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Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

News:
New bookshop The Plantagenet King
New small stock at The Leas Lift Railway Cafe
The New Romney Red Cross shop is no longer a bookshop
The Book Palace has closed (see Catching Lives entry)
New Oxfam bookshop in Deal

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Appointment necessary   Appointment necessary
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We do our best to make sure these details are correct and up-to-date. However we recommend that you contact bookshops before making a special journey.

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All Saints_ Book Cafe/BIRLING/All Saint_s Church
All Saints' Book Cafe  Open at advertised times
All Saint's Church  Snodland Road   BIRLING   ME19 5JF
map
tel: 07970 276070  e-mail  web 
Open:  Third Saturday of each month 10.00 - 1.00.
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Large selection of quality books on all subjects. All at very reasonable prices. Proceeds go to support this Grade 1 listed church. A small cafe provides light refreshments and a comfortable place to browse.


Aviation Bookshop/TUNBRIDGE WELLS/31-33 Vale Road
The Aviation Bookshop  Open at advertised times
31-33 Vale Road   TUNBRIDGE WELLS   TN1 1BS
map
tel: 01892 539284  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.
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For over 50 years we have stocked literature on the subject of aviation in all its aspects. Parking is available in the multi-story car park opposite the shop. The shop is situated in the centre of town about 200 yards from the main line station: Tunbridge Wells on the Charing Cross Line.

What it said on the tin; Extensive stock on all aviation related topics. A well organised and well laid out shop if your interest lies in this area. (Biggles is a far as it gets for me - Chocks away!)  Jon Morgan 07.03.13
From Kites & Balloons to present day. A two hour browse around a goodly selection of interesting new & s/hand, civil & military, aviation books was well worth my time & travel.  Zim 29.05.15

Baggins Book Bazaar/ROCHESTER/19 High Street
Baggins Book Bazaar  Open at advertised times
19 High Street   ROCHESTER   ME1 1PY
map
tel: 01634 811651  e-mail  web 
Open:  Every day 10.00 - 6.00.
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Secondhand books in profusion, all subjects. We run a secondhand booksearch service.

Whether it really is the largest second hand bookshop in the country may be open to debate, but the front part of the shop, which holds the better quality stock is alone always worth visiting in its own right. Behind this the shop goes on and on, over two floors, with a wide selection and volume of stock. I rarely leave empty-handed, but customers would be advised to wrap up well if visiting in winter!  Henry Middleton 05.02.08
Vast stock but is actually fifteen different dealers under one roof. When I asked for a price on wishing to buy in bulk I was refused on the grounds it was the individual dealers' decisions. Having said this the manager (who reminded me of Arthur Daley in his pomp) then went and priced a three-figure rare title. Hmm!  Chris Harte 27.06.09
Boasts that it is the largest secondhand bookshop in England, but I've been in a number that are larger. Having said that, the shop does have a very large stock and is well worth a visit. I found the sections on biography, politics and history particularly good. However, in the case of history, you will need to look at the upstairs travel section as well as the history section proper downstairs, as many history books are shelved alongside travel and other books related to the countries concerned. A number of shops do this for reasons best known to themselves and if you aren't aware of the possibility, you can miss out on some valuable finds.  Geoffrey Warner 07.10.10
Contrary to the advertisment of being the "largest 2nd hand bookshop in England" - its not! Its big, but noweher near as big as Book Barn near Bristol. Its similar size to Astley Book Farm and Barter Books in Northumberland. Books in sections bit muddled up. Worth a visit though.  I Baillie 26.04.11
Smelly old bookshop but frequented often for many years. But they charge top price for their books and they're subject to wet conditions as the roof leaks! Plus they should be in a position to have a database of all their books by now but expect they don't want to pay for someone to do it.  saxplayer67 20.02.12
Good, solid range of books. Layout has improved somewhat in recent years, albeit from an awful baseline with plenty of scope to improve further. Maybe biased as I was locked in once.  David C 10.01.13
The front half of this shop is starting to show signs of the curse of second hand bookshops - crates, bags, boxes ( one labelled "really crap novels"!) and piles of unsorted books blocking access and obscuring the lower shelves.  Henry Middleton 05.04.14
Some of the stock has been here for years and needs culling: the arts section mainly comprises 1960s monographs of painters reproduced in black & white. Pricing is ambitious in some cases: I spotted two small and slim collections of old postcards that I had just bought from a charity shop for four quid the pair, priced here at twenty-five each.  Nicholas Sack 08.07.14
Some evidence that the ravages of time like decaying and descending ceilings is being addressed. Sadly though not the decaying and rarely changing stock. This shop is still very strong on history and military but the modern or indeed any fiction is stale and a large scale cull as the previous reviewer has suggested, is long overdue. The piles obscuring shelves are a constant irritant here as elsewhere.  Jon Morgan 07.08.14
I really cannot find many faults with this shop. Yes, the same people are at the front desk; Yes, some of the stock hasn't moved for a while, and Yes, there are a few damp spots. But on the positive side the vast number of titles do offer a wide selection for these looking for generic publications. Fortunately, on this visit I had taken my wife's shopping trolley in with me. It left full to the brim.  Chris Harte 06.06.15
It may not actually be the country's biggest secondhand bookshop (as it claims to be) but this place is amazing. It is huge, with an extensive and varied stock of fiction, non fiction, hardbacks and paperbacks covering all genres and subjects. Baggins is a browser's paradise, and the owners are friendly as well. Upstairs there is a good selection of science fiction paperbacks, but whatever your area of interest, you are likely to find something you want in this amazing place, rivalling Barter Books up in Northumberland for the sheer range of stock on its shelves.  Richard 20.07.15
Great shop, lots of books on lots of subjects. You wander around, wishing to find nothing special. Why? Because this shop is seriously overpriced. Not just the rare books, all books. Don't expect a lucky find here, expect tourist prices!  Hees 15.11.15
I must disagree about being overpriced. My last visit saw me pay 35 pounds for two volumes worth at least 150 pounds each. Also remember that the shop comprises fifteen dealers who price in their own way. I visit every six months and each time easily fill my wife's shopping trolley.  Chris Harte 26.11.15
Advertised as the largest bookshop in England - I'm not sure Barter Books in Alnwick or Bookcase in Carlisle would agree but who cares? Plenty - more than plenty - to browse and prices for the most part in the range you'd expect.  Steven Kelly 13.07.17
The fiction sections (there seem to be at least two) are specially worth investigating by those seeking once-popular but now half-forgotten authors like Ann Bridge, Jane Duncan, Lilian Beckwith, Richard Gordon and "Miss Read". I noticed a lot of books by those writers when I visited today.  Laurence Purcell 15.01.18
Another visit and another two boxloads of purchases. My specialities are well catered for and the stock of them had been replenished since last time. Prices very acceptable.  Chris Harte 10.07.18
Huge stock but I have found them overpriced at times. Slow moving stock.  loracs 10.07.18
Don't be suckered in by the 750,000 books claim. It's more like 75,000, if even that. A lot of what I saw on the shelves was dusty and not in the best repair. Prices a little on the high side. Some old and unusual titles but nothing compelling. Left empty-handed and won't be hurrying back.   Stive 18.10.21

