Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

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Albamusick/GLASGOW/55 Otago Street
Albamusick  Open at advertised times
55 Otago Street   GLASGOW   G12 8PQ
tel: 0141 357 1795  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 11.00 - 5.30.
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Secondhand and antiquarian sheet music of all types together with related books. This vast collection of classical music, probably the largest in Britain, includes much of the standard repertoire and many items that are now out of print. We are about a mile west of George Square and close to the University and Kelvin Art Gallery and Museum.

Amazing stock of sheet music, absolutely amazing.  mikey 29.03.14

Books at the Barras/GLASGOW/London Road Market
Books at the Barras  Open at advertised times
London Road Market  The Barras   GLASGOW   G4 0TS
tel: 07986 118480 
Open:  Saturdays 9.00 - 4.00 and Sundays 10.00 - 4.00
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Medium sized general stock with an accent on Scottish, children's and collectable books. There are also two adjacent stalls that include books in their stock.

Caledonia Books/GLASGOW/483 Great Western Road
Caledonia Books  Open at advertised times
483 Great Western Road   GLASGOW   G12 8HL
tel: 0141 334 9663  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.30 - 6.00.
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Large good quality general stock, some antiquarian and particularly literature, the visual arts and Scottish books.

Big shop with a great selection of books over two rooms and an attic - probably the biggest of the Hillhead bookshops and, for me, the very definition of a good second hand bookshop.  Jeremy Briggs 
Caledonia Books is pretty hard to beat for quantity of stock and variety of subject matter,but don?t expect any bargains.  Allan Campbell 06.03.09
Impressively large selection covering all areas. Not bargains but well laid out and worth a look.  Norman Davies 10.06.10
Has recently changed with one room converted into a hairdresser but the basement has been opened. Nicely laid out but the stock doesn't seem to change very much and a little pricey.  Ken Bogle 30.03.11
Why are people so thick? Of course Caledonia is one of the best shops in Scotland and of course it isn't stuffed full of bargains. They PAY for the books, SIFT out the cr*p and pay WAGES to staff. I give up ...  Steve Liddle 07.07.11
Good shop this - well laid out, interesting stock, consistently good nick. Agree the only shame is lowish turnover of stock ... returning one year on I felt as though little was new.  Neil Goodlad 18.09.12
I spent at least two hours here going through all three floor levels of books. Very pleasant co-owner who tried to assist with my wants, but in vain. Always worth a visit as the subject matters are varied but, obviously, strongly Scottish.  Chris Harte 30.11.12
Update from visit this week - same view as June 2010! Agree last 2 comments above but I did buy a couple of decent items so worth a look.  Norman Davies 24.11.15
A plesant browsing experience, good varied selection. - Alan  10.10.19 10.10.19
This shop is now open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 12 noon to 6.00 pm. Exceedingly well stocked on the ground floor and a great selection of transport and military in the basement. A lovely tradional bookshop, not to be missed.  Wessexman 03.09.21

Category Is Books /GLASGOW/34 Allison Street
Category Is Books   Open at advertised times
34 Allison Street  GLASGOW  G42 8NN
tel:  0141 463 4934  e-mail   web  
Open: Thursday - Sunday 11.00 - 5.00
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A "fiercely independent queer" LGBT+ bookshop, established in 2018, near Queens Park station in Glasgow's Southside. A wide range of second-hand and new books, all by LGBT+ authors or with an LGBT+ theme. Fully accessible for wheelchair users.

The owners' policy is to stock "only books that specifically include LGBTQIA+ narratives and characters or are written by people in the queer community". The shop has only two staff and closes for regular breaks of around a fortnight at a time, approximately every eight to ten weeks. These dates are set a long time in advance and are published in the 'Calendar' section of the shop's website, so checking this is essential before travelling any distance.   Booker T 03.05.24

Cooper Hay Rare Books /GLASGOW/185a Bath Street  
Cooper Hay Rare Books   Open at advertised times
185a Bath Street    GLASGOW  G2 4HU
tel:  0141 221 3922  e-mail   web
Open:  Tuesday - Thursday 10.00 - 5.00
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Quality secondhand and antiquarian books, particularly art, literature, illustrated, children's, bindings and Scottish books. ABA ILAB and PBFA member.

