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Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

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Barrie Marks Ltd/MUSWELL HILL/24 Church Vale
Barrie Marks Ltd  Appointment necessary
24 Church Vale   MUSWELL HILL   N2 9PA
map
tel: 020 8883 1919 
Open:  By appointment only
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The illustrated book (including children’s books) and private press. Also interested in decorative arts, ballet, and all things visual.


Basement Bookshop/CROUCHEND/St Mary_s Parish ChurchCranley Gardens
The Basement Bookshop   Phone before travelling
St Mary's Parish Church  Cranley Gardens    CROUCH END  N10 3AH
map
e-mail   web
Open: Alternate Fridays and Saturdays, 10.00 - 1.00, see website for dates
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A volunteer led shop that has been going over 40 years, in the basement of the church (Note the shop entrance is actually in Park Road, N8!). This used to be the church workshop, but has, over the years, been transformed into one of London's best kept secret bookshops. A wide range of very reasonably priced and well laid out books and really friendly volunteers. I nearly always find a few books worth rescuing when I call by. Worth going out of your way for, even the local's don't know of it's existence! You could combine your visit with a look at the local Oxfam shops in Crouch End & Muswell Hill, this shop is half way between the pair. However, this shop will be the highlight of your visit to the area for sure. Then there is always Ripping Yarns a mile or so away...  Steve Newman 02.04.15
Not found this shop open on two visits this year. Notice suggests only the Saturday opening times (1st & 3rd of month 10-1pm) are currently being staffed.  Steve Newman 18.06.16
Actually found this place open today for the first time in four visits (on a Tuesday). Turns out that there is a new dictate that the volunteers can't single man (or Woman) the shop, and as there are only two volunteers for Tuesday's if one is away it does not open.So the 'often open' bit is still valid, turns out I have been unlucky on the Tuesday's I have picked to visit. Please note though that Tuesday & Friday hours are only 10am-12 Noon. Still a great place to find books, I came away with four today for only £4. Bargain!  Steve Newman 18.08.16
Visited Tuesday 31st August, but closed. A notice gives the new post covid schedule of opening hours which are basically every other Friday and Saturday. Thus the next Saturday is 4/9/21 then two weekly, next Friday is 10/9/21 then two weekly. Email address is thebasementbookshop@gmail.com. Best check latest info before you go. One of three book shops within a 10 minute bus ride, being half way between the Oxfam's at Muswell Hill & Crouch End, well worth a visit if you can find it open!   Steve Newman 31.08.21

Black Gull Books/FINCHLEY/121 High Road
Black Gull Books  Open at advertised times
121 High Road  East Finchley   FINCHLEY   N2 8AG
map
tel: 020 8444 4717 
Open:  7 Days a week 9.30 - 7.00.
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Books bought and sold. Remaindered, secondhand and antiquarian. Art, philosophy, psychology, history, fiction, film. Books of Irish Interest.

