Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

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Astley Book Farm/BEDWORTH/Astley Lane
Astley Book Farm   Open at advertised times
Astley Lane    BEDWORTH  CV12 0NE
tel:  02476 490235  e-mail   web   
Open:  Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 5.00 and Bank Holiday Mondays
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General second-hand, hard to find & out of print books.

Large and spacious shop spread over a range of farm buildings, with ample parking - a little out of the way, but well worth a visit if nearby, simply because of the size, quality and variety of its reasonably priced stock. Must be one of the largest shops in the country.  Gareth James 12.09.08
Definitely the best shop in the Midlands. The stock of novels is huge, they're in perfect alpha order and browsing room is plentiful. Prices are also surprisingly reasonable, mostly in the £1.50-£3.00 range even though the books are all in good condition.  Nick Campsall 04.11.08
How nice to find an owner who knew her subject. Found the division of subjects easy to follow. Strong on county matters.  Chris Harte 01.04.09
A real find, although difficult to find - (Now I have bought a sat nav it will be much easier.) Don't go into Bedworth itself unless for the very 'cheap' petrol (£1.33). The shop is a delightful barn(s) conversion with a 'ten bob' section outside. Dry but cold - some good books there but mostly not worth even 50p. Inside a different matter warm, friendly and well-organised. Probably the biggest fiction section I have seen outside Hay on Wye. All good quality, some older stock and the 50's/60's Pan paperbacks a little pricey but otherwise very good value - some examples of eclectic pricing. large children's section on the mezzanine . A good military and WW1/2 section. Languages section a little sparse. Excellent cafe with a really lovely log burner and free wifi access to ensure I don't buy duplicates (again). After reassuring the proprietor that I was not checking out whether her prices were fair on the web, staff were friendly and knowledgeable and you have the option of using a supermarket type plastic basket for the many purchases to avoid 'book-buyer's cramp' in the left arm.(Be warned you will come away with a nasty bout of 'book-buyers cricked neck'). Worth keeping an eye on their webs site as they have a marquee sale of books twice in the late spring at very good prices I am led to believe. Well merits the ultimate Drif accolade of WAD and ETGOW. Definitely be back!  Jon Morgan 03.03.12
Definitely worth the detour - massive stock, quantity and quality across pretty much all fiction and non-fiction. We came away with arond 15 books, from £1.50 to £20, almost everything we saw there very well-priced.  M&O 14.04.12
My favourite bookshop in the world. Very reasonable prices, huge well ordered stock on all subjects and knowledgeable owners. And cake!  Rosie Gamgee 10.11.12
A revisit and well worth the time spent wandering around. The general stock was fine and well categorised but it was the collectables which caused me to part with my money. Take your time with these sections for there are some very good items to be found.  Chris Harte 16.11.13
A great selection of books spread across several converted barns. I have been a regular visitor now for several years and recommend several hours for your visit. The onsite cafe has great cakes, sandwiches and you must try the Frank Parker (a famous local butchers in Nuneaton) sausage rolls! Also good to visit August b/hols as 15% off and a marque full of 50p books.  Laurence Batchelor 02.01.14
Wonderful!!  Andrew Bradley 14.08.14
Still a great shop although I found the extensive fiction section slightly tired. I have not dropped in for 6 months and there did not seem to have been a great turnover, Still wwad if only for the excellent coffee and the coffee and walnut cake. Top tip - make sure you take a coat as the season changes. The barns can be chilly due to sheer size.  Jon Morgan 07.10.14
Our second visit. The owners work hard at what they are doing, and there is no air of preciousness about the place. Prices for what I'm interested in are very fair. Two rooms featuring science fiction/adult fantasy. Must try the roast beef sandwiches next time. Have a safe trip, Sarah.  Andrew Bradley 27.10.14
This is still one of the best general second hand bookshops in the country. Unfailingly helpful staff who never fail to greet a regular, albeit sporadic customer, as an old friend, are unfailingly helpful and accommodating. The stock of modern fiction is fantastic and needs at least 90 minutes scan through. The cafe with its roaring log burner on a cold may day is great value and of high quality. I could live here happily ... if the very friendly dog would let me. Long may it continue.  Jon Morgan 09.05.15
About a 100 mile round trip for us, so we can't visit too often - but we would if we could. Browse in the morning, eat roast beef sandwiches, browse in the afternoon. A day out we look forward to.  Andrew Bradley 20.06.15
Fabulous place. Enormous selection, well categorised, arranged in many many shelves and cases arranged in such a way that I lost my wife at one point! Well heated in winter, plenty of stock, much at very reasonable prices; a good mix of the cheap and not so cheap. Picked up a mix of HB and PB for just over £30 including some decent early 60s James Bond novels. Cafe is excellent and warm - soup and sandwich very filling! Did get full by 12.30 - I can imagine some coming just for lunch to be honest. Very glad its only 50 minutes away; I'll definitely be back again and again.  Flip M 16.01.16
Well, yesterday was my 2nd visit since my review above. The first without my wife - big mistake, I spent 3 hours here (including lunch in the cafe) and spent far more than normal! Pointless to pick out any particular area - they have a large selection of most areas - history, military, biogs, sport; the largest Churchill selection I've ever seen too. Quite simply, if you love a good browse among old books - go.  Flip M 15.03.16
Having read the above encomiums I approached the Book Farm in a state of eager anticipation, but have to confess to a degree of anticlimax. Yes, it is big and yes, the prices are reasonable, but to my mind the stock overall lacks somewhat in quality. Recently published books are present in a high percentage and there seems to be an awful lot of paperback fiction, sci-fi and suchlike. In the end I suppose that it all boils down to where ones interests lie. That said, it is well worth a detour from anyone on the M6 and I certainly managed to leave with four purchases with which I was very pleased!  Henry Middleton 31.01.17
Like Flip M (above) I made the financial error of taking wife and adult children here, supposedly to go buying books. They saw the coffee shop and the food on offer so I was on my own while they gorged. As always I had no difficulty in sourcing the books of my interests and found that the stock had been replenished since my last visit. The owners have also obtained a huge collection of South African titles some of which are rare. As always I never seem to have enough time to look at everything. Maybe next time.  Chris Harte 30.10.17
What a marvellous shop. Our first visit and, despite the 150 mile round trip, will certainly return. Excellent stock and good prices. WWAD.  David 07.12.17
It's a great place to lose yourself in a browse and most subjects seem covered, and prices and quality of the books are both still very good. BUT... Don't go at halfterm, or at weekends, unless you go early in the day, or late. They serve great food and drinks in their cafe but many locals visit just for the cafe I think. We left our latest visit until my wife had a day off, just after halfterm in Bucks where we live. And went on a Monday - not realising Warwickshire had their halfterm start that day... The car park was full (we were lucky to get a space) - as was the cafe. Had an hour's browse and picked up some books but the number of pushchairs being wheeled around the narrow walkways,little ones running around, and several people eating at tables and blocking access to the biographies in the last room did grate a bit. By now, the cafe now had a queue waiting to order that was several deep (there were no tables free), so we bought our books and left, swearing to be more careful when we visit next time. But they're clearly doing something right - they're busy.  Flip M 10.03.18
Its been several years since my last review which is odd as I'm lucky to have Astley on my doorstep. The latest expansion on this farm is they have now opened a 'retro shack' in a sort of shed in the middle courtyard fill with bric-a-brac and novelty items. Frankly, I'd have preferred if they'd have added more space for the cafe or yet more books (there was talk of 80k in storage). The stock I'm happy to report has been refreshed and for the 1st time in the 15 years I've been buying from the owners, I found a title in the antiquarian section. I came away with 7 titles at reasonable prices. If you fancy somewhere which is massive to browse and has an excellent cafe this is worth travelling any distance for but avoid lunchtimes.  Laurence Batchelor 15.09.18
Still as good as ever. Wednesday morning and the cafe was packed. Lots of new stock and a large bag full of purchases. Such a friendly welcome from the owners too. This place deserves it success and is testament to the hard work which has been put into it.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18
Visited on a rainy Saturday and pleased to see the stock has been refreshed. This is my local 2nd hand bookshop and still one of the best in the country. Bulk discount offered without asking. Lovely cafe, warm owners and still 70k more books uncatalogued in storage. Give them a bigger farm is what I say!  Laurence Batchelor 13.06.19
Visited twice over lockdown. They have built a Yurt outside to give their excellent cafe more seating options. On my last visit on a Saturday morning the place was surprisingly not too busy. The owners have also taken the time over lockdown to improve the access road by chopping back the vegetation and expand the car park. All good previous feedback acted upon. Inside I found the new acquisitions shelves bulging and many new titles on the shelves which were not there pre-lockdown. I still wish I could get access to the 1000s of books they also have in storage in shipping containers outside. Maybe run a winter open day or something? I came away with 5 purchases and pricing is still reasonable. This is my local 2nd hand bookshop and its still as strong as ever. VERY VERY WWAD. Owners ETGOW  Laurence Batchelor 08.08.21
What else can you say about perfection? Every time I visit, the shelves holding titles of my interests have been restocked, resulting in bags full of purchases. Even my wife spent time going through books on her subjects. Snacks and coffee were enjoyed at the cafe which concluded yet another lovely day in heaven.  Chris Harte 15.08.21
Visited today with a friend who had never been before. An Astley Virgin....She was absolutely stunned! I got a great 'welcome back' from the VETGOW owner and felt, not simply like a valued customer but also like an old friend.

