Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

New shop St Giles Hospice Bookshop
The Big Comfy Bookshop has closed
New shop Birmingham Back to Backs
Nex Oxfam bookshop, Moseley
New shop Blue Sheep Books, Wednesbury
Pop-up Wolverhampton has closed

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Albion Books/BIRMINGHAM/Beechcroft
Albion Books  Appointment necessary
Beechcroft  15 Woodlands Road  Saltley   BIRMINGHAM   B8 3AG
tel: 12132 82878  e-mail 
Open:  Please contact me about opening times.
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About 1000 books on military, the army, the air force, the navy, battles.also a couple of hundred on other subjects. Very reasonably priced, I have a book room.

Birmingham Back to Backs /BIRMINGHAM/61-63 Hurst St
Birmingham Back to Backs      Open at advertised times
61-63 Hurst St  BIRMINGHAM  B5 4TE
e-mail   web
Open: Tuesday & Wednesday 1.00 - 5.00, Thursday - Sunday 10.00 - 5.00
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Recently opened small second hand bookshop on the ground floor of this National Trust property in the centre of Birmingham. Small photographic museum upstairs. Has a range of non-fiction/fiction incl. children's books with everything neatly sorted into sections. No charge to enter bookshop or museum unless you want a guided tour. Payment by card only.

Separate entrance from the museum with longer opening hours. Two small rooms moderately full with a decent range of donated books at fair prices.  Adrian 27.09.23

Blue Sheep Books/WEDNESBURY/39 Union St
Blue Sheep Books  Open at advertised times
39 Union St  WEDNESBURY  WS10 7HB
tel:  0121 601 1635  e-mail   web  
Open: Tuesday & Wednesday 10.00 - 4.00, Thursday 10.00 - 6.00, Friday & Saturday 10.00 - 4.00
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Independent bookshop with new and secondhand stock

This is a relatively new business and although the shop isn’t all that big, it’s a lot bigger than their last premises. It’s very close to the bus station and a few minutes walk from the metro station. The left-hand side of the shop is all new stock, while the right-hand side is all used stock. There’s a good mix of hardbacks and paperbacks, mostly fiction. Pricing is generally £2 for paperbacks and £3 for hardbacks. The fiction is mostly mainstream mass appeal titles although there are some more obscure/interesting titles In the mix. The books are stacked horizontally in piles on each shelf and literally extend floor to ceiling so you’ll either have to be very tall or ask for assistance if you spot something of interest at a higher altitude. The staff are always very friendly and eager to help. They’ve installed a coffee counter at the rear of the shop and there’s a couple of tables and chairs available. They also host regular events and are clearly putting a lot of effort in to becoming an asset to the local community so although it might not be worth a visit for the serious collector, if you’re in the area then they deserve our support.  Jon R 14.12.23

Books Revisited (Charity Bookshop)/BIRMINGHAM/110 High Street
Books Revisited (Charity Bookshop)  Open at advertised times
110 High Street  Coleshill   BIRMINGHAM   B46 3BL
tel: 01675 464 853  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 4.00.
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Fiction, children's, sport, travel, art, history, auto/biography, gardening, cookery, literature, CDs + DVDs, foreign language, humour, music, entertainment and some antiquarian and collectables. We probably have close to 25,000 books and are able to check stock rooms upon request. A charity Bookshop with 4 rooms on a small High Street. We are located in an old building with a lot of character and all proceeds go to the Mary Ann Evans Hospice, a local charity.

