away. The two floors are mainly secondhand but it is upstairs where the good stuff is to be found. Pricing on the low side. If visiting take time for a decent search.  Chris Harte 13.10.09
I've been visiting this shop regularly since 1985 (so M.G.Conor and I must have started going there almost simultaneously) and can only confirm the praise heaped on it by earlier reviewers. I always find good things there. It's also attached to an independent record shop with plenty of secondhand CDs etc. Letchworth hasn't got much to recommend it - the early garden city houses are very fine if you like that sort of thing, but David's is the jewel in the crown of the town.  David Gouldstone 30.10.09
    Friendly, long-established shop with continually renewed general stock, frequent sales, huge cheap tables outside, interesting new and remaindered book sections, attached music shop, and a real community purpose.  conormg 27.01.11
Great hour or two on a bank holiday searching through the extensive secondhand sections of this fine shop. Spent around £65 on a nice stack of books (from £1.50 to £10 each), very good prices, especially on the older, obscure books, of which there were plenty. All in all, definitely one not to miss.  M&O 05.09.12
This shop is highly recommendable. There is a vast selection of books and vinyl and prices are generally fair and consistent. We bought some interesting things on our last visit and shall certainly be going back when we are in that neck of the woods.  Nicholas Pendower 08.09.12
Plenty to enjoy on my first visit for several years. Good for military history in particular. And there is now a cafe instore.  Herne 30.11.12
I agree with the positive comments already posted. One thing I found (and is this an observation not a criticism) is that some of the stock was not shelved where I would have expected to find it so it can be worth looking off the beaten track, so to speak.  Steven Whitehead 06.03.13
This is a fantastic place. A very wide range with literary fiction being very strong. Friendly staff, late opening and a cafe make for a great experience.  Jon Wells 15.06.13
Good selection here, several quite unusual finds, and reasonably priced too. Duly added to my list of regular calls!  George Hale 12.08.14
Update as visited last week; still as good as ever. Superb s/h selection at reasonable prices. Still very much WAD.  Norman Davies 21.08.14
I don't get it? Someone help me out here. With anticipation I put 3 hours on parking, here I am back in car 20 minutes later. Found literature weak and uninspiring - for instance, a dearth of early editions / no more than a handful of orange penguins. Art was better, sure, but... V disappointed - I mean it's okayish, for a new book bookshop but won't bother again. I'm baffled. Please, someone, tell me I've missed an entire floor or something. Oh well, Felixstowe next time I feel like a jaunt.  Yossarian 04.01.15
For Yossarian (4.1.15). Did you try upstairs?  Steven 09.01.15
Mostly new books and old records, with a nice cafe in the corner. Small "strong room" downstairs with art books etc, more general stock upstairs and outside in barrows. Pleasant atmosphere, reasonable prices.  Mark V 02.04.15
Five and a half long years since my previous visit and I should be ashamed of myself for this bookshop is quite superb. Even the long tables of cheap books outside the shop were reeking of quality. First floor holdings were categorised and then sub-categorised. Brilliant. Purchased many which would have been more except for the most strange pricing of the top-of-the-range material.  Chris Harte 15.06.15
A really nice bookshop with a great cafe attached. The number and quality of secondhand books on the first floor is greater than many stand-alone secondhand bookshops. There is always the plus of the remainder and paperback fiction section on the ground floor at the back.There are several other charity shops in Letchworth and it is a nice town of a certain era.  Jon Morgan 23.10.15
Oh for the days when there was a shop such as this in every town. A busy and popular new section with an interesting and wide ranging secondhand department plus a large lucky dip barrow on the pavement outside. WWAD.  Steven 23.11.18
Some second hand is in the bright ground floor, but most of the second hand stock is upstairs, accessed by an unobtrusive door to the left of the counter, easily missed. Persevere as it may well be worth it.  Peter M 26.07.21
My first visit for a couple of years and still WWAD. The café has gone but there are plenty of other places to eat and drink in the town centre. There is a good balance of new, remaindered, old, and antiquarian books and most subjects are covered. Staff are knowledgeable and etgow and there is three hours free parking at Morison's supermarket a five minute walk away.  Steven 15.10.21
Rear of the downstairs is given over to secondhand, remaindered stock with a larger, high quality second hand section upstairs, and a superb collection of 50’s and 60’s Pan and Penguin originals. There is also a large area outside of very cheap and in some cases probably unsellable stock outside on trolleys. That road I found a really good and not too out of date book on modern France there for 95p. Prices inside were very reasonable. There really ought to be a bookshop like this in every town!  Firedrake 02.12.21