London Road Market/GLASGOW/The Barras
London Road Market  Open at advertised times
The Barras   GLASGOW   G40 1PE
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Oxfam Bookshop/GLASGOW/330 Byres Road
Oxfam Bookshop  Open at advertised times
330 Byres Road   GLASGOW   G12 8AP
tel: 0141 338 6185  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 6.00, Sunday 12.00 - 6.00. Open most public holidays.
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Big, busy, well organised shop which appears to have a high turnover of stock. One of the biggest Oxfam Bookshops that I have ever come across.  Jeremy Briggs 
Yes, the BIGGEST Oxfam I have seen. Sadly it was also about the most expensive and I found the stock mundane, boring even. Staff about the same as the shop, with a very "who cares" attitude.  The Wanderer 11.02.09
Couldn't agree more with The Wanderer's thoughts on this Oxfam bookshop.Very expensive but, if you're feeling a bit low, it's well worth a visit to look in their "Glass Case", as snorting to oneself and un-inhibited laughter usually follow. What annoys me in particular is proffering more than one book to the staff at the till. I think they're programmed to accept only one book,and go into overload if you hand them six.  Allan Campbell 06.03.09
I think this must have shrunk since last review. Ordinary, full of Uni text books, and hilariously expensive specials.  Norman Davies 10.06.10
Hey chill out guys. Oxfam is about raising as much money as possible for worthy causes. I think this is an excellent shop that's always busy and has a rapidly changing stock. True, a little on the pricey side but all in a good cause.  Ken Bogle 30.03.11
Ludicrously overpriced, makes the charity look greedy and ignorant. Don't give them your money.  Bookist 14.05.11
The Bookist is dead right and Mr Bogle should examine Oxfam's books at Companies House. 80% of their secondhand book turnover goes in 'overheads'. They are not interested in books, they are interested in 'profile' which garners bequests. This from the mouth of a senior employee. On a very good wage. And company car.  Steve Liddle 07.07.11
Revisited 5 years on. Getting away from the politics, sorry, but purely from a book buying point of view the prices were eye watering. To be fair the weather was awful and I spent a nice dry half hour in here.  Norman Davies 24.11.15
By far the best of Oxfam's Glasgow outlets, this is a spacious and well stocked shop next to Hillhead Library in the University district. Not to be missed and only a 10 minute walk from Caledonia Books on Great Western Road. A lively part of the city.  Wessexman 03.09.21

Oxfam Bookshop/GLASGOW/437 Victoria Road
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
437 Victoria Road   GLASGOW   G42 8RW
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Friendly Oxfam outlet, less pretentious than its Byres Road cousin. Prices are good and the stock is varied if on the small side. They seem to be big on comics.  Steven Kelly 27.07.11

Oxfam Merchant City Bookshop/GLASGOW/5 Royal Exchange Square
Oxfam Merchant City Bookshop   Open at advertised times
5 Royal Exchange Square    GLASGOW  G1 3AH
tel:  0141 248 9176  e-mail   web   
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 6.00, Thursday 10.00 - 7.00, Sunday 12.00 - 4.00
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A relaxed charity book boutique in the heart of Glasgow offering a range of quality fiction and non-fiction. We are Glasgow's newest Oxfam bookshop and we look forward to seeing you!

