Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

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Bookbarrow (Frank Edwards)/CAMBRIDGE/City Centre Market
Bookbarrow (Frank Edwards)  Open at advertised times
City Centre Market  Market Square   CAMBRIDGE   CB2 3QJ
tel: 01223 424 429 
Open:  Thursday 9.00 - 4.00.
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Large general stock on market stall covering most subjects. Specialising in East Anglian Topography, Esoteric, Art, Natural History,Modern First Editions available at Bookfairs. Attending P.B.F.A. fairs in East Anglia & also the monthly bookfair in Long Melford, Suffolk.

Gone are the days when one could pick up a treasure for a song but this always has a varied stock and adds tone to this agreeable market.  PaulP 30.03.12
Not cheap but a good varied stock and almost always worth a browse in all the category areas stocked.  Jon Morgan 06.08.14

Bookish Cambridge  /CAMBRIDGE/City Centre Market Market Square
Bookish Cambridge    Open at advertised times
City Centre Market Market Square  CAMBRIDGE  CB2 3QJ
e-mail   web   
Open: Monday - Tuesday 10.00 - 4.00
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Bookish Cambridge is a physical and online secondhand bookstall based at Cambridge market. The vast majority of our books are priced at just £2.50 each.

Books for Amnesty/CAMBRIDGE/4 Mill Road
Books for Amnesty  Open at advertised times
4 Mill Road   CAMBRIDGE   CB1 2AD
tel: 01223 362 496  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.30.
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Charity bookshop.

Occasionally disappointing when one turns up and it is shut in advertised hours, but like most charity shops it is run by volunteers. Stock does not move a great deal but there are gems to be had and prices are reasonable. {Parking is a nightmare anywhere in or around Mill Road and it is worth parking in the Beehive and walking 10 mins thru the old cemetery or the Grafton Centre (Costly) but you can then do the charity shops in Burleigh Street (Oxfam is the only really decent one).  Jon Morgan 06.03.13
A larger, better charity bookshop than the central Oxfam one. Found 2 good books to buy. (Also worth checking out 2 nearby general charity shops.)  Chris K 10.09.14
Newly reopened after a repaint and a refurb. Much brighter and with some limited new stock but could do with a lot more. Good on Military History and indeed history generally and strong on fiction. The other Mill Road shops are hit and miss although the RSPCA Mill Road Bookshop over the Bridge towards Cherry Hinton has upped its game of late.  Jon Morgan 05.02.15
UPDATE: Moved premises Autumn 2017 from 46 to 4 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AD.  Roger Scoppie 28.11.17
This shop gets better and better. Moved from No. 46 to No. 4 Mill Road a couple of years ago and is even better in its new location. Constant refreshing of stock (great books, far better than regular charity shops) regular creative new window displays, and friendly, helpful and knowledgeable volunteer staff.  Andy Meehan 28.11.19
Not as good in it's new location. Less space overall and therefore less space for scruffy old books, such as unrecognised rarities. It so often happens that moving or revamping shops makes them more 'antiquarian/ good quality' and less interesting for a collector.   Peter M 26.07.21
Plenty of stock and more was being added during my visit. A good history and politics section - Oddly the fiction section is labelled 'Literature.' Now whilst all literature is probably fiction, not all fiction is literature. I found one book on my wish list but I think infrequent visits are the order of the day. The immediate surrounding charity shops are NWAD but further down Mill Road , over the railway bridge is the RSPCA bookshop of which more anon.  Firedrake 07.10.21
Continually improving, good general selection and all in very good condition. I always come away with something. Friendly helpful staff. Sensible pricing.  Bazza 04.03.22

G David Bookseller/CAMBRIDGE/16 St. Edward_s Passage
G David Bookseller  Open at advertised times
16 St. Edward's Passage   CAMBRIDGE   CB2 3PJ
tel: 01223 354619 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.
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Secondhand and antiquarian books, particularly literature, illustrated, children's, natural history and fine bindings.