Great stock changing regularly with a wide spread.  D Marcus 
Book prices here were so outrageously high it was funny to check them. My usual £8-20 titles started at £180 and progressed higher. However, very good for Jewish historical matters and Yiddish books. If you can stand the owner's continual breast-beating then pop in for a glance.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
We welcome any comment good or bad about our shop but we do take exception to remarks which are neither accurate nor from correspondents who may have an ulterior motive in damaging our good name. To point out the inaccuracies - we do not, alas, stock any Yiddish books, and our 'Jewish historical ' section is perhaps 4 or 5 books strong at any one time. As for the matter of pricing, the clue 'my usual 8-20 pound' range suggests a fellow bookseller attempting to muddy the waters by rather underhanded means. Any fair minded browser in the shop would quickly realize that our stock is overwhelmingly priced to sell at 3- 20 pounds with a strong antiquarian section that reflects prices as noted on the net. I realize that this email may add to my reputation as a 'breast-beater' but I can live with that, misinformation and maliciousness less so.  Chris Overfield, Black Gull Books 04.08.09
Can I add a comment on this bookshop as a regular if infrequent visitor with no vested interest? It is a traditional secondhand bookshop. Large varied stock of books in good condition and just like second hand bookshops used to be but neat and tidy. As the owner says the prices are not especially high (not cheap either but I suppose he has to make a living) and it is also true that there are not a significant number of Jewish books there. I wonder if Chris Harte (who usually seems to make very sensible comments) has mixed this bookshop up with Josephs Bookstore in the Finchley Road near the junction with the A406 which is very close to East Finchley and is mainly a Jewish bookstore and did seem awfully pricey when I went in once. (Come to think, you don't list that ..)  Anthony Davis 07.09.09
(I have remedied this oversight today  TBG 
So appalled at Chris Harte's review that I felt compelled to write a few words myself! I love this bookshop! interesting and fairly priced selection of books find it hard to visit without making a purchase.  George Drew 05.12.09
I think this is one of the best second-hand bookstores I've been to. Its fantastically curated, a great selection interestingly juxtaposed. I think these guys have figured out what a second-hand bookstore is for in the age of Amazon.  India Cicolini 08.12.10
Having not been here for a year or two, been twice recently and found good stock at much better prices than I remembered previously - very much worth a visit.  M&O 14.04.12
"All books are individually priced" it claims; ironic, then, that the very first two I pulled off the shelf had no price in them. So I took them to the shop assistant who, no doubt after perusing ABE, Amazon, etc, came back and said "Oh, you happened to find two expensive books" which he had now priced accordingly. No one likes to be taken for a fool, so I promptly left the shop never to return.  Mandalay Bookshop 12.07.12
Everything a local second-hand bookshop should be and my favourite in London. Incredibly eclectic and regularly changing stock, typically in excellent condition, with collectible books priced very competitively. Particularly strong on Art and Irish. Really excellent.  Neil Goodlad 30.11.12
Having read through the previous comments Black Gull Books would certainly seem to divide opinion. I have been calling in when in the area for a few years now, so about time I added my comments I guess. Yes, no question the stock is wide ranging and good quality and yes, it is rather on the expensive side. Not sure I have ever bought anything here, but I have found good copies of books I would have had at half the price asked! But it does have very long opening hours unlike a certain bookshop a mile or so down the road, and I have always found the staff friendly and helpful. So, as long as you are not looking for a bargain certainly worth giving it a try.  Steve Newman 20.02.15
The high quality of stock makes a visit to Black Gull an uplifting experience. Probably the largest secondhand arts section in London, after Marcus Campbell. Many unusual and attractive titles at prices that might be a little above average. Physical stamina and agility are required to browse some shelves that are tricky to access. Highly recommended - as is the smaller Black Gull shop at Camden Lock.  Nicholas Sack 18.01.20
Cannot think why I have never taken the extra 3 tube stops from Kentish Town (Amnesty and Oxfam) to visit this superb emporium. Friendly owner, large and eclectic selection. I will be back. The charity shops on the Finchley Road are not worth bothering with.  Jon Morgan 06.02.20
A fascinating shop which had much to offer in the way of arts books. Many were American or European which added to the diversity of what was on offer. Alas, my visit was too short: it needed at least an hour more than I could spare.  Christopher Harte 07.10.21

British Red Cross Bookshop/PALMERS GREEN/385 Green Lanes
British Red Cross Bookshop  Open at advertised times
385 Green Lanes   PALMERS GREEN   N13 4JG
map
tel: 020 8886 8364 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 6.00, Sunday 11.00 - 4.00.
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Donated books, CDs & DVDs.

For a charity bookshop this one is really pretty impressive. It has a very nice atmosphere and has lots of well-sorted, good quality, quite literary books at reasonable - but not dirt-cheap - prices. Some 'collectables' behind glass are perhaps priced rather hopefully. But I'd say it's the sort of bookshop from which it's almost impossible to escape without buying something - and, judging by how busy it was when I visited, I suspect they do very well here in once-sedate Palmer's Green, where Stevie Smith lived with 'The Lion Aunt' for so many years...  Steve Archer 14.06.11
Now open 10 to 6 pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 11 to 4 on Sundays. Still a well stocked and well organised shop. Very large stock of comics but no longer stocks videos, only DVDs.

