Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

new listing Oxfam Darlington
New shop Needful Things Boutique & Bookshop Hartlepool
New listing Head Bookshop Darlington
Bijou Nearly New closed in 2021, now Needful Things
New shop The Queerish Bookshop Darlington

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Bondgate Books/BISHOP AUCKLAND/50 Fore Bondgate
Bondgate Books  Phone before travelling
50 Fore Bondgate   BISHOP AUCKLAND   DL14 7PE
tel: 01388 665516 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00. * SEE LATEST REVIEWS.
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Rather disorganised but a good stock of fiction both paperback and hardback, and particularly, science friction. There are also sections on biography, children's and a few DVDs. Worth a visit but not a detour.  Geoff Martin 19.05.09
I called today at 10.30 and they were shut so times can be erratic I suspect .  Geoff Martin 27.07.09
As a regular visitor to this shop I feel your previous reviewer downplays it somewhat.A really good stock of fiction, non-fiction, collectables and specialty books. Now has a book binding facility, and music selection is being introduced. Hidden jewel.  John Crick 16.03.11
Rather on its own in this area, this shop is somewhat scruffy and a bit of a jumble. While there are a few good things to be had, some of the prices, particularly for Bishop Auckland, are a little on the optimistic side. Not really worth a special trip.  Nicholas Pendower 14.08.12
Absolutely astounded at the prices of some potboilers in my preferred areas of interest. Always come away empty-handed, sadly.  Anthony 27.10.12
Went back last Saturday, actually made a purchase! May make more occasional visits in future.  Anthony 25.01.14
Have to agree with previous comments re pricing and layout. Nice welcome didn't make up for very optimistic pricing. I'm not about to pay £10 for a slightly dog-eared slim paperback which has to be teased out of a heaped pile of similar hopefuls. If these books sought asylum at some of the charity shops down the road, they'd be a quarter of the price. The front door didn't shut properly, either - making standing nearby a draughty experience!  Graeme Rendall 09.02.14
I visit here several times a year. I find the staff pleasant & helpful with a good choice of books for a relatively small shop. I typically browse & sometimes find a bargain old book amongst the old SF & fantasy paperbacks making occasional visits worthwhile.  Darania 23.10.15
The shop is closed for refurbishment, will reopen in March.  Geoff Martin 12.02.18
The owner has opened up a temporary shop two doors down at number 52 until his shop is ready to open again.  geoff martin 22.02.18
The March re-opening date appeared optimistic. Seems now to be called Gordon's Books (according to sign in window of No.50 which is still undergoing refurbishment). As above, currently trading from No.52 and has boxes of books in the adjacent shop (No.53?) as well. Due to the temporary nature of the current premises everything is a bit chaotic, although the owner has managed to sort out several hundred titles into broad categories on the available shelving. Everything else is in loose piles on the floor or in boxes next door. Owner very friendly and open about his situation and lack of stock on view - hopefully this will improve soon so he can attract more customers.  Graeme Rendall 10.07.18
Stock rather disorganised. Owner helpful but he said he is going to be closing soon as doesn't want to be "the last man standing" as many businesses in the same street have gone.  David 06.10.18
As many other reviewers have said, this is chaotic. That said I found three books of interest at very reasonable prices. The Driff label of FYA (Follows You around) is applicable to the very friendly owner who recommends random titles to you and bemoans that fact that he has no time to organise things. he also, unbidden, gave me a credit note for what appears to be a sister shop in Darlington. (I didn't use it). The owner works a market stall selling books. NWAD but worth a ferret if in the area. parking is close by.  Jonathan Morgan 31.07.19
I can confirm that Gordon has reopened to a slightly smaller Bondgate bookshop with two floors of books ranging from geography, history, science, poetry, general fiction & a decent selection of SF, fantasy & horror & will sell selected paperbacks at small discounts to regular customers.  Darania 31.07.19
Plucked up courage to visit today, if you are into mining and industrial history, there is an amazing treasure trove but seemingly unpriced. To quote the owner "always a deal to be done". Chaotic crates of books block the shelves and despite temptation, I didn't make a purchase as time was short.  Anthony 18.01.20
Opening hours are erratic. He does have a stall in Crook Market on a Tuesday, but check the shop if travelling.  Steve Bamlett 18.06.23

Book Aid/BARNARDCASTLE/10 Galgate
Book Aid   Open at advertised times
10 Galgate    BARNARD CASTLE  DL12 8BG
tel:  01833 630209 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 11.00 - 3.00
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Charity bookshop devoted to theology and allied subjects, but including non-Christian classics.