Bookmark/RAINHAM/15c Rainham Shopping Centre
The Bookmark  Open at advertised times
15c Rainham Shopping Centre   RAINHAM   ME8 7HW
map
tel: 01634 365987 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30. Sunday 10.00 - 4.00
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Over 40,000 reasonably priced books at your fingertips. Wide range of both fiction and non-fiction. Very Good History, Travel, Biography, Childrens & study sections. Book searches undertaken. Range of large print & audio books. Great jazz while you browse.

On entry started muttering to myself about wasting 50p in car park charging. Within a few minutes realised that there was good stock so long as you had your eyes looking upwards on to the top shelves. Eventually came away with two carrier bags full but be aware; the manager's spoken English is not very good.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
Fantastic range of well priced books in an incredibly well oragnised and clean shop. Really helpful, well spoken and knowledgeable staff.  J 27.04.12
One of my favorite bookshops. Very good stock of books and the owners will look out for books for you. Prices are very reasonable.  Dave 24.05.12
A tremendous range of high-quality stock, all neatly ordered and shelved. The voluble owner might entertain you with his opinions on the practices of Amazon. I found a signed hardback copy of Fay Godwin's photos of Romney Marsh, with text by Richard Ingrams, for a gleefully low price.  Nicholas Sack 08.07.14
It depends on your interests I suppose and this was one of the best laid out and best organised bookshops in Kent. A pleasure to browse in if you are interested in local or military subjects. The practice of piling two rows of books on a shelf is really annoying and off-putting after shifting them for half an hour one is inclined to give up. Many of the lower shelves in this otherwise well devised shop are utterly obscured by piles and boxes. Many remainders and multiple copies, get rid of the 6 plus copies of Kate Mosse's Labyrinth and there may be room for some more quality stock. Plenty of charity shops close by, otherwise quite a depressing little shopping centre in a depressing county.  Jon Morgan 07.08.14
Good for modern books - quick moving stock. Good prices.  loracs 10.07.18
Combined with a visit to Sunburst this makes Rainham worth a visit. Stock here pretty good although prices a little high. Very well selected and shelves easy to check.  Chris Harte 28.11.19
Prices a little on the high side. A lot of paperback fiction and lots of war related stock  David 18.09.21

Brenda Books /HYTHE/Stall 37  The Malthouse  Malthouse HIll  
Brenda Books   Open at advertised times
Stall 37  The Malthouse  Malthouse HIll    HYTHE  CT21 5BW
map
tel:  07989 145190  e-mail   web  
Open:  Friday & Saturday 9.30 -5.00.
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Brenda Books, one of the largest stalls at the Malthouse, can be found on the top floor in the corner next to the cafe. This bookshop offers a range of interesting books with many of them now out of print publications. Local history is a speciality, with many new, secondhand and out of print books on Kent and East Sussex for sale.

Reasonably priced and very helpful staff, the other units of 'collectables' in the mall offer a fascinating range of items for sale too.  Steve Newman 15.09.15
Decent stock but prices of some books are on the high side. Others more reasonable though. Very helpful staff, the other units of 'collectables' in the mall offer a fascinating range of items for sale too.   Steve Newman 22.08.21

Broadstairs Bookshop/BROADSTAIRS/7 Albion Street
The Broadstairs Bookshop  Open at advertised times
7 Albion Street   BROADSTAIRS   CT10 1LU
map
tel: 01843 860824 
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Smaller and more low key shop in the same street (as Albion Books) which had a presentable stock - in much the same areas.  Herne 
A most knowledgable owner who was candid enough to state that his good material went virtually as soon as it arrived. He had some interesting bits from between the wars but little else from pre-1960.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
Helpful owner and reasonably priced stock too. Worth a visit but don't expect anything out of the ordinary.  Steve Newman 03.12.14
Many gaps on the shelves. Apart from a section of children's books there was not much order to the rest. Condition not v good. There are a lot of clocks in the shop so maybe the owner is changing direction.  David 14.09.21
A small shop with limited stock and it could do with a bit of a tidying up. But it's better than it looks; persevere and you may be rewarded. There is a cabinet devoted to (mostly hardback) PG Wodehouse and a strong speciality in children's books.  Laurence Purcell 17.09.21

Burgate Bookshop/CANTERBURY/10B Burgate
Burgate Bookshop  Open at advertised times
10B Burgate   CANTERBURY   CT1 2HG
map
tel: 01227 638458  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 10.00 - 4.00.
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Charity Bookshop run by Pilgrims Trust.

Easy to find and staff welcoming. BTA charity shop although probably of more interest to readers than collectors.  Steven 13.08.14
This is quite a way past the cathedral and surrounded by Cancer Research, BHF etc. It is however a significant cut above the usual charity shop as regards books. A good modern fiction section on the ground floor with a basement with more to browse. Whilst not on the level of the Book Palace it is nevertheless Charity shop plus.  Jon Morgan 01.10.15
Large bookshop very clean and wonderfully perfumed on two floors a very large selection of relatively common books well priced.  John Bacon 18.04.16
Oh, dear. I just cannot agree with any of the above viewpoints. I found the manager pretentious; the stock wishy-washy; and the hangers-on more than up themselves.  Chris Harte 28.11.19
It's a bit paperback heavy but good things can be found if you poke around. The staff are agreeable (by no means something to rely upon in a secondhand bookshop).  Laurence Purcell 21.08.21
Mostly standard stuff but worth having a good look around as we did find a couple of gems. Stock clean and tidy.  David 14.09.21

Canterbury CLC Bookshop/CANTERBURY/22A Lower Bridge Street
Canterbury CLC Bookshop  Open at advertised times
22A Lower Bridge Street   CANTERBURY   CT1 2LG
map
tel: 01227 463 535   e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.15 - 5.00.
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New and secondhand Christian books.