G L Green Ltd - Naval _ Maritime Books/RADLETT/18 Aldenham Avenue
G L Green Ltd - Naval & Maritime Books  Appointment necessary
18 Aldenham Avenue   RADLETT   WD7 8HX
tel: 01923 857077  web 
Open:  Monday - Friday 9.00 - 5.00. Appointment necessary.
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Stock can only be viewed by appointment. Approximately 2,500 books are on display and callers can look at the entire stock. We are always interested in purchasing books to further our stock.We are a Naval and Maritime specialist bookseller in new, used and Antiquarian books, ephemera and magazines buying and selling throughout the world.

I've bought from this online dealer for around a decade. Always has a good selection of maritime & naval books at reasonable prices and responds to emails promptly. One day I hope to visit them by appointment so I can give a more thorough review.  Laurence Batchelor 24.11.14

Home and Colonial Antiques and Inspiration/BERKHAMSTED/134 High Street
Home and Colonial Antiques and Inspiration  Open at advertised times
134 High Street   BERKHAMSTED   HP4 3AT
tel: 01442 877007  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.00, Sunday & Bank Holidays 11.00 - 5.00.
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Some books scattered around the four floors of this centre but most are to be found in the basement. Stock tends to be typical antique centre with, at a guess, one book fairy using it as a base. Not WAD but worth a look if you are in town.  Steven Whitehead 19.03.13
Visited today - only book stock was in the basement, nothing elsewhere, and that was limited to 3 bookcases. Stock was pretty generalist but antiquarian, rather then "charity shop second hand". Worth popping in if you're around the area but NWAD and the prices were not particularly cheap (the prices in the rest of the shop reminded me of that Harry Enfield "I saw you coming..." sketch). Nice cafe on the top floor.  Flip M 13.07.17
Some books in the basement. Not a lot and nothing special but you never know so it is worth a look - and it won't take you long. Probably a better bet than any of the charity shops in town, with the exception of Oxfam Books and Music.  Steven 11.07.22

Jordans Antiques Centre/HEMEL HEMPSTED/63 High Street
Jordans Antiques Centre  Open at advertised times
63 High Street  Old Town   HEMEL HEMPSTED   HP1 3AF
tel: 01442 263451 
Open:  7 days 10.00 - 5.00.
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Over 2500 books in downstairs book room, general good quality stock with weekly additions. Prices from 1 - 150. There is a car park behind the buildings on the other side of the road, also a small car park opposite where parking is free for an hour.

Someone can't count! Probably 250 books no more and of poor quality, disorganised and chaotic DNWAD.  Jon Morgan 20.09.12

Oxfam Books _ Music/WELWYNGARDENCITY/36b Howardsgate
Oxfam Books & Music  Phone before travelling
36b Howardsgate    WELWYN GARDEN CITY  AL8 6BJ
tel:  01707 330990  e-mail   web
Open:  N/A
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Always seems very friendly, and they do a loyalty card, buy 6 fiction paperbacks and get next free. Usual erratic Oxfam stock, but worth a look.  Peter M 26.07.21
Quite a small shop which was refusing donations from members of the public when I visited as they had 'too much stock.' It was not badly stocked and I picked up 4 books on my wish list in a crime series. Four or five other charity shops in the immediate vicinity, Parking free on street for an hour - the same is true of Harpenden and Letchworth but sadly not St Albans.  Firedrake 02.12.21