It sounds like a charity shop but actually turns out to be a small Christian bookshop.  Jeremy Briggs 
Seems to be well run and organised, but it is exactly what it says it is and has nothing for the general reader or collector.  Nicholas Pendower 14.08.12
If this is the same shop I went in about ten years ago it is a real tardis of a place. Downstairs is a small Christian bookshop but find the hidden away staircase and go upstairs to attics full of of hardback theology and academic texts.  Shardovan 14.06.14
Now at 10 Galgate (across the way from its former base at no.5), it is essentially the same as before. The only marked change is that Maurice Abrahams, who established it and ran it for a long time, is rather less in evidence than before: a great shame.  The Bookman 06.05.19

Book Emporium/DURHAM/Unit 55Durham Market HallMarket Place
Book Emporium   Open at advertised times
Unit 55  Durham Market Hall  Market Place    DURHAM  DH1 3NJ
tel:  0191 384 6153    web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 4.30
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Selling a wide range of second-hand books of all types.

Worth a look - some other good units to browse too. A decent selection of fiction and non-fiction stock.  Chris K 15.01.16
Not a lot of any great interest. Mainly mass market paperback fiction and remainders but not a huge stock of these. Nice market though.  Jonathan Morgan 31.07.19
Small room's worth in an indoor market. Middle of the road stock, no "collectable rarities" and no unsaleable rubbish. Pleasant owner.  Adrian 11.04.22
I always have a look when passing and spending time in Durham, never yet made a purchase, but the stall must do ok for it still to be there. I guess paperback fiction is the stock in trade and must turn in a decent income.  Anthony 24.07.23

Butterwick Hospice Book Shop/STOCKTON-ON-TEES/118 High Street
Butterwick Hospice Book Shop  Open at advertised times
118 High Street   STOCKTON-ON-TEES   TS18 1AY
tel: 01642 678050 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.
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We stock a good selection of fiction and non fiction books. We also stock a number of old and signed books. All proceeds are for the Butterwick Hospice charity.

Darlington Lion Club Bookshop/DARLINGTON/Houndgate Mews ArcadeBlackwellgate
Darlington Lion Club Bookshop   Open at advertised times
Houndgate Mews Arcade  Blackwellgate    DARLINGTON  DL1 5HG
tel:  07504 429 635  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.00
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Situated in Blackwellgate between Boyes & Guru We have a vast selection of good quality paperback & hardback fiction and non fiction books devoted to biographies, mysteries, cookery, sport, gardening, health, science fiction. Classics, children's books and many more topics. All books are donated & all proceeds go to charity. Please visit our website.

Pleasant charity bookshop with wide range of fiction-non fiction titles all at bargain 50p each & friendly, helpful staff. Only problem is that it's only open erratically 3 days a week, so visiting is often a gamble.  Zeitgeist45 10.05.14
Lived in the area for 12 years, first visit today - going to be a place to watch. Only made one purchase today but surprisingly well laid out, bright and some good stock.  Anthony 18.02.16
An unsung gem. A bit like a lucky dip, sometines you win, sometimes you lose. Nothing higher priced than a pound, give it a go!  Anthony 02.05.23
A reasonable selection of fiction and non-fiction. Very low prices. According to a notice in the window: "95% of all books are priced at £1, with a special offer of three books for £2". The exceptions are children's books, many of which are only 50p, and a few dozen "display books" (anything deemed to be rare or valuable). For this latter category, prices are generally fairly sensible. There are actually two shops, a few yards apart in the same covered arcade (one at the Blackwellgate end, the other at the Houndgate end); both are staffed by volunteers, but all purchases are paid for at the former. The better-quality books, including a small stock of uncommon titles on local history, are predominantly in the Blackwellgate "front" shop; the "back" shop contains mostly popular fiction, much of it in hardback, including a large selection of crime novels/thrillers, but books on sport, railways and travel can also be found there. There is a display cabinet at the rear of the arcade, near the "back" shop, containing some of the more desirable books. The turnover is fairly rapid, aided by a stock control system (the books have a sticker on their spines to indicate how long they have been on the shelves). Anything unsold "after three or four months" - the timescale varies according to how much newly arrived stock needs shelf space - is removed and sold to online retailer World of Books.  Booker T 13.03.24

Head Bookshop/DARLINGTON/22 Post House Wynd
Head Bookshop  Open at advertised times
22 Post House Wynd  DARLINGTON  DL3 7LP
tel:  07501 800294    
Open: Monday - Thursday 10.00 - 5.30, Friday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.30, Sunday 10.00 - 4.00
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Independent family-owned shop selling new and second-hand books.