The stock is as good as ever - no empty shelves here, largely I suspect and from our conversation, due to the hard work of those running the place to ensure it is so and even on a late Autumn Sunday evening people were still arriving.

A Massive 30' diameter Yurt has been added outside in the Courtyard with gorgeous tables and a central wood-burner. It was a brilliant place to sit and read or contemplate your purchases... another bag load to catalogue and shelve.

Food and drink up to the usual high standard with attentive and friendly staff VETGOW gain..... I just wish I lived nearer. One of the very, select, few, in my view, to wholeheartedly deserve the Driff accolade of WAD!
  Firedrake 31.10.21
Agree with all previous glowing reports. This has to be one of the best bookshops anywhere, and with an excellent cafe too. We visited on a Monday in November and it was busy.

All categories well catered for, condition and prices all good. We came away with two boxfuls and were given a good discount without asking. Just wished we lived closer but well worth the 140 mile round trip and we will return.
  David 24.11.21
Still as good as ever and THE book place to visit in the Midlands. A lot of new stock found in the "new arrivals" shelves.

The outside Yurt with its log burning stove still brimming hot keeping it warm and snug for mother's day and a wonderful smell. Only downside on the food was carrot cake was sold out!

Anyway back to the books 2 purchases made in my naval history interests and both bargains. 1 was unpriced but I asked and was surprised. Several childrens books also purchased again all priced to sell.

This is still for me the model of what a really warm and friendly 2nd hand book emporium should be. All bookshop owners should visit and take notes! :)
  Laurence Batchelor 27.03.22
Hadn't been there for over two years when I visited in September 2022. Stock as immense as ever and interesting books are to be had given the time needed to search them out.