Visited Saturday afternoon after finding free 1hr parking in a side street. The front room is well stocked with popular paperbacks, the back room downstairs is filled with children's books. Upstairs the back room is music, Vinyl, CD's & DVD's. The 2 front rooms upstairs are non fiction and hold some magazines. I came away empty handed as I found the WWII, Military History, naval/maritime sections poorly stocked. I certainly don't feel they hold as much as the advertised 25,000 books as it took me only 5-10 mins to look over this charity shop's holdings.  Laurence Batchelor 22.03.14
A gem of a town with free parking nearby. I was a little late and had little time to browse. There was a good selection of modern hard back and paperback fiction. The staff were very courteous but were shutting up shop and assured me that there was little space to display in the premises but the stores were extensive. Worth going early and worming ones way in there.This place is a short drive from Astley and a wander around the small but interesting town is highly recommended. Fantastic old buildings and so close to Birmingham.  Jon Morgan 07.10.14
A return visit after 4 years and pleasantly this high street charity shop has become enlarged. Stock is spread in 2 rooms downstairs - popular fiction and Children's and then with 3 rooms upstairs containing music, non-fiction and magazines etc. Pricing was very reasonable and every main area of interest seemed catered for. Came away with a bag load. Free parking in Morrison's for 2 hours a short walk away.  Laurence Batchelor 30.08.18
Ditto for me, back after 4 years and if anything it is even better. Good general stock, Excellent military! (females serving in RAF section - sorry, I emptied it !). I was allowed into the back store too (Next time upstairs!!!) and scored a few more ! Worthy of the Driff accolade WAD!  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18
My first visit since 2019, mainly due to reduced travel opportunities due to Covid. I must say this is one of the best Charity run bookshops about. Helpful staff, well organised stock, and very reasonable prices too. Recommended.  Steve Newman 18.08.22

Bookstop/STOURBRIDGE/52-53 High Street
The Bookstop  Open at advertised times
52-53 High Street   STOURBRIDGE   DY8 1DE
tel: 01384 671104  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 4.30.
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Charity bookshop selling a wide range of high quality 'nearly new' fiction, non fiction and children's books together with a small section of collectables. All the book sale proceeds from the 1st floor High St shop go to support the running of Mary Stevens Hospice.

Found this completely by accident on Saturday. A very good selection of reasonably priced books in a large room above a normal Charity Shop. Staff very helpful and stock diverse and generally in good condition. Beats your average Oxfam bookshop by a good 'country mile'!  Steve Newman 10.07.18
Visit yesterday.all stock new or recent and worthless. Staffed by young nincompoops, including a frosty female in office. They played modern rubbishy dance music on the radio. NEVER AGAIN!  The fifthoffensive 13.02.19

Cat in the Hat Curiosities/COVENTRY/37 London Road
Cat in the Hat Curiosities   Open at advertised times
37 London Road    COVENTRY  CV1 2JP
tel:  02476 230295  e-mail
Open:  Tuesday - Friday 10.00 - 5.30, Saturday 9.30 - 5.00
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Lots of books amongst the other collectables.

I'm happy to give this shops 1st review. Gordon is the owner and he's been there for 3 years. Free parking outside and onsite cafe and toilets in the basement. He use to display his 2nd hand books at Green's Home interiors on the East of the city but now he's setup in his own premises. The shop was a pleasant surprise as it's crammed with a lot of books all from house clearances. Highlights included a collection from a local ex-Rolls Royce engineer which were all on engineering, electronics, radar, jet engines and automotive etc. The shop is an eclectic mix of furniture, antiques, knick-knacks, jewellery and books. The books on the ground floor are all sorted but there is a basement of 1000s all unsorted and hard to get to. The owner stated he's working on getting more bookcases to display everything. Pricing was very reasonable and an excellent bulk discount was offered. The owner was very helpful and I hope his business prospers as the city needs good shops like his. I'd go as far as saying it's a hidden gem for the bibliophile.  Laurence Batchelor 08.10.18
A return visit and a lot more book stock has surfaced onto shelves from house clearances. Space is tight and it's the sort of shop where a good rummage might turn up hidden gems amongst the furniture and antiques. Nothing to purchase for me this time but just about every topic Gordon and his wife ferret away and find something. Owners are ETGOW and always try and apologise for the mess but it's not needed as that is part of this shops charm! -  Laurence Batchelor 18.01.20

Gosford Books/COVENTRY/116 Gosford Street
Gosford Books  Open at advertised times
116 Gosford Street   COVENTRY   CV1 5DL
tel: 024 76220813 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 12.00 - 6.30 (usually).
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An old-style bookshop.