Failed to check this one out on a visit to the town earlier this month. It moved to these premises in September 2023. Also sells vinyl, CDs and musical instruments.  Booker T 31.03.24

JN Vokes/DARLINGTON/61 Coniscliffe Road
JN Vokes   Phone before travelling
61 Coniscliffe Road    DARLINGTON  DL3 7EH
tel:  01325 469449 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.00.
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20,000 titles including books about North East England, the arts and topography.

Smart, bright, well laid out, medium sized shop just off the town centre, with a friendly welcome and a good selection of books.  Jeremy Briggs 
Awkward to find but well worth the effort. The holdings on the North East are superb and account for most of the quality stock. Plenty of other titles which are fairly average.  Chris Harte 13.10.09
As a regular patron of this excellent shop, I am in a good position to comment. The books are in well above average condition. If there is a problem Jeremiah will tell you about it. The service is friendly and the shop is well kept.  Mark Hemming 12.10.11
Easy to find on the outskirts of the town centre. An attractive shop; was a chemists before. Has good high ceiling and white walls. Table with local history and transport pamphlets etc to search. Owner now thinking of closing down in a few months as local trade fairly quiet. Will still attend PBFAs fairs. Found 2 good volumes of old postcards of the town to add to my collection.  Chris K 09.01.15
Called to arrange a visit & shop was open upon arrival. Owner very articulate & friendly & I made several purchases. Small but very neat shop reflecting owners character. Specialising in Sherlockania, local history & Tolkien.  Darania 11.08.16
A very nice shop, only a few minutes' walk from the town centre. The stock is of commendably high quality and the books are in very good condition. There are two main specialisms: Sherlockiana (and detective fiction in general) and a notably strong selection of local history, covering the entire north-east of England. At present, also a large number of books on transport, especially railways, as the proprietor recently bought a substantial collection of these. The stock of general fiction is relatively small, but the titles are carefully selected. Most of the stock is hardback; almost the only exceptions are among the local history books, the paperbacks of which are arranged in stacks (to some extent arranged by area/theme) on a large table in the middle of the shop. The affable owner, Jeremiah, has been selling second-hand books in Darlington since 1979, first at a shop on Bondgate, and since 1995 at the present premises. Visit the shop while it is still there! He is thinking of closing it at some point in the next few years, but will continue selling at book fairs. Note that the opening hours can be slightly variable. The shop is usually open by about 9.45am but on some (but not all) days is shut for about an hour at lunchtime (from about 12.30pm); in the afternoon, it tends to close at about 5pm. The proprietor is active within the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association and so the shop is closed on those Saturdays when he is exhibiting at fairs. If planning a Saturday visit, it would be wise to check in advance. Cash only (there are ATMs a few minutes' walk away). Darlington is quite a nice town and there are other bookshops to visit, although the other outlets are all charity shops and nowhere near the quality of this fine establishment.  Booker T 13.03.24

John Turton/CROOK/1-2 Cochrane Terrace Willington
John Turton   Appointment necessary
1-2 Cochrane Terrace Willington   CROOK  DL15 0HN
tel:  01388 745770  e-mail
Open:  By appointment only
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General stock in shop, specialist stock of antiquarian, bindings, ecclesiastical history and architecture can be viewed by arrangement.