Medium stock, very upmarket Oxfam bookshop, similar style to that in Jesmond, Newcastle. Prices tend to be on the high-ish side, perhaps unsurprising given what must be sizeable overheads.  Steven Kelly 27.07.11
A rather small, fairly narrow shop opposite the modern art museum, GoMA. It does have the same tough brown shelves as in Jesmond. But only a fraction of the books to be found in the Byres Rd one. An odd choice by Oxfam?  Chris K 24.08.13
A bizarre Oxfam literally in central Glasgow. Small selection, standard Oxfam fare, nothing special on my visit: I won't bother repeating my usual comments on high prices.  Norman Davies 24.11.15
Not a huge stock for an expensive city centre location, but this time I struck lucky and found two titles that have eluded me for some time.   Wessexman 03.09.21
The rent for this shop, in the very heart of the city centre, is no doubt substantial, hence the generally high prices here. It has a good stock of fiction, both modern and classic; most of the paperbacks are priced at £3.49 (some are £2.99). Also fairly good for history, Scottish interest, travel and art. A small selection of children's books. Quite a dull antiquarian selection, although not especially high prices for these. This is a rather disappointing shop for such a prime location. Given the limited space in these narrow premises, the encroachment of Oxfam fair trade tat - socks, rugs, dominoes, fudge, organic olive oil, dried apricots and a whole lot more - is greatly to be deplored. An overpowering smell of a nauseating type of incense further detracted from the experience. NWAD. A fellow customer informed me that the Oxfam bookshop at Byres Road in Hillhead is vastly superior.  Booker T 29.05.24

Relics/GLASGOW/Dowanside Lane
Relics  Open at advertised times
Dowanside Lane  Byers Road   GLASGOW   G12 9BZ
tel: 0141 341 0007 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 11.30 - 5.30, Sunday 12.00 - 4.00.
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Huddled with a few other shops quite a distance down a back alley opposite Hillhead Underground station, this is a rather chaotic collectables shop with a good selection of annuals, popular music, film and television related books.  Jeremy Briggs 
Takes tatty to a whole new level. Books with missing pages, broken spines and just downright nasty, all overpriced for good-quality editions, let alone the load of tat they were. Only about 50 meters from the road but that is still not worth the walk.  The Wanderer 11.02.09
One of two shops in the W End of Glasgae where bargains are possible. Gently wend your way through the bric a brac to the shelves on the far wall - a decent mixed selection of non-fiction. Some nicely priced railway books took my fancy. Bought 3 at £3 each.  Chris K 30.09.10
Agree with Chris K. Found it despite a tropical deluge and was surprisingly dry inside. Yes a messy place full of some bizarre items but the books were ok and the odd bargain made it worth a look (there is a music shop next door with some s/h music books).  Norman Davies 24.11.15

Thistle Books/GLASGOW/61 Otago Street
Thistle Books  Open at advertised times
61 Otago Street   GLASGOW   G12 8PQ
tel: 0141 334 8777 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 11.00 - 5.30.
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A general secondhand bookshop with an interest in history and and Scottish books.

A general secondhand bookshop with an interest in history and Scottish books. Don't be put off by it being down a back lane off Otago Street - a medium-sized shop with a good general stock, well worth searching out.  Jeremy Briggs 
Well worth a visit. Friendly and welcoming owner, great condition stock at very fair prices and very nicely set-out. The best of the Glasgow bookshops for me.  The Wanderer 11.02.09
Thistle Books is literally a few yards away from V&R,but never thought much of it stock-wise,although it?s quite well laid out.  Allan Campbell 06.03.09
Excellent: dont be put off by dodgy alley approach. Friendly owner, particularly strong on music books and politics. Worth a detour.  Norman Davies 10.06.10
Suggest that 'The Wanderer' may just be related to the owner of this shop. Hardly anywhere near as good as 'Caledonian Books' nor as eccentric/attractive as V&R's chaos. "never thought much of it stock-wise, although it's quite well laid out" is about right unless classical music books and scores are your thing. Owner is audibly upset when you can't find anything to buy. But there are no bargains in the middling stock. Falls between most stools. Sorry.  Chris K 30.09.10
Wrong to say it 'falls between stools' - you'll be hard-pressed to find a better selection of contemporary Scottish fiction anywhere. Knowledgeable owner too, only variable condition stops this being a real pleasure for a collector.  Neil Goodlad 18.09.12
A pleasant enough bookshop with a fairly good variety of general subjects although a heavy concentration on music. I thought the prices were somewhat at the top end which restricted my purchases.  Chris Harte 30.11.12
Didn't think the alleyway was too dodgy (the shop is tucked away to the right at the far end, two minutes walk from the Great Western Road). Welcoming and friendly owner, decent selection of titles which were nicely laid out and prices not eye-wateringly off-putting. Would definitely pay a return visit.  Graeme Rendall 10.03.18
Pleasant shop, interesting history and music sections. Nice owner. Not at all problematic to find in this leafy part of Glasgow.  Alan 10.10.19

Voltaire and Rousseau/GLASGOW/18 Otago Lane
Voltaire and Rousseau  Open at advertised times
18 Otago Lane   GLASGOW   G12 8PB
tel: 0141 339 1811  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 11.00 - 6.30.
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Large stock including literature, history, Scottish and antiquarian books.