Mainly new books. However there are sufficient secondhand and remainders to make it of interest to those of us who still read Christian books. Staff are etgow.  Steven 14.08.14

Catching Lives Charity Bookshop /CANTERBURY/28 Palace Street  
Catching Lives Charity Bookshop   Open at advertised times
28 Palace Street    CANTERBURY  CT1 2DZ
map
tel:  07899 458961   
Open:  7 days 10.00 - 5.00.
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An interesting little charity shop which has much to offer. The titles on the shelves were standard fare but what is more important is the way proceeds are used to provide winter shelter for the homeless. I purchased as I wanted to help their work.  Chris Harte 28.11.19
Agree with much of what Chris Harte has to say. Stock in good condition and well priced. Previously traded as The Book Palace and were over the road.  David 14.09.21

Chapel (was The Albion Bookshop)/BROADSTAIRS/44-46, Albion Street
The Chapel (was The Albion Bookshop)    Phone before travelling
44-46, Albion Street    BROADSTAIRS  CT10 1NE
map
tel:  07837 024259 
Open:  Monday - Thursday from 3.00, Friday - Sunday 12.00 - 2.00
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Re-opened in 2013 as an ale and cider house, coffee shop and secondhand bookshop.

The "secondhand department" of a shop selling new books . Vast and rather sprawling - can be difficult to get into some rooms for the piles of books. But helpful staff and pretty good on literature and travel.  Herne 
Certainly worth a visit, but the piles of new/unshelved stock seem to increase every time I visit, to the detriment of the overall experience - perhaps a sort-out to concentrate on quality over quantity might help?  Henry Middleton 05.02.08
I would agree that it is really time for this shop to have a sort out. Many of the prices are optimistic and much of the stock needs to be skipped. There are some bargains to be had but most people would soon get fed up trying to find them. Bookshops such as this are going to the wall every week and a complete rethink is needed here.  Nicholas Pendower 17.11.08
Very muddled shop but overflowing with all types of books. Most titles from the 1970-2005 era and very little pre-war material. Owner was helpful but his pricing was all over the place. Worth a visit for his political autobiographies which are there in a large number.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
If your idea of a bookshop involves sitting amongst books drinking real ale & cider this is definitely the place for you. Don't expect bargain prices either with the books or ale and stock is all over the place, but worthy of a call if in the area and thirsty!  Steve Newman 03.12.14
Now a Bookshop In Name Only. The gallery is closed and to examine the stock which remains downstairs involves bobbing and beg-pardoning over the heads of drinkers seated at tables ranged before the shelves. Avoid.  Laurence Purcell 17.09.21

Chaucer Book Shop/CANTERBURY/6-7 Beer Cart Lane
Chaucer Book Shop  Open at advertised times
6-7 Beer Cart Lane   CANTERBURY   CT1 2NY
map
tel: 01227 453912  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00.
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Large general stock of quality secondhand and antiquarian books.

An excellent quality shop on two floors. Aside from any other attractions Canterbury may have to offer, this and the Canterbury Bookshop make the city a very worthwhile stopping point for any passing bibliophile.  Henry Middleton 05.02.08
A very well laid out shop spread over two floors. There is quality on the shelves with top of the range selections in most categories. Owner was very helpful in searching his database for any of the titles I required. This is a shop a collector should have on their visiting list.  Chris Harte 20.05.10
As the existing comments suggest, this shop is primarily for collectors and this is reflected in the prices. However, the general browser may find the odd title and the books are in impeccable condition.  Geoffrey Warner 15.12.11
One of the best selections outside London - most bases covered. Found it difficult to leave.  Herne 30.03.12
Good quality bookshop only a minute or so from the very heart of Canterbury.  David Collison 14.06.12
All the previous comments are true and it is a lovely shop, but little here for the book buyer / reader as opposed to the collector. Lots of lovely books wrapped in cellophane but only a small modern fiction section, much of which appears to be new / remainder as opposed to second hand. The history / military sections are really excellent though.  Jon Morgan 01.10.15
This is a largish - 100 bookcases secondhand bookshop - you can reckon on about 250 books on a bookcase so about 25,000 books, the stock is almost entirely collectable books chosen for content, condition and edition, so some books will be considerably more expensive than a non-book collector would expect.  Michael Child 27.09.16
Always a pleasure to visit. Well curated stock, ordered and displayed with care. Prices are fair and the owners very ETGOW. Conveniently located between station and town centre. Particularly strong on architecture,literature and biography.  Michael Ross 22.12.19
As agreeable an experience as ever to visit: a most civilised shop. The section on cars is the most extensive I've ever seen in a general secondhand shop.  Laurence Purcell 21.08.21
Excellent shop. Everything well displayed and in very good condition. Prices fair. A real pleasure to visit. Strong on literary biography.   David 14.09.21

Cinque Ports Military Bookshop/TENTERDEN/The Old Stables
Cinque Ports Military Bookshop  Open at advertised times
The Old Stables  2B East Cross  High Street   TENTERDEN   TN30 6AD
map
tel: 01580 766224  e-mail  web 
Open:  Saturday 10.00 - 5.00.
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Specialist military bookshop, opens January 2012 on Saturdays only. All books at reasonable prices, please contact before travelling any distance. Military books across a range of subjects.