The shop has been there for roughly 20 years and run by Robert Gill. Its a gloomy and old fashioned place but still a decent bookshop.  Kevin Ring 
It took me three attempts to get into this shop. It was only on the second occasion I saw the faded notice saying "Best think of this as an afternoon bookshop" ! It was only lack of steel toecaps that stopped me applying boot to door in my disgust. What makes it more annoying is that, when I finally did get in, it was well worth the effort. It has a good general stock and very reasonable prices - I came away with a full bag of bargains.  Son of Drif 06.07.10
Although it is open only in the afternoons, it stays open longer than the other shops in the city. (Even Waterstone's shuts promptly at 5.30 p.m.!) As someone interested in history, politics, economics and religion, I found plenty to tempt me and very reasonably priced. If you are in the area, don't miss this shop.  Geoffrey Warner 07.10.10
Thank god for the Sat Nav. Don't go on Match Day traffic is horrendous! Interesting little place a bit tardis- like with a clear history to it and photos of archaeological excavations at the premises, I was a little taken aback, having parked outside to speak to the owner (when he eventually emerged from the troglodytic depths) re parking as I could not see any time-plates. He informed me he did not know , did not drive and appeared un-interested. Surely one of the basics of customer care a) communication and b) Knowledge of the local situation to ensure that your customers do not fall foul of the patrolling vultures. However back to the shop. Very cold, and with the exception of the front, poorly lit. Some good stock, albeit poorly organised - A very good and extensive French Language section. Little fiction and a good philosophy selection - Decent prices. Quite crowded. Initially as above the owner was uncommunicative and as he did not take cards I had to go the cashpoint. (He did at least know where this was). On my return he had really changed and opened up, was knowledgeable and friendly. I suspect it was the interest in the archaeology of the place. NWAD but if passing worth a visit. Stunning that right in the heart of the University district it is a) not bigger and b) the only second hand bookshop in Coventry - Ho hum!  Jon Morgan 03.03.12
Slightly delayed review, as we visited about 6 months ago. We're still looking for an excuse to be in the area and go back - one of our favourite bookshops from around the country, very reasonable prices and great old hardbacks and paperbacks.  M&O 14.04.12
The owner is rude, unhelpful and obnoxious - avoid.  John 06.03.13
I've bought from this shop for around 10 years. The owner usually gives me access to the old step ladders and leaves me to it as my ww2 interests are normally on the top shelf at the front of the shop. His stock turn is not great so I would not recommend to visit frequently but once a year normally allows me to pick up 4-5 books. The above reviews are correct in that it is small and dark, but it does have some character at least which is something which sadly the rest of the city centre is lacking. Prices are reasonable.  Laurence Batchelor 10.03.14
Decent lighting is essential and would improve this place 100%.  Brian Stringer 27.10.14
As stated above, the lighting is awful. Oh how I wish I had taken a strong torch with me. The stock looked so promising and after an hour I had found four really good publications: but what an effort pulling books out individually just to look at the spines. I will know for my next visit.  Chris Harte 10.08.15
Visited midweek in July on the nearby Coventry University Graduation day meaning the footfall passing his shop was extremely high and yet according to a pencil scribbled note on the door.....he was closed owing to a Power cut and would only be open in the evening. After knocking the door the owner did begrudgingly let me in for 5 mins for my annual visitation to check his WW1 & WW2 stock via standing on his step ladders whilst he went about his errands. He would not let me view the military history section at the back owing to no light and him having to 'go out now'. I found the stock littered with books I viewed there 5+ years previously and came away empty handed. Amusingly not 2mins after unlocking his door for me someone else dared try to enter to spend money but I warned the unsuspecting customer he was closed so as not to force the owner to have to deal with any more of the unwashed masses! Clearly, if you visit this shop don't expect 21st Century customer service.  Laurence Batchelor 03.08.18
I've been out of reach of Coventry for years so unable to visit. But glad Basil Fawlty's still in business. Don't let the old grump put you off.  Mark Adler 06.09.18
This shop and owner are shockers.  The fifthoffensive 13.02.19
The owner is fairly taciturn but not unfriendly, although don't expect any small talk. Most of the shop is off limits. You can come into the front room and handle about half of the books in it. The rest you will need to ask for. You should wear a mask if you can; I got the distinct impression the owner has health issues but he won't insist on your wearing one. He is also inclined to shut the door and lock it after you go, so if you find a locked shop, try knocking. Prices are mid to high and I doubt that it has shifted a lot of stock recently. CASH ONLY. There is a cash machine at Sainsbury down the road if you need one.  Stive 12.10.21
A tiny note has been affixed to the door stating that the rear of the shop is having a refit and the shop will be closed for the rest of October 2021. Lights are on but knocks and phone calls are being ignored.   Stive 23.10.21