Down a much friendlier lane off Otago street than Thistle Books, this big shop could give Caledonia Books a run for its money with the amount of stock. Books to the ceiling but also in piles on the floor in front of the bookshelves. With more stock than they really have room for, it gives the impression that the book you are after is there if only you could spend the time moving the piles about. However if you want to search through the science fiction pile you might have to persuade the sleeping cat to move first. That said, this is my favourite shop in the area, always worth a visit.  Jeremy Briggs 
Cluttered just about starts to describe this dump. Give yourself a couple of hours just to move the mainly-creased stock from where they are dumped. As for looking at any of the lower shelves, forget it unless you like shifting piles of stuff with nowhere to put it. They need to dump the crap and then they could display the books they have which are worth buying.  The Wanderer 11.02.09
Voltaire and Rousseau's is an institution and I like going there, and there's a secret to dealing with the piles of books in front of the shelves. Simply knock them over. One of the guys then comes along and insists that he will sort it out. When he's doing that you simply stand beside him and look at what he's picking up. Easy! Good prices in here and the military section is extensive. Never seem to have much travel or biography, which is quite unusual. Cash only too,which can be a bit of a pain,especially if you?re buying a decent quantity.  Allan Campbell 06.03.09
Certainly not a dump. Great '£1 and under' section, great sci fi section and very good history section. The fact that you have to do a little bit of searching is not a problem. 'Cash only' doesnt bother me as I often carry money.  Ian McElroy 18.08.09
  Norman Davies 10.06.10
After half-an-hour in this shop I felt almost suicidal  Richard 04.08.10
Absolutely eccentric and highly recommended if you don't mind getting your hands and knees dirty. Prissy-minded librarians should avoid at all costs. The book you want is here but you have to find it. Books are buried so long that bargains eventually emerge. I love this shop. Full of character. And characters.  Ken Bogle 30.09.10
A Glasgow institution. Look on it as a fantastical book cave, with crumbly walls. - Alan Forbes 31.0511.