A good stock of books in very good condition and at competitive prices. The owner is knowledgeable in his field, amiable and pays fairly when he buys books.  David H 18.04.16

Dymchurch Books/DYMCHURCH/(Pilgrims Hospice)
Dymchurch Books  Open at advertised times
(Pilgrims Hospice)  10-12 High Street   DYMCHURCH   TN29 0NG
map
tel: 01303 872215 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.30, closed Wednesday.
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On main through village near Amusement Park. Notice on door shows it as open 7 days a week. Not large but looked interesting. Unfortunately I was passing through after it had closed for the day.  Clive Cheeseman 10.09.07
This appears to be the Pilgrims Hospice bookshop, at 10-12 High Street, Dymchurch. Open daily, 10.30 to 4.30 in summer and to 4 in winter. A wide range of stock at low prices on two floors: I found an unusual album of Portuguese steam railways - for a friend.  Nicholas Sack 03.07.15
The Hospice Bookshop, 10-12 High Street, DYMCHURCH, Kent, comments = Good range of stock on two floors keenly priced. I came away with a bag full of books for just £15. Try doing that in Oxfam!  Steve Newman 26.04.19

Fleur Bookshop/FAVERSHAM/1A Gatefield Lane
Fleur Bookshop  Open at advertised times
1A Gatefield Lane   FAVERSHAM   ME13 8NX
map
tel: 01795 590 621 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 3.30.
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Modest sections of middlebrow material on most general subjects; strongest on contemporary paperback fiction. Shop is just round the corner from the Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre, which stocks a boggling array of small press titles about all aspects of Kent: all new, alas: none secondhand.  Nicholas Sack 23.12.15
Bugger!! I was hoping to keep that a secret; an interesting shop that was happy to sell me rare and reasonably valuable books at a trivial price.  John Eggeling 15.01.16
This is a Charity Bookshop with an interesting collection of books on most subjects at reasonable prices.  John Bacon 18.04.16
A lot of paperback fiction but worth a look as we managed to find a few books in our areas. Prices very good and proceeds are for a local charity.  David 18.09.21

Hall_s Bookshop _ Adrian Harrington Rare Books /TUNBRIDGE WELLS/20-22 Chapel Place  
Hall's Bookshop & Adrian Harrington Rare Books   Open at advertised times
20-22 Chapel Place    TUNBRIDGE WELLS  TN1 1YQ
map
tel:  01892 547531  e-mail   web
Open:  by appointment till July 22nd, then Thursday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30, other days by appointment. See also in description.
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Good general secondhand stock of 10,000 volumes and a separate stock of about the same size in rare books upstairs. We specialise in modern literature, especially spy and crime, and our shop manager is a world authority on Ian Fleming. Currently we have a very large general second-hand stock of art books. Viewing books offered for sale on Tuesdays only. Main website is Harrington Books

The most famous secondhand bookshop in Tunbridge Wells, Halls "established 1898". Two floors of antiquarian and secondhand stock, a browser's paradise and knowledgeable staff.  Kim Andrews 
Lots of helpful staff large quantity of books on all subjects at reasonable prices.  John F Bacon 
Excellent stock which took me three hours to assess. Spent quite a bit on very reasonably priced items and made a promise to myself to visit more regularly.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
This shop is large: two floors and bargain shelves outside. Very strong in history (including military history) and in arts and literature generally. Not to be missed.  Geoffrey Warner 07.10.10
Looked fantastic from outside, with purpose designed windows which opened and gave access to the stock from outside. Even the bargain bins outside were interesting. It reminded me of Beech's Bookshop in Salisbury when I was a kid. The stock is interesting, very strong on history and esp. military history, a bit light on fiction. But a pleasure to be in and breathe in the book smells ...  Jon Morgan 06.03.13
Full of atmosphere and ghosts from the past (real or imagined), this is a wonderful bookshop to spend whole days in, even when it's sunny outside. Browser-friendly and enticing, with extremely helpful staff, this shop has it all.  Atricia Dunseith 22.03.13
Now reopened after refurbishment. Ground floor much as before, though slimmed down and polished up - with a little of the old atmosphere lost, sadly. Still well worth a visit, though! Floored-over gallery to reopen shortly for rare books.  Henry Middleton 03.01.15
Fears that the new owner would charge silly prices are unfounded. I grabbed a hefty and handsome history of photography in Brighton for just four-pounds-fifty. Most of the stock, high quality throughout, is Mylar-covered and neatly shelved; helpful young staff. Well worth a visit.  Nicholas Sack 27.01.15
Well, my worst fears were unfounded. Pine shelving, less stock and definitely less atmosphere. But the prices are fair, the staff are nice and the stock will expand once the first floor reopens. We will get used to it.  Michael Ross 05.02.15
The change of ownership has ripped the soul out of what was once a delightful shop to visit. I wish to keep those memories so will not be returning.  Chris Harte 06.06.15
Five years after my previous visit, this handsome shop still appeals. Books are attractively presented and neatly shelved. Strong on topography and history; the arts section has been moved to the basement room. Browsers should not be daunted by the rather refined ambience: prices are fair and staff are courteous. Highly recommended.  Nicholas Sack 06.02.20
The books are beautifully presented and reasonably priced. Books in the window have price tags which I like to see. Some shelves are very high and although steps are available it's not easy to browse them.  HB 08.02.20

Herne Bay Bookshop/HERNE BAY/165 Mortimer Street
Herne Bay Bookshop  Phone before travelling
165 Mortimer Street   HERNE BAY   CT6 5HE
map
tel: 01227 283 806  web 
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Charity Bookshop run by Demelza House Children's Hospice.


Hythe Bookshop/HYTHE/130 High Street
Hythe Bookshop  Phone before travelling
130 High Street   HYTHE   CT21 5LE
map
tel: 01303 262403  web 
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Charity Bookshop run by Demelza House Children's Hospice.