Oxfam Books _ Music/COVENTRY/74 Hertford Street
Oxfam Books & Music  Open at advertised times
74 Hertford Street   COVENTRY   CV1 1LB
tel: 02476 229684  e-mail  web 
Open:  7 days 9.00 - 5.00.
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Trading for over 30 years, we have a wide selection of academic textbooks, literature, poetry, and plays, alongside fiction, crime, travel and children's books. We have one of the largest sci-fi departments in the country, stocking hundreds of comics (many rare and out of print). We also have many film & music reference books and biographies.

Not sure why you're missing this one Mike as its been there decades. Heavy on Sci-fi and comics and unsurprisingly paperback fiction. Worth checking every now and then.  Laurence Batchelor 28.07.14
A good example of a well-stocked charity bookshop with particular strengths in classic fiction and history as well as a useful CD rarities selection.  Herne 21.11.18
    A return visit on a Sunday and happily came away with 3 books. Selection now superior to the Big Comfy bookshop in Fargo village. Strong on most subjects.  Laurence Batchelor 28.11.19
A return visit and the till has been relocated which gives the shop a bit more space for stock. Still a well stocked charity shop with all main book categories catered for as well as CD's, Comics, Vinyl, Postcards and other Empheria. No purchases made but prices are reasonable.  Laurence Batchelor 13.11.22
They had a surprisingly large amount of signed modern fiction hardbacks displayed in the window and on the first bookcase inside - mostly priced at an optimistic £30. The rest of the shop seemed quite fairly priced though including a couple of titles I’d bought elsewhere at higher prices. Strong on classic literature, history, religion, arts & crafts. They also have lots of classical vinyl albums and two shelves of old football programmes at £2 each. Staff were friendly, chatty and lovely.   Jon R 09.10.23

Oxfam Books _ Music/HARBORNE/134 High Street
Oxfam Books & Music  Open at advertised times
134 High Street   HARBORNE   B17 9NN
tel: 01214 274 784  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.
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General stock, slightly smaller and less well stocked than the old shop just down the road- this one is next to Specsavers. The modern fiction is reasonably priced, the WW1 stock is very over priced as they try and cash in on the centenary. Many other charity shops in the high street with books but nothing special.  Jon Morgan 07.10.14
As Oxfams go this one isn't bad - better than average range of particularly local books. Usual gripe over silly prices for anything that is "old". Worth a look if in the bookshop desert of Brum.  Norman Davies 03.12.14

Oxfam Books _ Music /BIRMINGHAM/110A High Street  Kings Heath  
Oxfam Books & Music   Open at advertised times
110A High Street  Kings Heath    BIRMINGHAM  B14 7LG
tel:  01214 431377  e-mail   web   
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 3.00.
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Oxfam Books and Music/KNOWLE/1659 High Street
Oxfam Books and Music  Open at advertised times
1659 High Street   KNOWLE   B93 0LL
tel: 01564 20773798  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday10.00 - 4.30.
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Surprised that no one has commented on this bookshop. One of the better Oxfam shops with a changing stock and often a wide range. The prices are reasonable and the staff very pleasant.  CB 21.08.15
I must admit I'd have to disagree with the former reviewer in so much as I found this shop expensive for a charity shop. For example, The Eye of the Wind by Peter Scott £6.99 at this Oxfam but just £2 at Treehouse books Kenilworth both in the same condition. The other 'gripe' I'd have with this store is a lot of the books were double-stacked and also many front-end facing which made browsing difficult. On the positive side, this is one of the better Oxfams I've visited in the Midlands so clearly residents of Knowle donate in a lot of books. The military section was better than Leamington and on par with Coventry but the pricing as already mentioned was high. The Manageress and staff were also very helpful in searching their stock room and bringing out books of my interest which on the hole were of a better quality than the ones displayed in the shop. If in the area, despite the high prices, I'd still recommend you visit as particularly Knowle offers 2 hours free parking as long as you display a ticket.  Laurence Batchelor 15.09.18