This really is the ultimate in Aladdin's Cave. Search for hours in the dim light and you will be rewarded. Allegedly has a warehouse full of books I collect but I am always told that I have called at the wrong time.  Chris Harte 14.04.09
Best bookshop in North east - if only it wasn't so far from anywhere. As soon as you enter - that special smell of quality old books... priced fairly as well considering just how interesting the books are. Really WAD  Paul P 11.05.10
I strongly advise checking some days in advance that the shop will be open. I turned up on a Friday within the stated opening hours to find the shop locked. There was no reply to the phone. This is hardly a novel experience in visiting out of the way bookshops but it's always an annoying one. There were few other reasons for visiting Willington that I could see.  Laurence Purcell 30.09.10
This shop is no longer open at anytime, but if you ring they will arrange to let you view.  Geoff Martin 19.03.13
Has anyone been here of late? The location is actually Willington, and the frontage looks most foreboding and uninviting. I visited years ago, and despite being local, have never really fancied venturing back!  Anthony 02.05.23
The answer seems to be that the High Street premises are no longer in use, and the business operates from another address nearby. Details now corrected.  TBG2 02.05.23

McNab_s Books (was Curlews)/BARNARD CASTLE/11-13 Market Place
McNab's Books (was Curlews)  Open at advertised times
11-13 Market Place   BARNARD CASTLE   DL12 8NF
tel: 01833 630455  e-mail 
Open:  7 days 10.00 - 4.30.
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Small secondhand stock and new books. We have the cafe next door, No.15. We stock giftware, greetings cards, wrapping paper and Lamy Pens and refills. Regular evening events, including storytelling.

Just reopened with new owners, this is a nice shop with some tables and sofas if you purchase food from the cafe next door, the secondhand stock takes up about half the shop. It is a varied range of subjects and reasonably priced. The food is good too.  Geoff 30.01.19
This shop is half new and half s/h. The amount of stock in each half is therefore relatively small. The pricing of the s/h is rather higher than experience suggests that the locale will support. But, who knows, the shop may develop. One thing is for sure: 'was Curlews' is not an apt description, because the two summon up very different ideas.  The Bookman 06.05.19
Pleasant visit, the ambience is really nice. Worth having a shuffle through the "save us from recycling" box! Small stock, but worth popping in, you never know what's going to be in here.  Anthony 02.05.23

Mission Hall Antiques Centre/BARNARD CASTLE/51 The Bank
The Mission Hall Antiques Centre  Open at advertised times
51 The Bank   BARNARD CASTLE   DL12 8PL
tel: 01833 631101  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 1.30 - 5.00.
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Two or three bookcases of secondhand books.

Good general stock, scattered in places around the centre. I bought a lot here a year or two ago, but my subject now has more overall titles. I guess it depends on the owner buying up specialist collections. Very reasonable prices indeed.  Anthony 18.02.16
The stock is fairly narrow in scope, and high in price. Good to visit with a credit card funded by a rich relative.  The Bookman 12.02.18
A Saturday afternoon browse revealed a reasonable stock, mainly of books on the countryside, Teesdale, antiques and railways. An eclectic mix added to the general joy of wombling round the rest of the shop looking at prints and maps. It's a lucky dip - I haven't bought a book for a while from here, but have found other things, to the detriment of my bank account.  Anthony 20.03.24

Needful Things Boutique _ Bookshop/HARTLEPOOL/23 Church Square
Needful Things Boutique & Bookshop  Open at advertised times
23 Church Square  HARTLEPOOL  TS24 7EU
Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Saturday 11.00 - 4.00
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Vintage shop in the centre of town. Two floors of second-hand books, music, fashion and collectables.

This shop opened in late 2021 and is situated in an attractive and historic part of this old port town, right by the art gallery and a couple of minutes' walk from the railway station. Books account for about half of the stock - the owner describes herself as a bookseller who also "sells other needful things in order to pay the rent". Recommended to me by a colleague, but alas I did not have time to get here during a quick trip to the north-east earlier this week. Hope to rectify this omission before too long! Hartlepool has been a bit of a desert for the second-hand book trade for a while now, so the presence of this shop is very welcome. The nearby quayside is home to the National Museum of the Royal Navy (a sister museum to the one at Portsmouth), so a visit to the town might be enjoyable for other reasons too.  Booker T 14.03.24
A moderate-sized general stock of second-hand books at this rather characterful shop. Books take up all of the ground floor and there are a couple of hundred more upstairs, along with vintage clothing, records and collectables. A reasonable selection of fiction; classic literature and sci-fi feature strongly. Among the non-fiction, history, including military history, and art are the strongest sections. There are quite a lot of very dated books on science. The stock, by and large, is fairly ordinary, although the non-fiction in particular includes a smattering of higher-quality books. Prices for fiction are very much at the low end of the scale for both paperbacks (Penguins £1 or £2, as is the sci-fi) and hardbacks, but this is less true for the non-fiction, some of which seems rather optimistically priced. The ETGOW owner is enthusiastic and chatty. NWAD, but there is no other bookshop in this gritty and rather deprived town, so don’t pass it by if you are in the area.  Booker T 04.06.24