Two developments I disliked were:
1. Too high a proportion of books are now in padlocked cases which creates a forbidding atmosphere. The books behind glass looked fairly mediocre so couldn't see the need.
2. Many of the books I picked out had been priced with a heavily-applied, sharp, hard pencil scarring the paper for ever. This is disappointing if you are a collector. My advice: use a lightly-applied blunt, soft pencil such as a 2B.
  Andrew Walker 13.09.22
Early into 2023 and the previous comments hold good. Good quality books reasonably priced and a warm yurt where you can peruse your purchases over a cuppa. A long drive from Cambridge but certainly worth it. I will return soon.  Bazza 04.02.23
All I can do is add to the positive comments about this place. I purchased a number of items from the locked cabinets and can fully understand why they are kept as such. Too many people fiddling through quality works can damage the books. A quiet word; the cases unlocked and a study can be made. My new purchases are top rate. A wonderful place to visit.  Chris 14.03.23
Made a first ever visit over Easter as it is only half an hour from family. Why have I never been here before? Very helpful, friendly and interesting owner, with whom I chatted about the demise of Warwickshire bookshops of the past - turned out she had bought up much of the stock from Eastgate in Warwick and Portland Books in Leamington. Some keen prices, and 19 year old biblophile daughter found several titles too.  Anthony 02.05.23

Barn Antiques/STRATFORD-UPON-AVON/Station RoadLong Marston
Barn Antiques   Open at advertised times
Station Road  Long Marston    STRATFORD-UPON-AVON  CV37 8RP
tel:  01789 721399  e-mail   web
Open:  Tuesday to Saturday + Bank Holiday Mondays 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 10.30 - 4.30.
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A unit containing around 500 books, predominantly History and Military, with some railway and music stock as well.

Visited on a freezing Sunday after seeing the new listing here. This unit selling books, I would say about 300 in total, is downstairs in the right-hand corner. All were near new non-fiction Hardbacks with jackets and were a flat £4 each. Agree with listing that military, cookery and transport were well catered for. There is also a small collection of army books on one of the militaria stalls. Parking was free but the staff a little unwelcoming. 2 purchases made.  Laurence Batchelor 15.12.19
Visited again almost to the day 4 years later and nothings changed despite a pandemic inbetween. The small room of books to the far right as you enter seems to be good quality stock from "PM" which I presume is Paul Meekins the local military book specialist. I would say 1 wall with a few hundred but generally hand picked and good quality. Military, cookery transport still the strength here.

All military handbooks with dustjackets and plastic wrap priced still flat £4 each and with easy peel off price stickers on the back. Despite it being frosty outside the staff were more welcoming this time although 5 books bought for cash and no bulk buy discount offerred.

There is still also a smattering of books around the antique units and also an onsite cafe - £6 for a small bacon butty seemed pricey and wasn't anything special! Dogs welcome in the cafe was nice to see.
  Laurence Batchelor 25.11.23

Chaucer Head Book Shop/STRATFORD-UPON-AVON/21 Chapel Street
The Chaucer Head Book Shop    Open at advertised times
21 Chapel Street    STRATFORD-UPON-AVON  CV37 6EP
tel:  01789 415691  e-mail   web
Open: Thursday & Friday 12.00 - 4.45, Saturday 11.00 - 5.00
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Easily found close to the town centre this is a medium sized shop with two very well stocked rooms and a lot more in a corridor outside. Inevitably in Shakespeare's birthplace the literary theme is prevalent but the shop has a good general selection of other subjects and, while a bit of a tight squeeze between shelves when busy, the shop does seem to have something to interest most of the family as well as the Shakespeare tourists.  Jeremy Briggs 29.06.09
Very good shop with large collection (not just Shakespeare) most subjects at decent prices. Well worth a visit.  Norman Davies 07.11.11
Being Stratford I expected so much more in quantity and quality. Consequently, I was disappointed.  OWC 13.09.12
Has a good selection of books of all kinds, however, I found the pricing to be very expensive, even out of tourist season! I found 2 books on WWII/Naval but put them back in the end as the prices were unjustified considering their condition. I also found the stock hard to browse in the back room as there were wooden trays of books in the way of most shelves. If this is the best Stratford has to offer I won't be visiting this shop for a while.  Laurence Batchelor 20.02.14
I liked it. Nice size and with mostly well priced stock. Very pleasant owner, too (and dog!). Threw me a book in free of charge - always much appreciated. One to go back to.  Andrew Bradley 15.09.14
A good selection of books on all subjects reasonably priced. I could have bought a fair few but I'm running out of bookcases! Good selection of topography, especially on the midlands area. Pleasant chap on the till.  David W Edmunds 02.10.14
Return visit after 6 months. I agree the chap on the till and the dog are both very pleasant, but yet again I cannot find any military/naval books to purchase here as the prices are too high on the few I did locate. In the end all I bought was a bookmark.  Laurence Batchelor 03.01.15
A pleasant browse, some good local Warwickshire material though nothing to tempt me on this occasion.  Anthony 13.11.17
What a difference a bit of time makes ... upon my visit this time on a hot and busy August Saturday the stock had been thoroughly refreshed. I found numerous naval & military titles from a collection they had purchased the previous winter -quality 50s and 60s hardbacks in dustcovers. The stock is spread over 2 rooms floor to ceiling, an inter-linking corridor and the entrance way. Everything appeared to be categorized and well stocked with nothing on the floor to get in the way. Mulitple purchases were made and it would have been more but their pricing is at the higher 'South Warwickshire' 'for Tourists' end of things. Still, bulk discount was given and they are well worth visiting.  Laurence Batchelor 09.08.18
Visited after the PBFA book fair around the corner as the shop did not open until 10am on a August Saturday. Seems most retailers in Stratford-Upon-Avon are not early risers as the earliest charity shop opened 9.30am and most independent shops seem to open 10am. Some re-stocking evident post lockdown but many titles I saw on those same shelves 3+ years ago. Everything is well categorized, but I could only find 1 book in my interests and when checking the price it was about 30% too expensive so no purchases made. I expect as this shop is next door to Shakespeare's birthplace its priced for tourists not Midlanders like me.  Laurence Batchelor 21.08.21
Return visit and still the same books on the shelves as 5 years ago and still high pricing. No purchases made. Owner is ETGOW but doesn't seem to be buying much stock.  Laurence Batchelor 05.06.22
There’s a corridor before you enter the main shop which is full of modern fiction. One side is stocked with paperbacks and the other side with hardbacks which were mostly £4.50 or £5.00. The shop itself is spread through a couple of interconnecting rooms and the stock is arranged well. Most subject areas seemed to be fairly well represented. There’s a bookcase devoted to Folio Society titles and another devoted to modern first editions. Prices somewhat on the high side I felt. Fun fact - the building was apparently once home to a pal of Shakespeare’s who witnessed his will.   Jon R 27.01.24
Be entertained by the shelf labelled BOOKS BY LOCAL AUTHOR.  James Mackay 13.02.24
Some well priced paperbacks for readers but the main stock tends to be somewhat dated. Of course if you are looking for that long-remembered book from years ago it may be there and the stock is well arranged and easy to browse but I left feeling rather underwhelmed.  Steven 22.04.24
Still no change from my review in 2022, old stock which doesn't shift and is in need of a cleanse and refresh and high prices as it's there to cater to the nearby tourists visiting Shakespeare's house or school. I think it's been 8 years since I could find something here to buy and I visit most months as I am local.  Laurence Batchelor 25.04.24
Laurence Batchelor's comments are rather harsh in my view. I hadn't visited since before lockdown but was not overwhelmed by a sense of deja vu. The shop is very strong on literature and literary criticism (and not just about the chap down the road) but all sections are well stocked. The prices did not seem unreasonable to me. The cheap fiction corridor is very good. This has always struck me as an odd name for a bookshop in Stratford!  Laurence Purcell 06.05.24