Oxfam Bookshop, Moseley/BIRMINGHAM/101 Alcester Road, Moseley
Oxfam Bookshop, Moseley  Phone before travelling
101 Alcester Road, Moseley  BIRMINGHAM  B13 8DD
tel:  0121 449 3222   e-mail   web  
Tuesday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.00, Sunday 11.00 - 3.00
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Also vinyl

Smallest of the three Oxfam bookshops in Birmingham. Nothing particularly of note but not too far from the King's Heath Branch.  Stive 14.02.23

Oxfam Bookshop/SOLIHULL/5 Station Road
Oxfam Bookshop   Open at advertised times
5 Station Road  SOLIHULL  B91 3TG
tel:  0121 705 1855  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 3.00
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Good Volume of secondhand books. prices reasonable. Strong Crime Fiction section. Other charity shops in the town are lacklustre with the exception of British Heart Foundation in the shopping centre. Good basic selection.

Buckled 1/10.  The Boxer 26.09.13
Used to be fair but on a recent visit there were some startling prices. I could not find comparative prices on the internet so it is something of a mystery where they come from. The shop is immaculate, probably because no one buys any books.  CB 20.02.14
I’m always intrigued by how the stock in an Oxfam shop reflects the area it’s situated in. This one in affluent Solihull had a good supply of quality hardback fiction, a dozen or so Folio Society titles, few dozen classic orange Penguins, two whole shelves devoted to Shakespeare and another couple of shelves devoted to the likes of Dickens. Strong on crime and literature. Most of the hardbacks were priced at a very reasonable £2.50 and the Folios ranged from £3.50 to £25. They also have a plentiful range of vinyl and CDs. The shop was doing a roaring trade - no doubt partly due to being two weeks before Christmas but I think also because of the quality of stock, reasonable prices, friendly staff and general pleasant browsing atmosphere. The shop is clearly run by people who are passionate about books as above the bookshelves there is an artfully arranged display of classic Penguin covers along with literary quotes and trivia about the Brontes, Austen, etc.   Jon R 11.12.23

Saturday Books/DUDLEY/61 Tower Street
Saturday Books   Open at advertised times
61 Tower Street    DUDLEY  DY1 1ND
tel:  01384 481455   e-mail   web
Open:  Monday, Tuesday & Friday 11.00 - 3.00, Thursday 11.00 - 3.00 & 4.00 - 7.00, Saturday 9.00 - 4.00
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I have large collections of English and American literature, military history, self-help and special needs education. If this not diverse enough, some 30 other catalogues. Link through website. A physical shop too, open daily but with restricted hours

Focused on good condition stock with an academic tilt, very friendly owner and more importantly lots of people coming and going! Good central location two minutes from the still bustling open market  Peter Hadley 21.09.17
I can echo the previous comment, the owner is very approachable and happy to chat. On my first visit, he didn't have much in for the serious fiction collector but had a good variety of non-fiction and academic literature in, which was more my sort of thing. Fiction was downstairs and non-fiction in the rooms upstairs. I came away with quite an armful but got caught out on my next visit by forgetting that he doesn't open on Wednesdays. I also noted that the shop was closed that whole week as well. Check the website/phone before making a trip, just in case.   Stive 10.10.21
The car park near the shop was full when I arrived and I drove around for a while before eventually finding a spot. The shop itself is easy to miss as parked vans from the warehouse next door obscure it from view. The owner was apparently off on his holidays when I called in but another chap offered to give me a quick tour upstairs before leaving me to browse. The literature and fiction room had a pretty good selection. I thought prices were a little on the steep side for some titles, especially for some ex-library stock. But I came away with four books for just over a tenner so there are plenty of bargains to be had. There are various other rooms organised by subject including a well-stocked military room (signed “Battles” above the door) and a steampunk-styled room featuring fantasy novels. Also strong on history which lines one side of a corridor. There’s even a room where you can grab a cuppa and sit and read for a while. All in all, it was a worthwhile visit with friendly staff and I can recommend it to anyone passing through the Black Country.  Jon R 26.09.23

Southcart Books/WALSALL/20 Lower Hall Lane
Southcart Books   Appointment necessary
20 Lower Hall Lane    WALSALL  WS1 1RL
tel:  07528144837  e-mail   web
Open:  Currently online only but looking to reopen
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We have a large collection of all genres but specialise in sci-fi, horror, fantasy and comics. We offer a quick and prompt ordering service.