Oxfam Books and Music/DURHAM/18 Elvet Bridge
Oxfam Books and Music  Open at advertised times
18 Elvet Bridge   DURHAM   DH1 3AA
tel: 0191 384 6366  web 
Open:  Monday Saturday 10 - 5.30, Sunday 11.30 - 4.30.
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Large and well-stocked.  Thomas Krebs 
The nicest Oxfam Bookshop that I have been in. Housed in a three storey building in the historic centre of the cathedral city, this shop has a lot more character than most of the rest of the Oxfam bookshop chain. Medium sized, the books are spread over three rooms on the three floors with the second floor also having a small room with CDs, vinyl, DVDs and the inevitable video tapes. The usual glass cases for what they consider to be rare titles are in evidence, but in this instance are also used for some antiques and collectables as well.  Jeremy Briggs 
On three floors it is one of the best I've seen.  Geoff Martin 27.07.10
The most expensive Oxfam in the region, nothing priced to sell, how they make any money for their charity beats me. Frustrating as Durham needs a good secondhand bookshop.  PaulP 05.11.11
This must be the most expensive Oxfam bookshop in the country. Advisable, also, to take earplugs due to the loud muzak played throughout the shop.  Antimuzak 24.01.12
I'd like to revise the above comment ... The shop must have a new manager, because the prices seem more reasonable and the shelves packed with good things so now WAD.  PaulP 06.03.13
Climb: the ground floor is dull, the two above are full of interesting stock. Evidence of past over-pricing, but much very sensible, 1950s Pelicans at 2 for £3 a good example.  James Mackay 22.11.14
A new room on the top floor has opened, covering local interest and other matters. Came away with a small pile and change from £20. Good visit this time, but a bit of a lottery over regular visits like all Oxfam shops.  Anthony 26.01.15
Good while since I was back at Durham. Found 2 decent non-fiction books on the top floor. They need to remove some of the out-of-date/old stock to add the newer books to the shelves; lots of them on small tables and in boxes on the floor.  Chris K 15.01.16
This shop is moving down the road to 18 Elvet Bridge, Durham, DH1 3AA. The stock will be all on the ground floor so I'm worried that the character of the shop will be lost but will call when it opens next week and see.  Geoff 02.09.16
This shop is now open and I called at it today. The stock is all on the one floor and as a result rather crammed together. The charm of the old shop is lost and while there is a good range of stock, the academic section is reduced, which is odd for a University city. Some of the book shelves are very close together making it difficult get a good view of the books on the lower shelves. Overall I was disappointed with the change but even so the shop is still worth a visit.  Geoff 09.09.16
Bought a good £4.99 item on the 24th of May. Do though wish they made all the non-fiction items properly sorted - other Oxfams do this.  Chris K 03.06.17
I donated several books here recently & planned to purchase several books but agree with previous comments that they should consider revising their impractical pricing policy as much of their stock frankly remains too expensive to purchase.  Darania 30.08.18
Rather cramped and prices a bit high. A lot of the stock tatty. Managed to buy some books mainly due to the buy 4 for 3 offer on at the time.  David 06.10.18
Shop is nicely laid out but very cramped. Prices eye-wateringly high even when 4 for 3 items offer taken into consideration.  Graeme Rendall 11.10.18
Have to agree with the above descriptions. lovely shop just off the Elvet bridge. Better than the moribund flagship store in central London.