A charity run bookshop with a good range of fiction and non-fiction books for sale. Reasonably priced and very helpful staff.  Steve Newman 15.09.15
Much the same as previous visits. A charity run bookshop with a good range of fiction and non-fiction books for sale. Reasonably priced and very helpful staff.   Steve Newman 22.08.21

John Bartholomew Books/APPLEDORE/Old Forge Antiques
John Bartholomew Books  Open at advertised times
Old Forge Antiques  16 The Street   APPLEDORE   TN26 2BX
map
tel: 01233 758585 
Open:  Wednesday & Saturday 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 4.00.
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Good quality stock of arts, crafts, topography and transport. No fiction. Helpful proprietor.  Nicholas Sack 29.07.14
Excellent bookshop run by a very honest man. In a rush the other day I bought a book which I £20. I didn't look at what I was paying because I was in a hurry and because I had seen the price inside the book. When I was doing my banking on line I noticed that I had been charged £30. I called the shop owner, Gary and without any hesitation he offered to refund me the money. He was mortified that he had made a mistake. I will be coming back to his shop to buy more excellent books. So I told him I would probably spend the money in there anyway.  Sam Jaffa 09.01.15
Enjoyed a return visit to browse interesting stock of art and design, crafts and collectables, local history, military and transport - all meticulously categorised and shelved. Fair prices and helpful proprietor: from stock housed elsewhere he brought in books on my specialist subject. Bought an unusual collection of child art. Recommended.  Nicholas Sack 03.07.15
Enjoyed a return visit to browse John's carefully ordered shelves of highly attractive and often unusual titles in the categories listed above. Bought a Thames & Hudson collection of American Realist painters: a bargain at a tenner including a gracious discount.  Nicholas Sack 30.06.16
Made my annual visit while on holiday and found an unusual collection of old photos of East London. Everything is currently half price, to free up space for fresh stock.  Nicholas Sack 04.07.17

Leas Lift Railway Cafe/FOLKESTONE/Lower Sandgate Road
The Leas Lift Railway Cafe  Open at advertised times
Lower Sandgate Road   FOLKESTONE  CT20 1PS
map
  web   
Open: Monday - Friday 9.00 - 4.00, Saturday - Sunday 9.00 - 5.00
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Small (about 400 books) stock of cheaply priced modern, mainly paperback, books on Literature and the Humanities, including vintage Penguins, provided by Unsworth's.


Margate Bookshop/MARGATE/2 Market Place
The Margate Bookshop  Open at advertised times
2 Market Place   MARGATE   CT9 1ER
map
tel: 07552 696817  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday 10.00 - 5.00, Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 6.00.
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Recently opened (May 2019) with around 2000 new books and 1000 secondhand books


Marrin_s Bookshop/FOLKESTONE/149 Sandgate Road
Marrin's Bookshop   Appointment necessary
149 Sandgate Road    FOLKESTONE  CT20 2DA
map
tel:  01303 253016, mob: 07982 731001  e-mail   web  
Open:  currently by appointment only
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Antiquarian and general second hand books, Kent topography, maps & prints. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, and the PBFA.

Saturday curse. "The owner isn't here today." Stock is piled on floors and I had to crawl along to view books hidden behind portfolios. Asked about my speciality. Told they had none. Spotted a row of them as I was about to walk out of the front door. Checked them: saw the prices so went down the road for a large coffee ice-cream instead.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
I visit Marrin's on a regular basis and have always found the proprietors knowledgeable and helpful. There is an excellent, large and realistically priced stock in this shop and there is always plenty that is worth buying. Perhaps Mr. Harte should stick to his ice-cream rather than visit bookshops - he is clearly not the type that proper booksellers take seriously!  Nicholas Pendower 18.08.09
I cannot agree with Chris Harte's view of Marrin's bookshop. The firm is a very reputable one which has been in business for over half a century now and must be something of a Folkestone institution, akin to Hall's in Tunbridge Wells. I have been visiting the shop now and again for several years and have always found the staff very knowledgeable and helpful (they even volunteered a discount once). Their prices have always struck me as very fair - running an antiquarian/second hand bookshop can hardly be a licence to print money and the dealer has to make a profit somewhere or us buyers will have nowhere to go.  Henry Middleton 26.10.09
Having noted the above two comments, I paid another visit. The stock is generally excellent and of some quality so I cannot argue that point. What I do disagree with are the views that the books are reasonably priced: they are not. I went with lists of what I collect with minimum and maximum prices as noted and gleaned from various sources. In not one instance, in checking over thirty titles I would normally have purchased, were the asking prices within my figures. I went off again and had an ice-cream and put the cost onto Mr Pendower's account.  Chris Harte 24.05.10
Marrin does at times price his material somewhat high, but he does issue catalogues and his Kentish books, pamphlets and broadsides are quite impressive in range.  Richard Goulden 09.07.11
Rather mixed combination of run-of-the-mill stock and high-quality material. Well worth visiting for the latter, especially for Kent subjects. Free short-term on-street parking nearby.  DavidC 13.09.12
I visited this shop last year during a trawl of Kent bookshops. I enjoyed my hour spent here. For a start, the shop was open (I was holidaying in high summer, but most of the county's bookshops seemed not to notice). Then, it had a wide and interesting stock (I collect titles by individual publishers and binders, so my interests are genuinely varied). Finally, it offered a big reduction on what I would have considered to be a sensible sum for an unpriced title, presumably because I was buying several other books, none of which I would consider bargains but which I was prepared to buy. People need to realise that bookshops are businesses which need to make money to survive. If we only shop for bargains there will soon be no secondhand bookshops left.  Andrew 15.06.13
Just to add another positive review on this charming bookshop. A lovely jumble of books with all kinds of treasures to find. Mr Marrin and his colleagues have always been friendly and well informed when I have met them at the shop and at fairs (though perhaps one or two temporary staff I have met have been less so as might be expected). No, they are not cheap, but I am afraid that as the last reviewer said, this is no longer a business where we can expect the rule to be a bargain. I do not find the antiquarian stock over priced though - and the proprietors do not mind a bit of a haggle.  Anthony Davis 09.02.14
Called in on a Saturday around 2pm but closed. Open by appointment only now, according to the notice on the door. Only one customer allowed in the shop at a time apparently. Door notice gave two numbers to phone, that listed and 07982 731001. I did phone and was offered a appointment at 2:30pm, but as I had to catch the 3pm train home had to decline.   Steve Newman 22.08.21

McConnell Fine Books/DEAL/The Golden Hind
McConnell Fine Books  Appointment necessary
The Golden Hind  85 Beach Street   DEAL   CT14 6JB
map
tel: 01304 375086  web 
Open:  Appointment necessary
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Secondhand and antiquarian books including literature, history and books about Kent.