A second hand bookshop opening in the West Midlands should be cause for some celebration. The owners seem to be enthusiastic and did admit to having some of my interests in the cellar and agreed to get them out for a future visit. I felt that the stock was a little thin but I bought a very good original book about Birmingham that I was able to negotiate for a reasonable price. Worth a look I think.  CB 09.01.15
This is developing into a good bookshop that is worth visiting. On a previous occasion I found that they were asking too much for a map that was in very poor condition, and even in good condition would not be worth what they wanted. On a subsequent visit, there was a lot more stock, including a pile of maps where I picked out three. There was some confusion about prices and the first price suggested was too high. We negotiated and I had the three maps for a fair price. Owners were keen to show me a very collectable book that they had obtained and I feel that they are keen on creating a good quality bookshop. All credit to them; to do that in the West Midlands is a challenge, to try in Walsall is beyond that.  CB 02.04.15
Another visit to Southcart books, probably six months since the last visit. I was impressed with the progress they have made. The shop is tidier and better organised there have an attractive window display and any books that they have no room to display are placed in storage boxes and are brought out when you ask for a particular subject area. They have a wider range of books and I bought one interesting book for a very reasonable price. The owners are doing very well and they still seem to be enthusiastic.  CB 05.11.15
I emailed them to ask if they still have a shop or if they’re just online now and their reply was “just online while we look for a new shop”.   Jon R 14.08.23

St Clare_s at the Cathedral Shop /COVENTRY/St Michael_s Avenue  Off Cuckoo Lane  
St Clare's at the Cathedral Shop   Open at advertised times
St Michael's Avenue  Off Cuckoo Lane    COVENTRY  CV1 5AB
tel:  02476 521200  e-mail   web
Open:  Tuesday - Saturday 11.00 - 4.00.
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St Clare's specialise in new and secondhand theological books including biblical studies, church history, practical theology, spirituality and a lot more besides. All secondhand books are priced at £3 each. About 2000 secondhand books on the shelves, more in reserve. We are situated between the old and new cathedrals in the heart of Coventry.

Very much a religous book and gift shop well positioned for Cathedral tourists. The 2nd hand stock wasn't extensive and by and large, most was religous paperbacks. Very pleasant lady owner who seemed helpful.  Laurence Batchelor 03.08.18

St Giles Hospice Bookshop/SUTTON COLDFIELD/284a Lichfield Road
St Giles Hospice Bookshop  Open at advertised times
284a Lichfield Road  Mere Green   SUTTON COLDFIELD   B74 2UG
tel: 0121 308 0006 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 4.30
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Charity bookshop selling donated books.

Good turnover of stock and very good prices, plenty of free parking nearby, excellent volunteer staff. I try to donate my unwanted books each time I visit.  Brett 17.09.09
Embarrassed as I am to say so, but this is a pretty decent bookshop. Their collection of century old titles was good but the sections on railways, transport and similar headings was well worth my time studying. Not a normal charity shop although the clients were generic.  Chris Harte 20.04.10
Good charity bookshop with a large number of paperbacks etc. Some nice hardback editions and very good quality. Not many rare items but good for an 'everyday' book - and 'down to earth' pricing.  The Brummie Bookman 16.07.11
Worth the long bus trip from the centre. This is a really rare and excellent shop. Wide variety including surprising number of "older" titles at sensible prices. Clients serious readers not generic when I was there!  Norman Davies 14.12.12
Tis a pity the staff are so impolite ...  The fifthoffensive 22.02.18
Small shop with better stock that Lichfield's but not quite as good as Books Revisited in Coleshill. They let me browse their cramped stock room but nothing in there of my interests although I noticed 2 Churchill WW2 volumes with dust-covers. Like others have noted there is quite a number of older titles in the far corner which are worth browsing. Pricing was very reasonable as found 3 military hardbacks for around £5. Free parking outside for 1hr or 3hrs in the car park behind.  Laurence Batchelor 15.10.18