This shop has for long been my delight. Run by several cheery, helpful fellows with a superb range of remainders covering all possible subjects. And an antiquarian section that almost always meets my needs.A bulging carrier bag departure guaranteed!  Mike Cooper 11.12.08
Wonderful, proper old bookshop. Great range of books, amazingly bargains known. Antiquarian section is delicious to browse in safe in the knowledge that you won't be able to afford anything, yet just occasionally...bargains known.  PaulP 30.03.12
All the above may be true but this shop is mostly (occasionally interesting) remainders and not cheap either. Worth patronising as Cambridge has almost no decent second hand bookshops left.  Jon Morgan 06.03.13
Along a pedestrian alley just to the west of the market place. Opens early at 9 AM 6-days a week. and they hoover the floor regularly. Lots of quality remainders first greet you then you can pop downstairs or go to the large second hand and antiquarian room. Extra stock along the floor sorted so that the spine titles can be easily viewed. Bought one very good local history book; could have bought many more.  Chris K 10.09.14
Highly recommended. Open early, friendly welcome and plenty of interesting remainders and antiquarian stock to consider. I thought prices were very reasonable. Left with good number of books and days later I phoned for further copies. This proved easy to arrange as well.  Jack T 28.02.15
Excellent, deceptively large bookshop hidden away from the main streets. As wide a budget range as you could wish for: everything from remaindered titles to seriously antiquarian items. WWAD.  Steven Kelly 26.01.16
Always incomparable!  The Bookman 16.07.16
An excellent shop with something for everyone. Well presented stock and knowledgeable, friendly staff. The antiquarian section is extensive but also has a small selection of quality modern firsts at very fair prices.  Loyola 13.04.17
Old school bookshop complete with cheap shelf outside. Arguably as many remainders as there are genuine secondhand which is not a problem in my book.  Steven 26.06.19
Excellent stock and with very reasonable prices. Much of it comprises remaindered books but they are of high quality. Very friendly staff. A pleasure to visit.  Michael Ross 03.01.20
Always make a visit when I am in Cambridge something for everyone from cheapo’s out front to remainders and expensive inside. Even when I don’t find anything I can drool over the books outside my price range. A special mention for Brian who retires soon after a lifetime of service to the book trade, his smiling face will be sadly missed.   Bazza 04.03.22

Haunted Bookshop/CAMBRIDGE/9 St. Edwards Passage
The Haunted Bookshop  Open at advertised times
9 St. Edwards Passage   CAMBRIDGE   CB2 3PJ
tel: 01223 312913  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00.
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Antiquarian and secondhand, with occasional new. Children's titles, mainly twentieth century. A few local history books, bindings, poetry and literature. We buy selectively in all the above areas and mail to anywhere in the world.

Although there are selections of titles on cookery, fiction and general literature it is the children's section which caught the eye and the ear. The prices tourists were paying for these latter noted books was quite mind-boggling. Expensive is the word.  Chris Harte 13.09.12
Tiny shop. Tired stock. I suspect the better stock is put aside for book fairs and the shop stock is for American tourists. The pricing is supernatural.  Loyola 13.04.17
The general stock is not worth a visit but their children's books section is excellent in range and depth. It is on the first floor, which in my experience is usually cordoned off. But go with your Wants list and there is a good chance you will find your heart's desire. Pricey, yes, but it is a specialist shop after all.  Michael Ross 03.01.20

Heffers Booksellers/CAMBRIDGE/20 Trinity Street
Heffers Booksellers    Phone before travelling
20 Trinity Street    CAMBRIDGE  CB2 1TY
tel:  01223 568568  
Open:  Monday & Wednesday - Saturday 9.00 - 6.00, Tuesday 9.30 - 6.00, Sunday 11.00 - 5.00.
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Now has a secondhand section.