Not my normal haunts but having read the review and working not far away I ventured into the hinterland of north London. This shop is WWAD. It is probably the best stocked charity bookshop I have come across in ages and puts most Oxfam shops in the shade both in terms of stock and price. What on earth it is doing in an obscure part of North London is anyone's guess. There is a really good stock of fiction and various categories of non-fiction. New and proof copy books abound and I knocked five off my wish list. Prices are reasonable, the shop is bright, well organised and well run. Even the trays outside outside are quality stock. There are several other charity shops in the immediate vicinity and the shop is but a short walk from the station. A treat indeed AND open on a Sunday and at advertised times ... Other shops take note!
  Jon Morgan 20.07.15
I have become a regular devotee of this place but have noticed that the donated new / proof stock has diminished as the prices have risen. Still worth a detour!  Jon Morgan 20.11.17
This shop is superb. It is the first charity bookshop I have found which has no less than four glass-fronted areas containing 'collectables.' The shelves were packed with a good variety of titles all well categorised. Agree with Jon: WWAD.  Chris Harte 14.06.18
Above average charity shop, excellent selection. Worth a look-walk from Palmers Green BR or frequent bus from Wood Green tube.  Norman Davies 10.07.18

Church Street Bookshop/STOKE NEWINGTON/142 Stoke Newington Church Street
Church Street Bookshop  Open at advertised times
142 Stoke Newington Church Street   STOKE NEWINGTON   N16 0JU
map
tel: 020 7241 5411 
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Academic & scholarly books

Rather wider selection than your entry suggests. Good general stock with a decent bargain box. Good music section. Shop over the road sells mainly records but has some books - unfortunately didn't get name. Rather a random selection of fiction mainly.  Herne 26.04.10
A decent shop with a reasonable amount of stock and priced fair for the area.  Steve Newman 10.07.15
Good selection of fiction and very laid-back atmosphere - ideal for Church Street.  Herne 18.07.15
A small shop with mostly non-fiction stock of generally good quality; the arts section contains some unusual titles. Prices are reasonable; proprietor is helpful.  Nicholas Sack 04.05.17

Honest Jon_s/KING_S CROSS/Unit 115, Lower Stable Street, Coal Drops Yard
Honest Jon's  Open at advertised times
Unit 115, Lower Stable Street, Coal Drops Yard  KING'S CROSS  N1C 4LW
e-mail   web
Open: Monday - Saturday 11.00 - 7.00, Sunday 11 - 5
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Very small stock but with an unmatchable selection of rare jazz, folk and world music discography and history, in a small shop selling mostly rare vinyl. Books will be restocked with similar.

This is smaller than nearly every other bookshop listed here at 2-300 books. But within its very specialised field, the stock is unique, not to be found in any other shop or even online. Prices are perfectly acceptable for their rarity.  TBG2 23.07.21

House Of Hodge/HIGHBURY/Charity Book Shop
House Of Hodge  Phone before travelling
Charity Book Shop  174 Blackstock Road   HIGHBURY   N5 1HA
map
tel: 020 8127 4765 
Open:  Thursday - Sunday 11.00 - 4.00.
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The shop is crammed full of books of the cheap and cheerful variety, but good stock and reasonably priced too. Run by an elderly lady on my visit. Apparently this shop has been here 20 years, and is an animal welfare charity.  Steve Newman 12.11.12
A small room packed with medium-quality stock, mostly fiction, with some unusual curiosities at pleasingly low prices. Helpful proprietor. Variable opening times, more reliable at the end of the week and at weekends.  Nicholas Sack 04.05.17
Further to my earlier comment, shop was closed at 12.30 on the Monday of my visit.  Nicholas Sack 22.02.18
Somewhat tidier than on previous visits, stock similar but now better organised and easier to get at. Opening hours now Thursday to Sunday 11am-4pm, but run by volunteers so check before you go.  Steve Newman 10.07.18
Since my last visit this has been tidied and reorganised. Good general stock and very reasonable pores. Almost opposite Second chance and a short walk from Arsenal tube station. An only slightly longer one from Finsbury Park tube.  Jon Morgan 26.06.19
Opening seems to be erratic, so best check before making a special journey.  Steve Newman 11.11.19

Housmans Bookshop/KINGS CROSS/5 Caledonian Road
Housmans Bookshop  Open at advertised times
5 Caledonian Road   KINGS CROSS   N1 9DX
map
tel: 020 7837 4473  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 6.30, Sunday 12.00 - 6.00.
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We specialise in books, magazines, and periodicals of radical interest and progressive politics, such as feminism, black politics, LGBTQIA+, environment, anarchism. Our secondhand basement and ‘Vaults’ area are located downstairs, and due to the nature of the building, unfortunately, there is no step-free access.


John Trotter Books  /FINCHLEY/80 East End Road  
John Trotter Books    Phone before travelling
80 East End Road    FINCHLEY  N3 2SY
map
tel:  020 8349 9484  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Thursday 10.00 - 4.30, Friday and Sunday 09.00 - 1.00. COVID CONDITIONS APPLY, phone first.
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Also known as Manor House Books. A large selection of books (20,000+) of Jewish interest, theology, Near and Middle Eastern studies, ancient history. Situated in the stables of the old Finchley manor house. Cafe on site, parking in local streets is free.