Bigger inside than it looks outside but little room to pass other browsers. Some good quality stuff here but some very high prices too.
  Jonathan Morgan 31.07.19
Yes, cramped, with tourists on a spring Sunday and with volunteers making it hard to pass. Not a bad Oxfam but not in my opinion better than the Boomsbury Oxfam. Prices? Well, Oxfam prices such as we now expect in most branches.  Adrian 10.04.22
All the sections recently moved around and the shop is much less cluttered than it used to be. If you're into local history and coal mining, the local history section is chock full of unusual titles at present. Mishmash of pricing, but I still came away with some good purchases.  Anthony 02.05.23
Some real gems to be found digging through the stock. Amazing selection on Canadian Railways currently!  Anthony 24.07.23

Oxfam/DARLINGTON/24 Skinnergate
Oxfam  Open at advertised times
24 Skinnergate  DARLINGTON  DL3 7NW
tel:  01325 382415  e-mail   web   
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.15 - 5.00, Sunday 10.00 - 2.00
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A large bookroom on the first floor. Extensive stock of fiction and non-fiction, with notably low prices.

A decent selection in a very large and well laid-out bookroom. Darlington has one of the largest Oxfams in the country, and the first floor here is given over exclusively to books, with the exception of a small section selling music and DVDs; children's books are on the ground floor. Lots of modern novels, mostly mass-market, with crime fiction a particular strength. Plenty of non-fiction too, with a high degree of organisation: the division of the stock into sub-categories is more detailed than I have seen at any other Oxfam. Most non-fiction categories have a reasonable stock, with the selection of travel books notably good. There are two separate sections of "antiquarian" books (for fiction and non-fiction); some of the stock in these is in a fairly battered condition and little of it is of any real interest. What really marks this shop out is not so much the quality (which is no better than average for Oxfam), but the prices, which are rock-bottom in every category. All fiction, including hardbacks, sells for 99p. Most of the non-fiction is £1.99 or £2.99. Even the so-called antiquarian books are sensibly priced. NWAD for most readers, but the large stock and cheap prices make it worth a visit if in town.   Booker T 13.03.24

People_s Bookshop Durham/DURHAM/The Attic Saddlers Yard
People's Bookshop Durham  Open at advertised times
The Attic Saddlers Yard  70 Saddler Street   DURHAM   DH1 3NP
tel: 0191 384 4399  e-mail  web 
Open:  Tuesday - Saturday 12.00 - 5.30.
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A radical, independent bookshop in the heart of Durham. Stocks mostly second hand books, with some new books from radical and local publishers. Political biography, socialism, marxism, labour history, radical theory and North East history a speciality. The bookshop is located in the 'vennel' (alleyway) before Waterstone's and then up two flights of "historic" (i.e rickety) stairs.

Really nice little bookshop with friendly chap and comfy seats, has reasonable general stock as well as specialities mentioned above a bit pricey but still worth the climb.  PaulP 12.06.12
I made it four staircases not two: just keep climbing. Worth getting there: not huge, but a thinking person's stock, especially for thinkers of the Left, and for local history and topographer; and a thinking owner too.  James Mackay 22.11.14
Travelled a long way to come here only to find the shop closed - on annual holidays!!! This is no way to run a bookshop!! Advertise your hours and stick to them - or you will go bust. Recommend you phone them before a visit - otherwise you are likely to find them closed.  PJD 01.08.15
To be found up a very small alleyway and then up some lethally winding and angled steps, stopping for oxygen on the way. Almost designed to put most of the lumpen proletariat off. The chap behind the desk did not communicate greatly as he was hearing large headphones Some good stuff on policing the Miners strike but nothing I could see on the Chartists. Not a huge stock - perhaps a few hundred or a great deal of any interest either.  Jonathan Morgan 31.07.19

Queerish Bookshop/DARLINGTON/39a Bondgate
The Queerish Bookshop  Open at advertised times
39a Bondgate  DARLINGTON  DL3 7JJ
e-mail   web   
Open: Wednesday - Saturday 11.00 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 4.00
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Bookshop specialising in LGBTQ+ and radical literature. Although it mainly sells new books, it has a small second-hand section, the stock of which reflects the shop's main areas of focus.