I discovered today that Heffers in Cambridge now have an area of secondhand books. I'd estimate a stock of around 4000-5000 books.  Martin Stallion 22.03.11
Not a bad section but nowhere near the amount of books shown. Prices are very decent though. It is towards the front left of the shop in the basement.  Jon Morgan 06.03.13
This has moved twice since my last review . Now, pleasantly, found at the back of the basement near the music section. It has expanded although very light on fiction, History and biography very good. Prices quite steep for some, tho. Is this the influence of Oxford based owners Blackwells?  jon Morgan 27.10.15
A large second hand section , strong on academic subjects. Well worth a visit but it is not cheap.  Loyola 13.04.17
More of a secondhand corner with some remainders elsewhere in the shop. Worth a look if you are already in the shop but little to get excited over.  Steven 26.06.19
The Second-hand section has been closed, apparently due to the difficulties of obtaining suitable stock during Covid restrictions, but there is a sign saying that they hope to re-instate it when circumstances allow.  monty pylon 27.07.21
Secondhand section has reopened downstairs but nothing to get overly excited at yet. Houses mostly non-fiction and classic literature. It may be worth a look at in a few months.   Stive 22.12.21

Hereward Books/HADDENHAM/17 High Street
Hereward Books  Open at advertised times
17 High Street   HADDENHAM   CB6 3XA
tel: 01353 740821 
Open:  Monday - Saturday, but best to ring first.
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General secondhand books, country sports and natural history.

This is a quality bookshop. It has probably the best stock of shooting, fishing, big game hunting, horse racing and country pursuits I have seen on English premises. If these are your interests you must visit. Very highly recommended.  Chris Harte 13.09.12

Octagon Books/ELY/1a Lynn Road
Octagon Books  Phone before travelling
1a Lynn Road   ELY   CB7 4EG
tel: 01353 610244   e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.30, Sunday 12.30 - 4.30, closed all day Tuesday.
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Quite a good selection of reasonably priced books on two floors.  Steve Newman 12.08.09
NWAD mainly quite expensive stock HB rather than PB within an antiques collectible and record shop.  Jon Morgan 24.01.12
Closed at lunchtime until 1.30 on my first, late August visit to Ely. Two good small ground-floor rooms with decent non-fiction. Bought 2 nice reasonably priced books. There was also a book stall in the market - nearly all recent fiction p/bs to browse.  Chris K 10.09.14
I went to Octagon on Thursday, 17th December only to find it was closed all day. As Driff would have said its UNR (unreliable)  John Collins 23.12.15
Since my comments in 2009 I have visited this shop once or twice a year. In recent times, as already noted, the owner has diversified into other areas, mainly art & antiques. This activity takes up the upper floor now, but still a good range of reasonably priced books on the ground floor.  Steve Newman 19.08.17
Called in yesterday, well worth checking out if you are in the area. I have visited this shop once or twice a year for the past 12 years or so. In recent times the owner has diversified into other areas, mainly art & antiques. This activity takes up the upper floor now, but still a good range of reasonably priced books on the ground floor. I usually come away with something, and I cant say that about a lot of bookshops I visit.  Steve Newman 15.10.21

Oxfam Books/HUNTINGDON/101 High Street
Oxfam Books  Open at advertised times
101 High Street   HUNTINGDON   PE29 3LB
tel: 01480 417228  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 3.00.
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We stock a wide selection of books and music. We are a relatively new shop who aims to keep customers happy with shelves full of fiction, children's books, books on art and photography, leisure and crafts, gardening and cooking, as well as old and collectable books.

Very little old or collectable. Nevertheless I hope it is supported and encouraged as there isn't much else in the gap between Cambridge and Stamford.  Peter M 26.07.21

Oxfam Bookshop/CAMBRIDGE/28 Sidney Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
28 Sidney Street   CAMBRIDGE   CB2 3HW
tel: 01223 313373  e-mail  web 
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Always worth a visit as is the normal Oxfam shop by Magdalen Bridge. Good general stock of books at around the £2-3 mark.  Jon Morgan 05.02.08
Usual good selection of paperbacks. Non-fiction over-priced. As all books are donated why not price to entice readers, collectors and bookdealers? The books in the Oxfam shop by Magdalen Bridge were more realistically priced and I bought three!  Mary C 03.11.12
Much like the Burleigh Street shop quantity and quality have greatly diminished , One of England's premier university towns and it has come to this!  Jon Morgan 06.08.14
Oddly-shaped shop which looks as though it should have more stock than it does. On the high end of Oxfam's pricing scale, unlike its less exclusive cousin along the street.  Steven Kelly 26.01.16
Not the largest shop in town with books mainly for readers and tourists although you might get lucky. Keen on graphic novels and comics.  Steven 26.06.19
large gaps on the shelves and quantity and quality were not great. This place has books all down the access ramp behind the main door so new customers entering, and those leaving constantly walk in front of you when scanning the sieves. Hugely annoying. The usual 'collectable (by whom and why?) cabinet was in evidence but nothing of any interest. The Oxfam book section in the Burleigh Street shop is bigger and better.  Firedrake 07.10.21