Duncan M Allsop/WARWICK/68 Smith Street
Duncan M Allsop      Phone before travelling
68 Smith Street    WARWICK  CV34 4HU
tel:  01926 493266   
Open:  Wednesday - Friday 10.00 - 4.00, Saturday 10.00 - 3.00
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CLOSED all January 2024

Somewhat dusty and rather low-key but interesting material to be found if you persist.  Michael Mendelblat 
This is a small but interesting shop with mainly older s/h books on most subjects. it is well worth a look, I do not come away empty handed.  Norman Davies 07.11.11
Sometimes murkiness is good but not always. Nevertheless, the place has pulling power.  OWC 13.09.12
I was told that I was a week too late as many of the generic volumes I was seeking had been sold. However, although I left empty-handed, it was obvious that the shelves housed some good quality items. Had an interesting discussion on the value of PBFA fairs.  Chris Harte 16.11.13
Visited 02-01-14 but the shop was still closed for Christmas & New years. The shop is just a short walk downhill from the castle.  Laurence Batchelor 02.01.14
Update. Tried again today but he's still closed with a note on the door saying will re-open 6th of Feb.  Laurence Batchelor 30.01.14
3rd time lucky it was finally open on a Saturday in Feb. Very helpful lady owner upon entering pointed me to the right shelves and offered discounts to me immediately my military interests became clear. It is only a small shop, but I noticed good fiction and paranormal sections. I came away with 1 heavily discount book WWAD.  Laurence Batchelor 20.02.14
After finding Eastgate closed, I crossed the road to investigate here ... and found it closed too! Apparently closed now on Mondays - sign on door confirms. Their website currently doesn't exist either. I guess I should have rung ahead.  Flip M 29.07.17
Little gems take finding, this is a gem. A unique shop, great stock, helpful owner.  Bazza 22.02.18
Return visit after 4 years, I would have visited sooner but for the life of me I thought they'd closed like Eastgate's across the road. Now run by the lovely wife of the original founder. Everything is well sorted into categories and easily browsable. New acquisitions are by the till and I was also allowed to view stock in the back stock room. Multiple purchases made and a discount offered. This dealer also exhibits at a few PBFA Book Fairs. I hope someone in the town continues this shop when the owner retires.  Laurence Batchelor 09.08.18
Revisit after a few years and the shelves were practically brimming with additions. Also the gentlemen was ETGOW. British history, local topography, childrens, military and many other categories catered for around 1 room. A new feature was a box of bargain books for 50p outside and also a new arrivals bookcase. Discount offered for multiple purchases without asking which is good as the pricing is high as caters for the increasing numbers of tourists visiting the castle. If like me you have to check your library on the librarything app, to make sure not to buy duplicates, then you have to step outside as the medieval thick walls stop any mobile signal. Bookshop worth supporting as only true 2nd hand one left in Warwick.  Laurence Batchelor  19.03.22
A charming shop with a small-ish stock but well worth visiting if you've not been before. Some of the pricing strikes me as being in lala land: would you pay £8+ for mature-looking Companion Book Club issues from the fifties?  Laurence Purcell 30.04.22
Haven't been in for years, dropped in over Easter. Very pleasant lady owner, good general and local history & antiquarian stock. Not a huge amount for me but still good to see the shop open. Minimum card purchase of £10, otherwise take cash.  Anthony 02.05.23
Now closes at 3pm, I found out the hard way... Nice memorial blue plaque to Duncan on the wall outside  Anthony 07.11.23

Etbooks/LEAMINGTONSPA/8 Gloucester Street
Etbooks   Open at advertised times
8 Gloucester Street    LEAMINGTON SPA  CV31 1EE
tel:  01926 886070  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Friday 9.00 - 5.00
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A selection of antiquarian books, signed first editions and rare first editions for sale. Bookbinding service. Discuss any requirements with on site binder , John Richards, Society of Bookbinders International prize winner 2007 &2015

Hunts Bookshop/RUGBY/9 High Street
Hunts Bookshop  Phone before travelling
9 High Street   RUGBY   CV21 3BG
tel: 07989 622 028  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30.
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A small high street bookshop which sells both new and secondhand books of all types.