This shop, which opened in October 2023 in the town centre, has already made a significant impact, with a very proactive contribution to the LGBTQ+ and literary community, not least by hosting regular events - such as conversations with authors - and a monthly book club. The owner, Megan, describes the shop as "a queer and radical bookstore", but one that does stock the occasional book that may not fall into either category (the "-ish" in "Queerish"). The shop sells a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. In March it added a second-hand section as a permanent feature and, although this is still quite small, the aim is to develop it further. The shop is fully wheelchair accessible. Darlington, in marked contrast to several other large towns nearby, has quite a few bookshops - and this one is a highly distinctive and welcome addition.  Booker T 10.06.24

Saddle Up (was The Book _ Film Exchange)/DARLINGTON/109 Victoria Road
Saddle Up (was The Book & Film Exchange)  Phone before travelling
109 Victoria Road   DARLINGTON   DL1 5JQ
tel: 07946 505 886 
Open:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 8.30 - 4.00, Wednesday 8.30 - 1.00, Saturday 8.30 - 3.00.
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Walked past this on my way from and to the station. Didn't have time to go in. Note says that the current opening times are being affected by an illness.  Chris K 09.01.15
The shop is currently called "Saddle Up"(!) but is in the process of being taken over by a new owner (the previous person has now retired). There was a serious amount of paperback fiction on the somewhat chaotic ground floor (mixed in with vinyl LPs, although the new chap is in the process of "sorting everything out"), with a much smaller range of non-fiction, ranging from practically new through to well-thumbed. Also a decent range of SF p/bs which were flying off the shelves due to the current 4 for £5 offer. Hardbacks are downstairs but I ran out of time! New and very friendly owner says he is pricing stock cheaply to suit the local market. Less than two minutes' walk from the station.  Graeme Rendall 12.09.15
Encouraged by the report this shop was only two minutes from the station I called there between connections. Sadly despite the shop encouraging passers-by to use it, it was closed at mid-day. A sign tells you to ring the bell, but the bell is missing! Next time perhaps.  Steve Newman 22.02.18
This appears to be a type of sister shop to the Bishop Auckland one but has a greater degree of organisation to it. Books are quite literally piled floor to ceiling everywhere you look. I went round one pile to be confronted with a small area dedicated to soft porn from the 1970's. The long gone teenager in me got quite nostalgic! The cellar is fascinating and similarly piled. You need dedication and time in this shop but you may be rewarded. Two hours free parking in the car park behind the shop, and a cashpoint round the corner. Ring the bell as the door is normally locked. Very welcoming owner.  Jonathan Morgan 31.07.19
The shop has changed its name back to "The Book & Film Exchange". A notice on the door mentions that it is now run by volunteers and is a charity bookshop. I did not have time to go in. From the outside, at least, it looked much the same as on my only previous visit, about six years ago, with the ground floor stuffed with an enormous number of mass-market paperbacks. At that time, it was utterly chaotic and identifying anything even half-worth buying required a serious degree of effort. I would like to think things have changed for the better here, but from what I could see it is hard to be too optimistic about this. Victoria Road, which leads down from the railway station to the (rather nice) town centre, remains a distinctly unattractive street, despite some efforts at regeneration in recent years. Visitors have to ring the bell as the door is kept locked.  Booker T 13.03.24
The shop has changed its name back to "The Book & Film Exchange". A notice on the door mentions that it is now run by volunteers and is a charity bookshop. I did not have time to go in. From the outside, at least, it looked much the same as on my only previous visit, about six years ago, with the ground floor stuffed with an enormous number of mass-market paperbacks. At that time, it was utterly chaotic and identifying anything even half-worth buying required a serious degree of effort. I would like to think things have changed for the better here, but from what I could see it is hard to be too optimistic about this. Victoria Road, which leads down from the railway station to the (rather nice) town centre, remains a distinctly unattractive street, despite some efforts at regeneration in recent years. Visitors have to ring the bell as the door is kept locked.  Booker T 13.03.24

Village Bookshop/BARNARDCASTLE/36 Market PlaceMiddleton-in-Teesdale
The Village Bookshop   Phone before travelling
36 Market Place  Middleton-in-Teesdale    BARNARD CASTLE  DL12 0RJ
tel:  01833 640373  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10 - 4.00 in winter, 10.00 -5.00 summer.
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A small but good quality stock covering all subjects, but particularly country life and pastimes. Payment in cash only

Bright and pleasant shop with charity shoppish stock and prices, excellent range of local interest books. Toward the west end of the town.  PaulP 24.03.14
Can't believe no-one has reviewed here before. Very welcoming, nice atmosphere and good selection of collectanle and antiquarian titles. Keen prices, and nice to see a section on mining given the history of Middleton. Cash only, but mercifully there is a Barclays bank with an ATM over the road.  Anthony 24.07.23