It is a long time since I have been so angry after visting a bookshop. I found the owner's attitude towards myself and other customers to be beyond the pale. His main aim is to sell "fine bindings" and little else. Stock small and unexamined as in my two minutes in the shop I was looked upon as scum and totally unwanted. Visit only if you want to be insulted.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
I am all for constructive opinion and have used your guide in the past. However, this review completely blurs the distinction between 'fair comment' and malicious comment. It is not at all constructive or informative and appears to be nothing more than a personal attack on the shop's proprietor. "I was looked upon as scum" "Visit only if you want to be insulted" ? And all of this formulated in a "two minute" visit. I am suprised that a publication that sets out to actively encourage book buyers to visit 'real' as opposed to 'virtual' bookshops has allowed such a comment to be posted.  Steve Baxter. 11.08.09
What utter nonsense your initial reviewer has written! I regularly visit the Golden Hind and have always found Nick McConnell enthusiastic, knowledgeable and utterly charming. Mr. Harte must be an idiot not to spot that this is quite obviously a shop that specialises in fine bindings and in some very good local history, and, if he had bothered to find out, would have discovered that it contains one of the finest selections of this type of book in the world, let alone in East Kent. That a reviewer can so utterly misunderstand a business and be allowed to do so much potential damage to a seller that has an international clientele and reputation is disgraceful, and he should ensure that he gets his facts right before going into print.  Nicholas Pendower 18.08.09
I was sorry to see the first review. It's true that the Golden Hind is not the charming little local bookshop it was in Michael Hoskins' day but Nick McConnell has at least kept it open. Important to remember that he is an antiquarian dealer not a second hand bookseller then you wont be disappointed. Stock is high quality and Nick is a very pleasant fellow who has never been rude to a customer while I was in the shop! I always visit when in the area and recommend it, depending on your interest.  Anthony Davis 13.10.09
Revisited after reading what the owner's friends (see above) thought of my initial comments. My opinion has not changed one iota.  Chris Harte 13.01.11
I agree with those who find the owner of McConnell's bookshop in Deal offhand and unhelpful. It wasn't entirely unreasonable to ask if he carried local marine subjects. It would be nice if the reviewers avoided so much personal sniping.  Lee 25.01.11
Now only open by appointment.  TBG 23.10.13

Michael_s Bookshop/RAMSGATE/72 King Street
Michael's Bookshop   Open at advertised times
72 King Street    RAMSGATE  CT11 8NY
map
tel:  01843 589500  e-mail   web
Open:  currently CLOSED due to coronavirus
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A fairly large general bookshop, about 30,000 books arranged on over 100 bookcases, ranging from ordinary paperbacks to collectors items. All of our stock is now secondhand, we dropped remainders several years ago, the only exception being local books around 150 titles which we publish ourselves.

Helpful owner and well organised stock with a good selection of Kent local history, aviation and military  Roger Leverdier 29.04.08
As has been stated very good on Kent and Military titles. Also quite a good lot of aviation, sci-fi and occult.However, little for an antiquarian collector. Owner pleasant and helpful.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
Large straightforward general stock with a focus on military titles and extensive reprints of local history material. Parking meters opposite.  DavidC 13.09.12
Ironically the only place on my visit to Kent that I actually bought anything. Mostly modern stuff but a good deal of variety, extensive crime and modern fiction and a good strong military section. It is all the more suprising to find it in the environment of Ramsgate which is thoroughly depressing. Most of the neighbouring shops are shut down as are the pubs and the streets have that post apocalypse chic look and a pit bull seems to be an essential accessory. It is also a hefty trek from the station. There is a pseudo bookshop several hundred yards down the road. Keep out as the owner has yet to discover the concept of the 'shelf' and books are piled high. You would risk life and limb, even were there any gold in the piles of dross. Were it not for a natural instinct to support any purveyor of the hard copy book, I would never go anywhere near the town again!  Jon Morgan 06.08.14
The best bookshop I have visited for a long time. The reprints of local books is truly splendid and a venture well worth supporting. The excellent stock is very well signposted and the owner is really helpful and recommended both the lovely bistro cafe at the seaward end of the beautiful Ramsgate harbour and the remarkable Monkton Nature Reserve bookshop.  William 14.02.15
I fully endorse the positive comments on stock and presentation. Pricing too is reasonable. When I deplored its distance from home (i.e. London)' assistant said some customers schedule annual visits!  Philip Jones 26.04.19
Still closed from coronaterror. Reading the website may suggest that for the foreseeable future a visit to Australia or New Zealand is as likely as one to this shop.  Laurence Purcell 17.09.21

Monkton Nature Reserve Bookshop/RAMSGATE/The Field Study CentreCanterbury RoadMonkton
Monkton Nature Reserve Bookshop   Open at advertised times
The Field Study Centre  Canterbury Road  Monkton    RAMSGATE  CT12 4LH
map
tel:  01843 822666  e-mail   web
Open:  Tuesday Thursday and Saturday, April - October 10.00 - 5.00, November - March 10.00 - 3.00
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Based in the reserve Field Centre, several rooms containing 1000's of categorised books, old and new, plus a large selection of children's books. Also offer a well-stocked Nature Reference Library - loans available to members. All proceeds go toward maintaining the reserve and the work of the Thanet Countryside Trust.

Standard donated charity stock but very cheap.  Richard 30.04.09
This charity bookshop set in a beautiful nature reserve expands by the week. Deliveries of books arrive and are on the shelves and priced by the knowledgable staff while you are still browsing the thousands of books. Reasonably priced and for a worthwhile charity. Additional extras is the free parking and if you are lucky a cup of coffee.  F Love. 07.09.09
Well worth a visit. Very large wide ranging stock of very reasonably priced books. The free parking and fascinating museum, including local fossils, are an excellent bonus and amply repay a detour.  William 14.02.15
This bookshop was a marvellous surprise. Well stocked and excellent prices. A lot of standard stuff but a good number of more unusual finds. We came away with two bagfuls for £19.00. If we lived in Kent we would visit here every week. Please note they are currently only open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  David 15.09.21

Mr. Books/TONBRIDGE/142 High Street
Mr. Books  Open at advertised times
142 High Street   TONBRIDGE   TN9 1BB
map
tel: 01732 363000  e-mail  web 
Open:  Tuesday - Saturday 10.00 - 6.00, 8.00pm Thursday.
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Books bought and sold. Rare and collectable, children's books, reference. New books ordered, almost any book found. Under new management, reopen on August 12th.