Oxfam/CAMBRIDGE/20 Burleigh Street
Oxfam  Phone before travelling
20 Burleigh Street   CAMBRIDGE   CB1 1DG
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Good general stock on the first floor of a normal Oxfam shop. probably more books than the dedicated Oxfam Bookshop in Sidney Street. I rarely visit without coming away with some gem or other. lots of other charity shops in this street too.  NK 09.09.13
Going rapidly downhill with large spaces appearing on the bookshelves. What used to be a quality selection appears not to be being refreshed much if at all. The other charity shops in the street are also headed the same way as far as books are concerned.  Jon Morgan 06.08.14
The book sections has been returned to the first floor and is therefore bigger. A large fiction and crime section, excellent foreign language shelves and good history area. At the moment there is a large dictionary sale. The old and interesting rather than 'collectable' is reasonably priced and as it says on the tin, 'interesting'.  Firedrake 07.10.21
This was to be my banker on my trip to these parts but annoyingly shut due to illness. Always a reminder to check before setting off as charity booksellers rely on volunteers and can't always summon up reinforcements when short-staffed   Stive 22.12.21
I agree with Firedrake. Plenty of books for readers and a strong children's section. The few collectable books were sensibly priced but I reckon the good stuff is being sent elsewhere. Worth a look if in the city but not worth a special trip. Several other charity shops within walking distance but all pretty much standard charity shop stock although of course you may get lucky if you are there on the right day.  Steven 06.02.22

Plurabelle Books/CAMBRIDGE/Unit 8, Restwell House
Plurabelle Books  Phone before travelling
Unit 8, Restwell House  Coldhams Road   CAMBRIDGE   CB1 3EW
tel: 01223 415671  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Friday 10.00 - 4.00.
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We have 45,000 second-hand books, some venerable and showing it, others untouched. We specialise in academic books, but there's something for everybody, from the practical to the farcical, bestsellers to rare first editions. We buy and sell books; browsers are welcome, online or otherwise, though it's best to phone before visiting us.

A real gem of a place once I could find a way in. Its on line catalogue is also worth a look but the shelves are creaking with bought in collections and single items and I had scooped up a dozen within the first 20 minutes. Unfailingly helpful and warm - unlike the warehouse at this time of year!  Jon Morgan 05.02.08
I do find comfort going into a book place and being welcomed with a smile and a chat. This unit on a small business park is full to the brim of treasures but, unlike me, a tall slender person would find the packed shelves easier to search. It really needs a good few hours to examine everything and in my solitary hour I found enough to keep me contented. Well worth a visit.  Chris Harte 20.04.10
I endorse the warm welcome but the books available for the public to browse are unexciting. The place was an absolute mess including used wine glasses. A good sort out and chucking of at least 50% would help!  Mary C 03.11.12
We were staying in Cambridge and it wasn't very much out of our way to go to Plurabelle Books - known to us through their web presence as very reputable sellers with an outstanding stock. But this place was the worst kind of bookshop. The volumes we were 'allowed' to browse were the kind of thing that is left outside a decent bookshop in the hope perhaps that some will be nicked. And although it was a friendly greeting when we walked in - the question 'are you looking for a book?' is perhaps the one question you should never ask a serious book collector. We want to browse and find something we haven't seen before - some serendipitous discovery. If you don't want to be badly disillusioned, stay away from this place which is rather like a rummage sale where all the decent books have been weeded out. Just go to Plurabelle Books on the net and enjoy that!  Stella1001 18.07.13
An unprepossessing lockup, which looks shut from the outside. Have to agree with the earlier comments, the best stuff is off limits and held for mail order. However, everything was unpriced and seemed to be £1, so there might be something for the less exacting collector if you happen to be nearby.  Stive 22.12.21