Visited on a Saturday morning around 10:30am and I was the only one in the shop which can't be a good thing! This is a small shop in the centre of Rugby with parking in the nearby Asda costing £3 (refunded if you buy something in-store). The shop itself is small but well organized as everything is categorized on shelves. The shop was strong on P/B fiction; local publications and children's books. I would estimate there were around 1,000 books on show and also some prints and gifts. I could see nothing which I would deem Antiquarian. The owner Kelvin seemed pleasant and the shop is the type that every small town needs so I hope the people of Rugby support it. Unfortunately, I left empty-handed as finding nothing in the WW2/military section which I didn't already own.  Laurence Batchelor 19.04.14
4 years since my last visit and this small high street shop hasn't really changed. It is a mixture of new and 2nd hand titles and it holds a small selection on each topic with no real specialisation on any one particular. There was a number of tables of books discounted and a few on the floor but overall the place is unclutterred with everything sorted on the shelves. I spotted some collectable rare 1st editions and also OS maps but I came away with 3 military purchases all reasonably priced from a helpful gentlemen. There are a number of charity shops in Rugby but they are all general types making Hunt's rather out on its own. Free parking in Asda a nearby if £5 spend within.  Laurence Batchelor 25.09.18
Have to agree with LB here. The second hand books are upstairs and are just placed in no obvious categorisation on shelving, some of which is barely accessible. Some are priced at 20p a book. It makes browsing a chore and only kept tolerable by the rather small amount on offer as much of the space upstairs is given to vinyl records.

Some authors or publishers, such as orange/green Penguins are kept together but that is as helpful as it gets. Prices were ok for the books I looked at and bought.
  Stive 04.11.21

JW Books/STRATFORD-UPON-AVON/The Shopping Courtyard
JW Books  Phone before travelling
The Shopping Courtyard  Stratford Garden Centre Campden Road  Clifford Chambers   STRATFORD-UPON-AVON   CV37 8LW
tel: 01789 508031  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.30 - 5.00, Sunday 10.30 - 4.00.
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Extensive range of secondhand books encompassing architecture, art, aviation, biographical, history, maritime, military, natural history, performing arts, topography, transport, travel, sports and Folio Society. Local interests: Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Also Fred Archer and John Moore. Regular attendee at Churchdown Book Fair.

Situated in a new small retail development north-east of the town. Lovely setting; ample parking; perfectly built and designed - but no one around! The owner still has many crates to unload but what was on the shelves showed a high proportion of local and regional titles. Give him time to settle in.  Chris Harte 16.11.13
Serves me right for not contacting owner beforehand: difficult to find, but looks like excellent selection. next door shop said owner only there occasionally but will open on request.  Norman Davies 13.08.14
Now trading as JW Books (John Welch who is very personable and helpful). Small shop but well picked and very clean stock, fairly priced. Worth visiting.  Brian Stringer 02.10.14
Recently moved from Evesham  TBG 05.11.15
A shopping unit within a garden centre courtyard. Amazing how much stock can be crammed in and still browseable/accessible! Mostly hardbacks and most are in excellent condition. Fair prices on most things I looked at. Ended up with only 1 book but the proprietor was so personable I ended up chatting with him for the best part of an hour. General stock I suppose (something for most tastes) but I spied a fair amount of history (especially military) and a lot of Folio editions. Well worth a detour if in the surrounding area.  Flip M 06.02.17
After my double strike out in Warwick, I took a return trip here. Happy to say it was not only open but well stocked (with more on the floor in boxes waiting to be sorted). Same comments apply as above, except more paperbacks this time, incl a batch of Star Trek and Star Wars novels. I found a few things to buy, at reasonable prices, in fact I was browsing for far longer than I spend in some larger shops. A good military selection but something for most tastes and WAD.  Flip M 29.07.17
Visited 11.40am on a Wednesday, but was still unfortunately closed. After visiting the shop next door calls were made and it appeared he was opening a bit later and was doing a book appraisal elsewhere. The stock in this shop is impressive - All high quality and nearly all Hardbacks with DJ's and not much ex-library. I would go so far to say that it has the best military book collection on show in the Midlands, superior even than my nearby Astley Bookfarm. The owner is most pleasant and helpful and this is one shop you simply must visit if in the area. I came away with 6 purchases, all reasonably priced and a bulk-discount was offered. Other categories well-catered for are Folio, Railways, Politics, some foreign-language Art books, Biographies, Maritime, Motoring among others. Advise ringing before making the journey.  Laurence Batchelor 03.08.18
An unexpected pleasure, unexpected because it's in the grounds of a garden centre. But certainly worth a visit as it's well stocked and the owner is knowledgeable and friendly.  J 11.11.18
Lovely shop. Stock in good condition but thought the prices a bit high. Reading previous comments no one else has mentioned this, perhaps I am becoming stingier as I get older.  David 15.12.18
Visited 21/08/2021. Friendly owner. Very good selection of military history books  stuart44 22.09.21
A good selection of railway books BUT prices very high so I did not purchase. Agree with comments on military books.  chasewater 29.01.23
Return visit after nearly 5 years and 1 pandemic. John is very ETGOW and this shop is ROAST BEEF. Free parking in the garden centre car park and this is located just south of Stratford-Upon-Avon.