Oxfam Books and Music/BERKHAMSTED/232 High Street
Oxfam Books and Music  Phone before travelling
232 High Street   BERKHAMSTED   HP4 1AG
tel: 01442 874279  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.30, Sunday 10.30 - 4.30.
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One of the better Oxfam shops that I have visited.  Steven Whitehead 27.04.11
Collectors stock can be priced at the upper end but bargains can still be found. Very good on vintage paperbacks.  Steven Whitehead 02.11.13
Splendid collection of vintage penguins and some good first editions. Definitely above the average for Oxfam.  Herne 07.10.14
A really well stocked Oxfam Bookshop, with, for once, sensible prices. In the man street with a Waitrose car park behind, a good range of HB and PB modern quality fiction, history and an excellent children's section.  Jon Morgan 05.11.15
Best selection of used books in the area - very well organised, covering most areas. Prices seemed reasonable for most things. Car parking nearby and a pleasant high street. Well worth visiting if in the area. There's also a regular Oxfam charity shop a few doors away so don't get confused if you find that one first and wonder where the books all went ...  Flip M 13.07.17
Visited on the 28th. A very good selection and realistically priced. Plenty of vintage items and a strong transport section. Above average for Oxfam.  Herne 30.10.17
On the pro side, a rapid turnover and some quality books with friendly and helpful staff. On the con, too cluttered for comfort (I would suggest that there is not really enough room for books and music given the size of the shop) and prices seem to be heading upwards. Still the best shop in town though.  Steven 15.01.18
No real change from previous comments, it remains one of the best stocked and priced Oxfam shops in the South East. There is an Emaus shop up the road which is occasionally worth a browse.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18
While Berkhamsted is well supplied with charity shops I reckon that there are more books in piles on the floor at Oxfam than there are on the shelves of all the other shops combined. I think it could be time for a BOGOF sale, particularly on the bog-standard paperbacks and in the children's section which would make what is a good shop even better.  Steven 23.11.18
My first visit post lockdown. It looks as though several of the many charity shops in Berkhamsted have shut and passed on their stock to Oxfam as it is now so cluttered as to qualify as a Driff Special with books on the floor and double-shelved in some categories. Staff are still cheerfully helpful and while it is worth a visit, worth a detour even, it would be greatly improved if it was possible to shift some of the dross.  Steven 06.09.21
Repeat visit. Still very cluttered and, in my opinion, the shop would be greatly improved if they lost the 'and Music' section, particularly the piles of DVDs. So far as the books go, they are keen on Graham Green and have an extensive if somewhat eclectic selection of vintage paperbacks. I always find something to read at a fair price and sometimes get lucky as a collector and while bargains are not unknown pricing seems eccentric. Most subjects are covered but strongest on fiction and there are a lot of books to look at in a relatively confined (and cluttered) space. Staff are always helpful and enthusiastic and there are plenty of places in town to get a coffee.   Steven 11.07.22

Oxfam Bookshop/BISHOPS STORTFORD/3-5a North Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Open at advertised times
3-5a North Street  BISHOPS STORTFORD  CM23 2LD
tel:  01279 504627  e-mail   web
Open: Monday 9.00 - 5.00, Tuesday 9.00 - 1.00, Thursday 9.00 - 1.00, Friday 9.30 - 1.00, Saturday 9.30 - 5.00
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I have been perplexed for some time that the newly re located Oxfam Shop in Stortford Town centre was larger and lighter but had no books. NONE at all. Today I found out the reason. The old shop is now an Oxfam Bookshop. It is not over-large and has general charity shop stock but is worth a browse. I came out with a book at 99p, a far cry from the oft inflated prices these places often charge.   Jonathan Morgan 18.08.21
I called by yesterday, it was closed. Sign on the door gives new opening times [as amended above].

Oh dear Oxfam, why bother!
  Steve Newman 03.02.22
This shop, like so many small town Oxfam bookshops, believes that any vaguely collectible book is worth a huge amount, either because they get so little of such stock or because they spend too much time looking at ludicrous prices on eBay. A Penguin special, realistic price £2-3 is on sale here at £15.99.

Otherwise a small awkward shop with a moderate and not very exciting stock.
  PeterM 09.07.22

Oxfam Bookshop/HARPENDEN/5 Harding Parade
Oxfam Bookshop  Open at advertised times
5 Harding Parade   HARPENDEN   AL5 4SW
tel: 01582 762840  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00, Sunday 10.00 - 3.00.
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Nowhere near as good as on my previous visits (and the reviews seem to have disappeared) Usual charity shop fare with an amusing collectable section.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18
Still very small and with a largely indifferent stock. A run of about 12 British Library Golden Age crime reprints - Unfortunately I had all but one. Pricing generally reasonable and still with the amusing' collectable' cabinet. Nothing else worth visiting as regards charity shops in the town.  Firedrake 02.12.21