RSPCA Bookroom /CAMBRIDGE/61 Burleigh Street  
RSPCA Bookroom   Open at advertised times
61 Burleigh Street    CAMBRIDGE  CB1 1DJ
tel:  01223 312802  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 5.00.
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About 2000 books, adding 100 a day. General secondhand books. The book room is towards the back of our Burleigh Street shop, which is mostly a general charity shop. Stock is mostly somewhat more recent than the books sold at our Mill Road shop.

Within a normal charity shop. Not a bad selection but standard charity shop fare.  Jon Morgan 06.08.14
This has been expanded and re-organised and is not bad at all. Along with the Oxfam first floor section in Burleigh Street, these are the only two worth visiting amongst the proliferation of Charity shops in this street,  Firedrake 07.10.21

RSPCA Bookshop /CAMBRIDGE/188 Mill Road  
RSPCA Bookshop   Open at advertised times
188 Mill Road    CAMBRIDGE  CB1 3LP
tel:  01223 212 644  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Friday 10.00 - 4.00, Saturday 10.00 - 6.00, Sunday 11.15 - 6.00
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About 3000 books, adding 100 a day. Secondhand and antiquarian books. Mostly donated by the local academic community so cover a changing variety of subjects. We aim to move 100 fresh items onto the shop floor daily. All profits support RSPCA Cambridge. Sales area now extended over two rooms. This may mean some congestion when large quantities of books have been donated.

Not a great stock and not really worth a detour but as the Amnesty shop and a couple of other charity shops are nearby ... Also in Mill Road is an excellent independent cafe with books for sale about 100 yards towards Cambridge city centre from Amnesty Shop.  Jon Morgan 28.12.11
It is very rare for me to walk into a charity shop and browse in amazement at the holdings seen on the shelves. Quite frankly I found more of interest here than in the town's regular bookshops. The selections were varied and the dates covered from the nineteenth century onwards. Worth visiting.  Chris Harte 13.09.12
Stock depends on donations as as they are donations, non-fiction was over-priced. I overheard a discussion about pricing books using the Internet as a guide. This leads to the over-pricing as there are inflated prices there.  Mary C 03.11.12
A much better stock of late in terms of military history and local history. Modern languages were also well represented. Fiction (modern) was rather thin and there are a plethora of old stock which no-one will ever buy taking up shelf space.  Jon Morgan 05.02.15
The saga of Over-Sands Books has prompted me to check our details in the guide and I see I've never requested an update to our opening hours. We now open Sundays 11.15 - 4.30 as well as Mon-Sat.  Rosemary 22.07.15
The closest thing that a charity shop can get to an old fashioned bookshop. It is 'organised' in the loosest sense. I found quite a few items of interests at very reasonable prices including a 1950's BMC travel guide to Norfolk and Suffolk, in good condition for 50p. At auto jumbles these are £15-£20.

The negatives are that shelving is haphazard ie non matching shelves meaning that much space is wasted and books are two deep on shelves as well as piled sideways in front of books. There are some silly prices on the window stock.

A damn good clear-out and installation of proper shelving would make this place so much better, but it may also take away some of the challenge of finding things.

As with the other end of Mill Road where Amnesty Bookshop can be found, this is really the only charity shop worth visiting.
  firedrake 07.10.21

Waterside Antiques Centre /ELY/55a to 55b Waterside  
Waterside Antiques Centre   Open at advertised times
55a to 55b Waterside    ELY  CB7 4AU
tel:  01353 667066    web
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This antiques centre has a significant number of books on its first floor - from memory, at least 15 bookcases, full of interesting and reasonably-priced general stock, including local history, countryside, topograhy and some literature  Mark V 01.09.17
An Antique centre with a good selection of books on the first floor, plus a smaller but better value selection on the second floor. As always with these places, not being specialist book sellers, prices can vary from very expensive to bargain basement. I usually find a few in the latter category when I visit.   Steve Newman 15.10.21