His stock is literally bursting at the seems with piles of books now littering the floors making viewing many bottom shelves challenging. Although the owner will move them if asked. It seems the stock is only the books he wishes to take in from offered collections and house clearances and this means he stocks unusual titles. Pricing is on the high side; I guess due to the affluent area and high rents. I also noticed that many titles are now also listed on his own website.

In terms of the book categories well I would say his biggest area is still non-fiction with military, politics, history, transport, aviation, railways well served but also childrens. I would advise to visit late mornings on. 4 purchases made.
  Laurence Batchelor 16.04.23

Mary Ann Evan_s Hospice Shop/NUNEATON/1A Weddington Terrace
Mary Ann Evan's Hospice Shop  Open at advertised times
1A Weddington Terrace   NUNEATON   CV10 0AG
tel: 024 7638 5986 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.
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A large warehouse type charity shop with a corner devoted to books.

a large warehouse type charity hospice shop with onsite cafe. Mainly furniture and items from house clearances but in the corner are several hundred secondhand books. Strong on fiction and mass-market paperbacks, but I guess you never know if gems may come into here every now and then. Low charity shop prices and friendly staff. Within sight and therefore walking distance from the railway station. Free parking in car back behind near the gymnastics centre.  Laurence Batchelor 11.11.19

Midland Air Museum Shop/BAGINTON/Coventry Airport
Midland Air Museum Shop  Open at advertised times
Coventry Airport   BAGINTON   CV3 4FR
tel: 02476 301033 
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There are around 500 or so secondhand books the main bulk of which are spread through bookshelves in the gift shop. No entrance fee needs to be made to view these secondhand books but if you do pay to go around the museum there are a few piles of books and magazines where they only ask for a donation. In the main shop the stock is unsurprisingly all military and 80% aviation with the rest armour and naval. 50% off sale on the secondhand books at the moment which takes the pricing down to an acceptable level. The shop also has some new military books also. Free parking.  Laurence Batchelor 21.01.19

Nuneaton Vintage Flea Market/NUNEATON/United Reformed Church Hall
Nuneaton Vintage Flea Market  Open at advertised times
United Reformed Church Hall  Chapel Street   NUNEATON   CV11 5QH
tel: 01827 895899  e-mail  web 
Open:  Every Tuesday 8:30 - 3:00.
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This antiques, brick-a-brac, postcards and books market is free to get inside and there are about 10 stalls. Nearly all sell postcards and various sorts of ephemera but 2 stalls, in particular, caught my eye. 1 specialised in railwayana and the other militaria including a wide selection of 2nd-hand books. Pricing was reasonable and 1 purchase made from the military dealer. He informs me he has a lot more stock than he can bring to the market plus everything is not listed online. I'd recommend to also visit the Jailhouse cafe across the road which is one of the town's few nice eateries.  Laurence Batchelor 14.12.18
Still setup on the 2nd Saturday of each month and costs £1 to enter I guess to pay for the church hall. The same friendly book dealer is still there. Strong on transport, motoring, military, naval, aircraft etc. All books were reasonably priced and inside small paper inserts which the dealer tells me he hand makes himself to fit all his stock. Bulk discount offered without asking.Also a large selection of empherma for sale and also a scattering of books on a few of the bric a brac stalls.  Laurence Batchelor 23.12.22

Oxfam Books and Music/STRATFORD-UPON-AVON/48 Sheep Street
Oxfam Books and Music  Open at advertised times
48 Sheep Street   STRATFORD-UPON-AVON   CV37 6EE
tel: 01789 295 608  web 
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Oxfam is the UK's largest second hand bookseller, but it doesn?t stop there. We also stock cards for every occasion, along with a great selection of donated music. Whether it's vintage LPs or the latest modern fiction you want, we're well worth a look! To donate please drop into the shop.

Their description says it all really - they have completely taken over second hand bookshops with owners who built up a lifetime's experience. Please Oxfam ignore Internet sites and price for readers, collectors and dealers ...  Mary 13.04.13
Mini flyweight. 1/10.  The Boxer 17.09.13
Very small Oxfam shop which was busy when I visited on a Saturday. NWAD as the Oxfam book shop in Coventry is larger and has better stock.  Laurence Batchelor 20.02.14
The genuine bookbuyer should boycott Oxfam. Dealers have a living to make.  Andrew Bradley 15.09.14
Haven't we all! But anyone who sells books, new or second hand should be patronised. Oxidants profits go to people who cannot fend for themselves let alone make a living!  Jon Morgan 16.09.14
Return visit after 6 months. There was fresh stock and the staff friendly just nothing worthy of purchase again.  Laurence Batchelor 22.12.14
Hugely busy in the summer months as this shop is well positioned to get the lion's share of the tourists. The stock is small but well priced. Still nothing worthy of purchase in the rare or military sections. It still holds true for me that the Coventry Oxfam shop is superior in stock.  Laurence Batchelor 09.08.18
Many years since we were last here. Seem to remember that it was quite good. Not anymore, stock abysmal. Not WAD.  David 15.12.18
The locals here seem to cram into this small Oxfam shop, and as the staff don't limit numbers, it makes social distancing almost impossible. Furthermore books also get easily knocked off shelves. I'm surprised to say though that the first time in 10 years of visiting I actually made 2 purchases and the stock holding had improved somewhat - perhaps all those donations during lockdown? Still not on par with Oxfam in Coventry or Shakespeare Hospice bookshop in Stratford but getting better.  Laurence Batchelor 21.08.21
One of the few charity shops in the town open Sunday's. Shelves pleasantly restocked and all topics catered for, but no purchases made.  Laurence Batchelor 19.03.22
Unexceptional, unexciting.  Laurence Purcell 19.10.22
A good few shelves devoted to Shakespeare as you’d expect in his home town. Classics, art, history and crime fiction are also well represented. Selection of CDs and DVDs too. Prices were flirting with being too high but were just about within the bounds of acceptability. There were a few customers in there when I arrived at 9.30. I then went back about 2pm to buy a book I regretted leaving behind and the place was heaving.   Jon R 27.01.24