The stock keeps increasing. Someone is going to get crushed by a ton of books. At least the bystanders will then be able to see the books behind the fallen tower. Love the place but rarely leave it with the book I went in for.
  Lorenzo T 27.09.12
Pure anarchy. That really is the only way to describe this quite wonderfully cluttered shop. For a perfect search allow two days while wearing old clothing. I wondered initially if I would find anything I collected. After three hours the boot of my car was full and I had paid an unexpected visit to a cash machine. The treasures hidden away are breathtaking. But, as a warning, you will need patience. WWAD.  Chris Harte 30.11.12
Very large stock for size of premises. Complete with cat.  mikey 29.03.14
Chaotic, anarchic and a legendary Glasgow institution. I guarantee that you will find five volumes of that six volume set which you have always been looking out for. He's swear he knows where the sixth is ... Not to be missed.  Oor Wullie 26.07.14
Revisited after 5 years - Marmite place. I love it including rearranging the huge unwieldy piles and found some goodies. Patience and strength needed. Unfortunately the combined bad weather + presence of 2 less fortunate souls gave a pungency to the rear of the shop which ultimately shortened our visit. Back again in the spring!  Norman Davies 24.11.15
Always interesting and in its own way exciting to visit. That said I tend to be buying much less than I used to do. Maybe this is me or maybe it is that among the huge volume of books there are less really desirable books than there once was. It could of course be that the books are becoming even more difficult to see amongst the piles and crowded shelves.  JohnT 22.02.16
Anyone with a morbid fear of being buried alive should avoid this shop like the plague. What were presumably once neatly stocked shelves have been totally obscured by piles of randomly and precariously planted titles, encroaching upon what little floorspace there is. A "one-way system" should be in force around the shop as you could be trapped in there for ages by more sturdier souls rearranging said piles for that elusive tome. Felt claustrophobic and was unwilling to create an avalanche. I'm sure some visitors love it but I wasn't one of them I'm afraid.  Graeme Rendall 10.03.18
Made a special trip as I've often found interesting items in the £1 room, but not this time as the £1 room was completely inaccessible due to boxes, a folded stepladder and piles of books on the floor. The only way to reach the shelves would be to dig a tunnel.  booksellerbull 06.10.18
I think there may be many interesting books here. But they are stacked 4 foot high, up to three piles deep. Shelves are difficult to access as a result.  Alan 10.10.19
V&R remains much the same as ever - like it or loathe it - but I did sense that the two and three deep piles of books obscuring the bottom shelves have retreated ever so slightly since my last visit 2 years back. Personally speaking, I enjoy the challenge of seeking those titles lurking in the depths, and came away with a couple of nice acquisitions.  Wessexman 03.09.21
I see Sheppard's Confidential (July 2023) issue is pointing me in the direction, (via third party sacharine reviews) of Voltaire & Rousseau, Glasgow. Nice romantic booky business name that....been there recently. Actually a glorified back street lock-up industrial shed with strip lighting. Has a reputation both good & bad depending on your romantic - practicality spectrum. Rumour has it a Russian Oligarch has buried his gold bullion here safe in the knowledge it'll never be found. Of all the shops I've reviewed this one has the scantest regard for customer disability access. If you have a bad back - don't go, If you want a bad back - don't go. Dedicated and fit book fanaticists should carry a triggered grab stick to reach their precious volume, (but be prepared for the subsequent avalanche.) Do they have some good books? - yes - somewhere; keep digging; take a snorkle....Sorry, I'm on the practicality spectrum.  SaltaireTom 11.08.23
If you are in at the right time you can strike lucky. I once found a very good first of Lytton's The Coming Race in the £1 section by the front door and on my last visit I found a nice first of Dahl's Gremlins for £3.99. Rare happenings like those make up for the fallow visits and keep me coming back. It all depends on what has just come into stock and who has been there before you.  John Eggeling  30.12.23

Young_s Interesting Books/GLASGOW/18 Skirving Street
Young's Interesting Books  Open at advertised times
18 Skirving Street  Shawlands   GLASGOW   G41 3AA
tel: 0141 6499599  e-mail 
Open:  Monday - Friday 11.00 - 6.00, Saturday 10.00 - 6.00 & Sunday 12.00 - 5.00.
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Small but growing general selection, with an emphasis on illustrated, unusual and quirky titles, pop-up books and nice editions of modern and classic literature. Also a good Glasgow and Scottish selection. Just opened in Shawlands, we're buying as well, and we'd be delighted to find elusive items you're after.

Interesting Books?. Not to me they weren't. Small shop, well located opposite an Oddbins and a popular cafe/deli. Having made an effort to get to a new shop, I try to find at least a courtesy purchase. Nearest to this was overpriced and NSOC. Another Drif acronym I like is NWAD.  Chris K 01.07.10
(NSOC - Not Strong On Condition, NWAD - Not Worth A Detour. TBG)

I tend to agree with the first review, definately NSOC and NWAD. Not been up and running for a long so may improve with time.
  The Bimbler 28.04.11
Reasonable prices for hardbacks but silly prices for some less than pristine paperbacks. Not 'Glasgow's only Southside bookshop' as there is an excellent remainder/discount bookshop in Shawlands Arcade and Oxfam bookshop in Victoria Road.  Alan Forbes 31.05.11
There are three reviews of the above shop on your site which were posted in our first few months of opening, the latest being two and a half years ago. Despite them we are thriving, and would request that someone comes round and sees the shop as it is now. It is a little unfair that early reviews of a shop, starting from scratch in very difficult circumstances, should be reviewed in such a negative light that it might prevent other people coming to see our progress.  Barry Young 11.10.13
Reasonable, small selection on general subjects. However completely over-priced: for that reason, NWAD.  Steven Kelly 23.01.16