Oxfam Bookshop/HERTFORD/2b Maidenhead Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
2b Maidenhead Street   HERTFORD   SG14 1BG
tel: 01992 583221  web 
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Not a bad stock esp modern fiction hardbacks and some very recent. For Oxfam quite decent prices too. Two other charity shops close by. Not a lot else in Hertford really . Nice castle and other medieval buildings but yet to recover from recession I suspect.  Jon Morgan 12.04.14
Small outlet but reasonable prices by Oxfam's standards. Cards and music seem to be winning the space war at the front of the shop.  Steven Kelly 26.01.16
A fleeting return. Normal Oxfam fare with occasional books of interest priced at £2.99. Silly prices for some books classed as rare viz Christina Hardiment's 'Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint's Trunk' for £11.00, not in very good nick. For a County Town this place is and remains a disappointment.  Jon Morgan 17.10.16
Some of the pricing makes me suspect easy access to hallucinogenic drugs in Hertford. But the occasional good book at a reasonable price and a decent selection of standard reads makes it worth a visit.  Peter M 26.07.21

Oxfam Bookshop/ST. ALBANS/8-10 Catherine Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
8-10 Catherine Street   ST. ALBANS   AL3 5BX
tel: 01727 861589  web 
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Good stock although usual Oxfam high prices.  Jon Morgan 20.09.12
Still good stock and prices seem to have moderated. Excellent selection of Holocaust material and a good variety of modern language stuff. Esp French. Bugger to park nearby tho.  Jon Morgan 12.04.14
Still there, still much the same, still a bugger to park. Many (and I mean many) multiple remainders in the modern fiction section, but not bad mod language and history. Prices acceptable for Oxfam.  Jon Morgan 05.11.15
As befits a prosperous town, the stock is of decent quality, neatly ordered and attractively shelved. Most categories are represented, though the arts section is rather thin. Vinyl, CDs, sheet music, maps, vintage postcards and ephemera also for sale. As Jon Morgan reports above, prices are reasonable for Oxfam - with some laughable exceptions.  Nicholas Sack 13.05.17
Roomy Oxfam outlet just off the main shopping street. Prices good(ish) for Oxfam. Inevitably no bargains but the range is broad and the quality is high.  Steven Kelly 10.08.17
Still a real sod to park nearby, but worth it, some good recent fiction titles purchased at reasonable (even for Oxfam ) prices. Remainders even more in evidence, more so than at any other Oxfam I have seen of late. The 'collectable' cabinet remains the high (?) point with its inflated prices Amazon or ABE usually being cited as the benchmark comparator.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18
There are plenty of other charity shops in the city but I reckon Oxfam has more books than all the others combined. A relatively spacious shop with room to move. All major categories covered and strong on Children's and also Vintage Penguins. As noted above, some eccentric pricing but there are bargains to be found.  Steven 06.12.18
No change from my comments of 2018. Still a good range albeit stronger on non-fiction with, shall we say, varied prices. Some definite bargains to be had along with some frankly silly amounts being asked. NWAD but worth a look if you are already in the city.  Steven 15.12.19
Rather better than my last few visits with some good stock and reasonable prices. The downside was the malodorous clientele, clearly strangers to hot water and soap. Unlike other Hertfordshire towns, on street parking is payable and the alternative is the multi-storey. Other nearby charity shops are not worth bothering with. The town market, on a Monday I think, used to have a good books stall, but I have not been for a few years.  Firedrake 02.12.21

St Claire_s Hospice Book and Music Shop/BISHOP_S STORTFORD/10 Devoils Lane
St Claire's Hospice Book and Music Shop  Open at advertised times
10 Devoils Lane   BISHOP'S STORTFORD   CM23 3XH
tel: 01279 755990 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.
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Good altho not vast but ever changing stock. Good on history and fiction with a reasonable children's section. About 5 other so-so charity shops within 5 minutes walk. Car parking close by near Waitrose or in the multi-story. A Waterstone's in the high street (formerly Ottakers) - Not great. Otherwise this is Anytown UK.  Jon Morgan 03.03.12
Always WAD, a good range of titles and reasonable prices. I've yet to visit and come away empty handed.  Steven Kelly 26.01.16
Still a reasonable stock at reasonable prices, always worth a browse, but no internet signal in the shop to check my catalogue.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18
I have been visiting this Charity Bookshop for some time now. Always an interesting stock of modestly priced books on offer. I usually come away with something, and yesterday was no exception. At least it is open, unlike the nearby part time Oxfam!  Steve Newman 03.02.22
Reasonable pricing, though stock seemed a bit low compared with visits a few years ago. I didn't buy anything, but I did see books I would have bought if I didn't already own a copy.

You're far more likely to find a treasure here than at the nearby Oxfam, and the price won't be daft either.
  PeterM 09.07.22