Oxfam Bookshop/LEAMINGTON SPA/51 Regent Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Open at advertised times
51 Regent Street   LEAMINGTON SPA   CV32 5EE
tel: 01926 889215  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30.
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Well worth a visit.  Kevin Ring 12.09.09
This shop is much better than the one in Stratford Upon Avon. Larger and with a small selection of collectable & antiquarian books. Easy to find as just off The Parade. I came away with 2 books.  Laurence Batchelor 24.03.14
Whilst there is often much of a muchness in my areas of interest in here, I always seem to come away with one or two star items. Bypass at your peril!  Anthony 10.05.14
Similar comments to mine of last year, good selection, though I came away empty handed as I already had copies of what was on offer.  Anthony 09.04.15
Return visit after a few years gap. Still a well stocked shop and with reasonable prices on the children's books but I found some of the military books over-priced. When asked if there are anymore 2nd-hand bookshops in Leamington I was told "there's another small charity shop in Lillington (a suburb of Leamington). So worth a look.  Laurence Batchelor 06.09.18
Still superior to the smaller shop in Stratford and on par with the one in Coventry. I was pleased to find all the stock was refreshed and they now had a much expanded military section in addition to an enlarged antiquarian and collectables section by the till. Strong on p/b fiction and childrens also.  Laurence Batchelor 21.08.19
A bit better than the average Oxfam but very paperbacky.  Laurence Purcell 30.04.22
Still brimming with full shelves of paperbacks and nothing of note in the antiquarian section. Nothing also in the childrens section and only 1 military book of interest was spotted but too overpriced - as seems always the way now with Oxfam - so I left empty handed. This shop is not to be confused with the general Oxfam charity shop further up the parade.  Laurence Batchelor 23.12.22
Back to my home town for a visit, good selection but nothing that took my fancy on this occasion. Still a few minutes browsing time spent - but not a major distraction, it did not detain me long.  Anthony 07.11.23
A short visit, still a good feel and quality to the shop and a couple of great purchases, though a notice outside requested no further donations on the day of my visit last week.  Anthony 09.04.24

Sense Charity Shop/NUNEATON/123 Abbey Street
Sense Charity Shop  Open at advertised times
123 Abbey Street   NUNEATON   CV11 5BX
tel: 024 7637 1819 
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I visited today and would say it qualifies as it has 7 large bookcases of secondhand books. Usual charity shop quality so strong on paperback fiction. The best thing I found and why it warrants adding for your visitors is the pricing as many books are 3 for £1 which has to be the lowest I've seen as regular pricing for a charity shop.  Laurence Batchelor 30.01.19

Shakespeare Hospice Bookshop/STRATFORD-UPON-AVON/45-45a Rother Street
The Shakespeare Hospice Bookshop   Open at advertised times
45-45a Rother Street    STRATFORD-UPON-AVON  CV37 6LT
tel:  01789 209232  e-mail
Open: temporarily CLOSED, see below
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Normally open Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 4.30, the Shakespeare Hospice Bookshop is closing all of January 2024 due to urgent maintenance of the building. Re-opening some time in February.

The Stratford Bookshop rises, zombie-like, as another dismal charity bookshop. Largish readers stock spread over two floors. Also interesting bookstall in nearby antique centre in Ely St. Small R/C stock.  Son of Drif 22.12.09
A fairly large charity bookshop: currently the stock is 90% modern paperbacks, with just a sprinkling of hardback and older books. Also sells DVD, records, videos etc.  Richard 01.07.10
Now has a very good large selection of hardbacks and older books in 3 rooms. A superior charity shop - odd overpricing but generally books on all subjects (including music speciality) at cheap prices. I came away with a bundle!  Norman Davies 07.11.11
Having seen off secondhand bookshops, charity bookshops now behave like bookshops and often overcharge. Internet site prices are not necessarily accurate or what the book is worth! However this shop is quite good and well arranged.  Mary 13.04.13
A superior charity shop spread over several rooms. The stock is well organised and prices are reasonable. I came away with 3 books.  Laurence Batchelor 20.02.14
Typical charity bookshop. Silly, chatty women running it; overpriced stock.  Andrew Bradley 15.09.14
Mainly books of fairly recent date but there are some 'old & interesting/collectable' books in the back room together with CD's/Records. Those I looked at were reasonably priced (compared with some charity shops).  David W Edmunds 02.10.14
As ever very helpful staff who kept going upstairs to bring down more childrens books. The shop is still nicely laid out with an unusual window display and for a charity shop the stock turn seems good.  Laurence Batchelor 03.01.15
Well well, never met a charity bookshop like it. Very good selection, mostly reasonable prices and some real bargains too. Am told that they will be making their inner sanctum available to browse soon too.  Anthony 13.11.17
Simply put the best charity bookshop in the Midlands. The shop has now expanded since my last visit with the additions of more shelving and more categories, 50p bargain book boxes outside on the pavement and the middle room now has a cafe area. Their pricing is very reasonable as everything is priced to sell. A shop with lovely staff and a place everyone must visit and support.  Laurence Batchelor 09.08.18
Excellent shop. Good prices, other charity bookshops could take a lesson from this one.  David 15.12.18
Glad to see this place is still thriving and the staff as helpful as ever. Pricing for me is still very reasonable and 4 purchases made across military history and children's books. The back room downstairs is now for staff only so the book stock is a little more condensed downstairs across 2 rooms, but its complemented with 2 rooms upstairs 1 for music and 1 for books. Money spent here helps fund a local hospice and there was a sign by the till "Do not negotiate!" I can't understand why most people would need to as pricing seems fair to me.  Laurence Batchelor 21.08.21
Visited Saturday 4th June after the towns PBFA bookfair to sadly find it closed with a sign on the door saying closed from 24th May for 1 week due to staff shortages. Clearly this has been extended. Window displays look refreshed so hopefully only a temporary situation.  Laurence Batchelor 05.06.22
This can be ranked as a "proper" bookshop, though it's a bit paperback heavy in the fiction category (in fairness, there are plenty of hardback novels in their own section). Be sure to go upstairs where (rather oddly) one of the rooms replicates some of the downstairs sections but with rather more interesting stock in my view.  Laurence Purcell 19.10.22
Glad this time the place was open and busy on a Saturday now they have changed manager and sorted their staffing issues out. Still with sound holdings for a charity shop and sensible pricing. Agree there is often better quality upstairs to the right of the music room. 2 purchases made.  Laurence Batchelor 26.02.23
Now open again since Feb 2024 after its winter closure for refurbishment with that new paint smell as you walk in the door.