Kindness Offensive Bookshop/HOLLOWAY/273 Camden Road
The Kindness Offensive Bookshop  Open at advertised times
273 Camden Road   HOLLOWAY   N7 0JN
map
tel: 020 7607 6592  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Friday 1.00 - 5.00, Saturday 12.00 - 6.00.
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Most of the books not ordered or categorised. All books in the shop are free of charge to take away.


Manor House Books//
Manor House Books  Phone before travelling

Alternative name for John Trotter Books (see above)

Oxfam Books and Music/CROUCH END/22 Park Road
Oxfam Books and Music  Phone before travelling
22 Park Road   CROUCH END   N8 8TD
map
tel: 020 8 3477942  web 
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An excellent selection at very reasonable prices; recommended.  Mandalay Bookshop 24.07.12
Good selection and reasonably priced. Helpful staff too.  Steve Newman 08.02.14
The busy London 'village' of Crouch End has a Waterstone's, a creditable remainders shop (House of Books), and a fairly spacious Oxfam. The stock here is more attractive and unusual than in most North London branches. I found a signed photographer's monograph, shelved under Travel instead of Art and probably misunderstood by staff, for a fraction of internet prices. Recommended.  Nicholas Sack 15.02.20
Great stock, well presented, reasonable prices, helpful staff. Gets my vote as the best Oxfam Bookshop in London.  Steve Newman 31.08.21
This is a good charity shop with a varied selection of books on all subjects. What I did find strange was the pricing which appeared to be on the low side. I found a rare arts book last seen advertised at £40: I paid the £2.50 asking price - and there were many more bargains to be had.  Christopher Harte 07.10.21

Oxfam Bookshop/HIGHGATE/47 Highgate High Street
Oxfam Bookshop   Phone before travelling
47 Highgate High Street    HIGHGATE  N6 5JX
map
tel:  020 8 347 6704    web
Open:  Tuesday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30, Sunday 11.00 - 4.30
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A good shop. A little on the expensive side - but then again this is a pricey part of London. Worth a visit!  The Brummie Bookman 16.07.11
Used to love this shop - yet no longer. What's happened to it? Now very expensive!  Bookworm 20.02.12
By a long way the most expensive of all the Oxfam bookshops - way more pricey than the internet and a total rip-off.  Mandalay Bookshop 03.05.12
High prices in Highgate. The lack of oxygen at 442 feet above sea level results in a rather uncharitable pricing environment.  Rickenbacker 07.03.13
One of the smallest Oxfam bookshops; extent of stock is severely limited. Given the affluence of the local area, the quality of titles is surprisingly modest. Arts section is disappointing.  Nicholas Sack 15.02.20
Revisited post-lockdown: although neatly displayed, stock is severely limited in one smallish room. A Craigie Aitchison catalogue seemed over-priced, yet I was glad to rescue a handsome and hefty book about London's suburbs for seven quid. Worth a shufty if you are in this attractive part of town.   Nicholas Sack 10.07.21
Opening times and days variable, and cannot be relied on to be open when they say they will be. Travel in hope not expectation. The least reliable Oxfam bookshop in North London. Can provide good finds but to me it seems the stock has been pretty static this year, despite the constant stream of donations whenever I'm browsing.  Peter M 26.07.21
I would give this one a miss at the present time. Two recent visits have found the shop closed, which apparently happens randomly. Come on Oxfam, you must do better than this!  Steve Newman 30.07.21
The sign on the door says they are closed Mondays, open from 11am Sun and from 10.30 Tues-Sat. However I've visited each of the last three weekends and they have been closed each time, for the whole weekend twice. Each time bags of donated books have been sitting outside, waiting to be stolen, vandalised or rained on. It's no wonder the stock inside seems so static (based on peering through the window).  Peter M 13.09.21