Interesting little 'warren' situated in a side street near the castle. Owner very helpful but advises a phone call if travelling a distance as sometimes has to take an hour out.  Clive Cheeseman 15.08.07
Nice shop; most co-operative owner; stock slightly muddled but a wonderful selection of Kentish publications from over the past century. Also good military stock.  Chris Harte 29.06.09
Mr Books has moved around the corner to 142 High Street but has lost none of its charm, in fact the bigger space has made it even more pleasurable to visit. Even before you step inside Mr Books shop, you sense the magic of the place. The window looks fantastic and you can see the books rising from the floor to the high ceiling. Once inside, the range of books is enormous and the owner himself is really helpful and knowledgeable. He's even been known to make customers a cup of tea! A truly lovely bookish escape from the anonymity and blandness of so many modern bookshops.  Marie Lawson 08.06.12
Great to see this bookshop in new premises on Tonbridge High Street. Well-lit, easy access to the wide-ranging stock including good quality local material. A great improvement on the previous cramped premises nearby.  David Collison 14.06.12
A really interesting shop. The owner was just popping out but kindly stayed in for me and was rewarded by two other customers. A good varied stock including some good first editions at fairly high prices. Generally, a pleasure to be in although quite a hike from the Station. A plethora of general and local charity shops on the High Street including a well stocked and not too pricey (for them!) Oxfam Bookshop. Almost WAD!  Jon Morgan 06.03.13
Don't see what the fuss is about. Owner undoubtedly friendly and pleasant but 1) the shop is too crammed for pleasant browsing virtually every shelf double stacked and with so little room between the shelves it's difficult if not dangerous too get to the back shelves and when you do. 2) it's all internet prices at least. 3) It doesn't help that the categorisation is a little broad, it's always annoying seeing theology or science in the mind body spirit shelves but all the non-fiction seemed to be there.  John Allen 04.04.16
Mr Books is threatened with closure (see http://www.kentlive.news/this-independent-tonbridge-bookshop-might-be-closing-8211-but-you-could-help-save-it/story-30202167-detail/story.html ) - a great loss to Tonbridge, and the surrounding area, if it happens.  Henry Middleton 21.04.17
It seems that Mr Books has been saved and will continue under new management/ownership. See the link, above, to the new website which gives further details.  Henry Middleton 21.07.17
I had to add a comment - the shop is transformed. No longer dark and 'dangerous'. We have cleared out some stock and livened the place up. We organise events and look forward to meeting you all - Clive, Chris, Marie, Jon, John and Henry ... in fact anyone who loves books.  Mr Books 12.02.18
Thought I'd check what the new owners had done after his comments above. I'm glad to say he's right about it being easier to get around and view the books. Prices seemed on the reasonable side although not bargain basement. strong on local, natural history and children's - pity they're not my areas.  John Allen 28.03.18

Old Bank Bookshop/MARGATE/Old Midland Bank Building
Old Bank Bookshop  Open at advertised times
Old Midland Bank Building  17-18 The Parade   MARGATE   CT9 1EY
map
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tel: 07967 650911

A good general selection on two floors, but whether it can keep up the quality after the best of the current stock has been sold is debatable.  John Renwick 07.10.10
Still plenty for the general reader to find and very attractive prices.  Herne 30.03.12
A beautiful building on the edge of Old Margate which unhappily is never far from Drossville wherever you look, which appears to be selling books and other media on behalf of a charity. A fairly varied stock but only of a charity shop nature. Now if Tiverton Bookshop moved down here and opened more than Sunday and Tuesday ...  Jon Morgan 06.08.14
Well organised shop helpful staff and reasonably priced books too.  Steve Newman 03.12.14
Mostly middlebrow stock at knock-down prices. A Tempus Publishing collection of photos of Kentish shipwrecks for one-pound-fifty was a no-brainer. Cheerful staff.  Nicholas Sack 22.10.16
Nothing for collectors of any genre but a very pleasant second hand book shop for the general reader.  Loyola 05.11.16

Oxfam Bookshop/CANTERBURY/51 St Peter_s Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
51 St Peter's Street   CANTERBURY   CT1 2BE
map
tel: 01227 454091  web 
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Surprisingly good  Bernard Dixon 22.04.08
Some very good quality books can be found here at reasonable prices.  Chris Harte 14.04.09
Always worth a visit when in Canterbury for military, sport, music languages and general fiction.  Neil 31.10.11
Agree very much with Neil's comment. Because of its proximity to two universities, there is always a good selection of academic texts too.  Geoffrey Warner 15.12.11
Never have I been to a bookshop where the stock was so rare and valuable (and Ive been to some pretty up-market ones) that Ive come across an assistant who felt the need to wear a pair of white cotton gloves. What was it that warranted such care and devotion? Was it the antiquarian nature of the books he was handling? Was it that Oxfam had decided that white gloves were now a necessary part of their health and safety campaign? Having being unable to escape his and his colleagues long, tedious and very loud conversation about Tolkiens "Lord of the Rings" (which was interrupted by a customers enquiry about Siegfried Sassoon, which he was unable to answer) I suspect that it was a mere affectation. We have been visiting the Canterbury Oxfam Book Shop for many years and over that time the pricing has become more and more bizarre. Items which usually command average prices are often extraordinarily overpriced, while within their own pricing system there appears to be very little uniformity, with some notable and glaring inconsistencies. On the whole, pricing bears the hallmark of someone who is somewhat up themselves, and potential customers should be aware that they will pay significantly higher prices than in the average town bookshop.  Nicholas Pendower 02.11.13
Good location in city centre. Ecclectic range of stock from childrens to academic. Prices (at least in my areas of interest) were fair.  Steven 13.08.14
An extensive stock covering most areas of interest but nothing of any great merit. It is charity shop plus but fairly run of the mill and the prices are average (for Oxfam).  Jon Morgan 01.10.15
One of the best Oxfam Bookshops I have visited huge selection not as cheap as Oxfam Shaftesbury but pretty reasonable.  John Bacon 18.04.16
In my considered opinion this is the best Oxfam bookshop I have visited. The stock is excellent; the prices reasonable and the manager brilliantly eccentric. My best purchase was an 1892 title by John Kent at the giveaway price of £12. I will return.  Chris Harte 28.11.19
Quite simply one of the best charity bookshops in the country. A lot of high quality stock (but plenty of quality cheaper books too). Haydn the Manager is a delightful character and clearly loves his job. Long may it thrive.  Michael Ross 10.01.20
I would agree entirely with these high estimates of this shop. But how do they do it? Like all charity shops it must be dependent on the quality of what's given to them and that must vary. I thought that the only (small) weakness is in hardback fiction.  Laurence Purcell 21.08.21
Agree with all previous comments regarding the quality of the merchandise here. Must be one of the better Oxfam bookshops in the country.  David 18.09.21