The Children's section has been expanded with a nook for Children to sit inside to read their purchases.

The stock is slightly more organised and re-freshed. Pricing still reasonable and 2 purchases made.
  Laurence Batchelor 17.03.24
A visit back to Warwickshire found me parking next door to this gem - there's a secluded car park which was perfect.

A light, clean, tidy and appealing premises with some great stock, only drawback some of the bar coded stock didn't display prices which made for an entertaining moment or two at the till.

My wife, daughter and I all found something useful there, my wife particularly enjoying the well catalogued and laid out sheet music section.
  Anthony 08.04.24
Open once more and worth a visit. Strong children's section and a good range of fiction and non-fiction of above average calibre and condition while being, in general, sensibly priced. The exception is anything connected to Shakespeare and Stratford which are at the, shall we say, tourist end of the price scale. Easy to navigate and the chap on the till was helpful. Not quite large enough to be WAD but certainly worth a look if you are in town.  Steven 22.04.24
The new shelving has helped tidy the place somewhat, particularly downstairs near the till, where hardback fiction had previously tended to be crammed on high shelves face forward and obscuring half of the stock. Prices are still very reasonable and several purchases were made.  Stive 02.05.24
Open again, as the most recent comments above make clear. Bright, airy and well stocked with generally reasonable prices except possibly for the Folio titles where there is evidence of the common booksellers' delusion that these are in high demand. The odd duplications I noted on my previous visit have been rationalised but a trip upstairs is still recommended if only to visit the splendid music room.  Laurence Purcell 06.05.24

Stephen Rench/SHIPSTON ON STOUR/Unit 8
Stephen Rench  Appointment necessary
Unit 8  Blackwell Business Park   SHIPSTON ON STOUR   CV36 4PE
tel: 01608 682224  e-mail  web 
Open:  By appointment.
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A specialized stock of around 4000 books concentrating on Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire topography, also Shakespeare, the Middle Hill Press, fine bindings, miscellaneous antiquarian + books about books. Some prints, drawings, watercolours, maps + manuscripts are also available. Catalogues issued. Visitors to the office are welcome - please contact me first as I am often out buying books.

A dying breed unfortunately - a genuine book dealer with many gems on his shelves. Have bought many books from Stephen's website.It is always a pleasure to do business with him.  Alan 10.01.13
A real gentleman. Very willing to open up and show the range of what he has, which is particularly good on topography.  CB 20.02.14

Tree House Bookshop/KENILWORTH/4 The Square
Tree House Bookshop   Open at advertised times
4 The Square  KENILWORTH  CV8 1EB
tel:  01926 257420  e-mail   web   
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 4.00
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Community bookshop selling donated books.

A small charity bookshop towards the top of the high street. Strong on fiction and Children's books but as its a general bookshop all categories are catered for to a degree. Not particularly strong on my areas of interest which is military and naval but they are at the mercy of the townsfolk's donations. The really best part of this shop is the prices. Picked up 2 1st-edition hardbacks with dustjackets for £2 each. The same title in the same condition was £6.99 the day before in Oxfam in Knowle. The lady owner was lovely and I had to interrupt a book club meeting happening in the shop on a Friday morning I visited for her to assist. There is 3 or 4 general charity shops in the town also selling a few secondhand books for the visitor to browse and the new bookshop Kenilworth books. Long may this lovely secondhand bookshop prosper.  Laurence Batchelor 15.09.18
Shop was certainly open yesterday, 29th November, and not closed as indicated at the top of the Warwickshire listing. Good range of books available at reasonable prices.  tring 06.12.18
What a lovely find! Had a really good browse here, and a good general selection of stock, which is all donated. The lady owner was interested to hear of this website, but was afraid she didn't fit the idea of a "curated proper second hand bookshop". I reassured her that it certainly did.

Great to see people coming in daily to check the new stock, though this also was frustrating as I watched a clear regular visitor hoovering up all the new books in a couple of my interest areas from the newly arrived table!

All profits go to charity and this is very much one to watch, but with a good turnover, it will be very much luck of the drawer...
  Anthony 08.04.24
Have to agree with Anthony this place has certainly upped its game since my 1st visit 6 years ago.

The stock is more spreadout and the room is more airy and less cramped. The guy on the desk told me they get alot of donations from Kenilworth's residents perhaps because its ETF as its on the towns main highstreet. All topics covered and I would say the books are NSOC but low on price.

I left this place with a grin like a Cheshire cat as I went through the miscellaneous old books by the till for a 2nd time and managed to unearth a book I've been looking to buy for 10 years. Online price £25 here just £2, so BGNs to be had and this place is WAD. 5 books bought for £7.50.
  Laurence Batchelor 25.04.24