Oxfam Bookshop/MUSWELL HILL/378 Muswell Hill Broadway
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
378 Muswell Hill Broadway   MUSWELL HILL   N10 1DJ
map
tel: 020 8883 5171  web 
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A very average selection of mostly overpriced and tired stock, not worth bothering with.  Mandalay Bookshop 24.07.12
Entirely agree with the last comment. Helpful staff but books way overpriced despite the claim they check email prices to bring their customers the best price! Best price for Oxfam, perhaps!  Steve Newman 08.02.14
Tags comparing Oxfam price with 'cheapest internet price' seems unbecoming, especially for a charity shop. That said, a handsome monograph of artist Mary Fedden, signed by her and author Mel Gooding, was tempting. The remainders shop House of Books, just a few minutes away, is also worth a shufty.  Nicholas Sack 15.02.20
Well presented stock and helpful staff. Prices previously at the high end for Oxfam seem to have moderated post Covid. I would say mid Oxfam range now. I have found some bargains in the past here too, so worth popping in.   Steve Newman 31.08.21
Only a couple of miles away from the excellent Crouch End shop yet it had a feel and stock totally different. The 'antiquarian' sections - for there was more than one - reflected the locality and its interests over many years. The quality of the general holding was good and a class better than Oxfam shops in not so civilised an area.  Christopher Harte 07.10.21

Oxfam Bookshop   /ISLINGTON/48 Upper Street  
Oxfam Bookshop     Open at advertised times
48 Upper Street    ISLINGTON  N1 0PN
map
tel:  020 7 3596020  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.30 - 6.00, Sunday 11.30 - 5.00
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Two floors of secondhand stock, mostly fiction/literature downstairs - lots of poetry and plays, plus children's section. Upstairs is non-fiction/academic (sociology, gender, philosophy, history etc), and a large Art section) and also performing arts, vinyl and DVDs.

Recently opened, I was told about this one by the Palmers Green store I regularly visit (not a bookshop). Quite a good selection of books, but at Islington prices. A 'Hippo' for £6.50 anyone?  Steve Newman 30.10.12
Large stock on two floors, reasonable prices and friendly staff.  Mandalay Emporium 25.01.14
Not a bad stock for an Oxfam shop. However in trendy Islington I had somehow expected better given the literati that inhabit and frequent the area. Good modern fiction section on the ground floor and history on the first floor. NWAD as not a great deal else in the area.  Jon Morgan 09.05.15
Disappointingly mediocre stock for a generally affluent and cultured area. The arts section is merely banal, yet there were several uncommon and attractive photography titles in the window - at wildly ambitious prices. Cheerful staff.  Nicholas Sack 13.05.17

Second Chance Charity Shop/HIGHBURY/161 Blackstock Road
Second Chance Charity Shop  Phone before travelling
161 Blackstock Road   HIGHBURY   N4 2JS
map
tel: 020 7359 8129 
Open:  N/A
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Two rooms dedicated to secondhand books. Very similar to the two other charity bookshops in the area, of the cheap and cheerful variety, but well worth a look in if you are in the area visiting the other two.  Steve Newman 13.07.13
Just by way of an update this shop is still well worth looking in when in the area. Whilst this shop is always open it can be hard to find the other two book shops here open together, but Thursdays after 11am seems to be a good bet.  Steve Newman 10.07.18
Quite a few books in the back two rooms but barely organised. Occasional gems.  Jon Morgan 26.06.19

Word on the Street/ARCHWAY/Holloway Road
Word on the Street  Open at advertised times
Holloway Road   ARCHWAY   N19 4DJ
map
web 
Open:   Thursday 10.00 - 5.00, Saturday 11.00 - 6.00.
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Bookstall with over 3,000 secondhand titles. Customers are encouraged to 'Give what you can and take what you like'.

Have been browsing there for some years - never leave without some books - fair-priced and many subjects catered for - always worth a browse.  Jonathan 01.04.14
Map reference a bit misleading, the bookstall is to the North of Upper Holloway Station on the West or South side of the road. Having finally found it rather disappointing with mainly fiction stocked and not in the greatest condition. Not worth a detour, but if you are passing ...  Steve Newman 10.10.15

Word on the Water/KINGS CROSS/York Way
Word on the Water  Open at advertised times
York Way  Granary Square   KINGS CROSS   N1C 4LW
map
tel: 07976 886982  web 
Open:  7 Days 12.00 - 7.00.
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A 100 year old Dutch barge, selling quality second hand and new books. We have classics, cult, contemporary fiction, a large range of children's books and art and photography, plus some quirky stuff that you would never think to look for but may be very pleased to find.

A few years ago the stock was interesting but often old and grubby. The quality and the prices have both increased. Stock is carefully selected modern secondhand books, many new or as-new but typically priced as new stock. You may well find something you want but not a bargain.  Adrian 22.07.21