Oxfam Bookshop/DEAL/5 High Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Open at advertised times
5 High Street  DEAL  CT14 7AA
map
tel:  01304 364752 
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 4.30
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Bigger and better than it appears from the outside: there are two floors. What looks like several hundred miles of paperback fiction downstairs but the shop also specialises in more or less contemporary hardback fiction. Things improve on the first floor with far more hardbacks. The ANTIQUARIAN AND COLLECTABLE section is large but even more laughably named than usual; disappointingly, these books have yet to be arranged by colour. Don't expect treasure trove but worth popping in if you should happen to be in this increasingly fashionable town.  Laurence Purcell 05.10.21

Oxfam Bookshop/MAIDSTONE/34 Gabriels Hill
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
34 Gabriels Hill   MAIDSTONE   ME15 6JJ
map
tel: 01622 753585  web 
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On two floors, well laid out, and does have a high turnover of stock.  Clive Cheeseman 
Have now been in twice and on each occasion purchased books which were a fraction of their expected second-hand prices. Varied stock on two floors which seems to change regularly. Often has some antiquarian titles.  Chris Harte 20.04.10
Friendly, helpful bookshop. Especially good for history, classics and old sci fi. Be sure to ask them to look out the back if you can't find what you're looking for.  bookshopblogger 18.12.13
Mostly middlebrow titles in broad categories. Easy to browse, but slim pickings for the serious collector. Unusually for Oxfam, prices for non-fiction are generally pegged at under three quid.  Nicholas Sack 06.05.16
My local Oxfam bookshop, so I call in fairly regularly - though sadly not to any great benefit to either party. The shop is fairly small and cramped, certainly in comparison with some other Oxfam bookshops, and I would put it in the bottom half of the Oxfam bookshop spectrum as regards stock - there’s no comparison with the Canterbury branch which is top-of-the-range!  Henry Middleton 26.07.21

Oxfam Bookshop/SEVENOAKS/142 High Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Open at advertised times
142 High Street   SEVENOAKS   TN13 1XE
map
tel: 01732 779425  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30.
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As might be expected with such a (generally) prosperous hinterland, the quality of books is good. The shop is well-ordered too and the staff are helpful. Nice to see in my old home town. Worth a visit.  Michael Ross 07.04.16
I echo Mr Ross's observation about the generally good standard of literature here. More stock, and more reasonable prices, than many Oxfam branches. On my visit, a batch of Collins New Naturalist titles from the 1950s was fresh on the shelves, and all biographies - a couple of hundred, some unusual - were discounted to £1.50 each in a flash sale. The arts stock is rather thin but this shop is well worth a browse.  Nicholas Sack 27.02.17
I was particularly impressed by the range and quality of modern literary fiction: Wells, Lawrence, Waugh, Greene, Maugham, Isherwood, Capote, Naipaul, Updike, et al - and generally several titles by each author. Paperbacks are in good condition and priced at £2.49.  Nicholas Sack 26.04.18

Oxfam Bookshop/TONBRIDGE/78 High Street
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
78 High Street   TONBRIDGE   TN9 1EE
map
tel: 01732 355753  e-mail  web 
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Quite good for an Oxfam, fair selection of reasonably priced books, well laid out and helpful staff.  Steve Newman 29.08.14
Good stock with one or two gems, and sensible pricing throughout. Well worth a look.  Michael Ross 02.04.15
Plenty of neatly shelved stock in most broad categories - yet the standard is disappointingly middlebrow for a relatively affluent area. For example: in the arts section, a surfeit of Monet; in photography, manuals rather than monographs. Several other charity shops in the High Street are worth a shufty.  Nicholas Sack 23.12.17

Oxfam Bookshop/TUNBRIDGE WELLS/6 Chapel Place
Oxfam Bookshop  Phone before travelling
6 Chapel Place   TUNBRIDGE WELLS   TN1 1YQ
map
tel: 01892 616269  web 
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It is difficult to be critical of a charity shop except for the grouse of books especially 'the specials' [Book Club is not the same as a first edition whatever the internet says] being overpriced for donated books!  Mary C 12.10.11
Good varied stock of the kind usually stocked by Oxfam at fairly good (For Oxfam) prices. Very strong on History. lost of other general and local charity shops in the High Street.  Jon Morgan 06.03.13
This shop has improved markedly in the last couple of years. Stock is perfectly categorised; strong on history and biography, and there are some unusual titles on topography and local interest. Prices are surprisingly modest. Well worth a look when visiting Hall's, just a few yards along.  Nicholas Sack 29.05.15
This is a very good charity shop. The wide selection of modern titles were all of a high standard. There was no tat on the shelves. The antiquarian section, although small, was of a decent quality. It is not often I pay a substantial, but fair, amount for a rare title at an Oxfam shop. Still, this is Tunbridge Wells.  Chris Harte 06.06.15
Five years on from my previous visit, and this small shop retains its charm. There are some unusual titles, neatly shelved: at less than a tenner, Eugene Smith's seminal 'Minamata' is a fraction of internet prices.  Nicholas Sack 06.02.20
Standard Oxfam stock and prices. Worth a visit if also visiting Halls which is quite close.  HB 08.02.20

Oxfam Shop/ROCHESTER/25-29 High Street
Oxfam Shop  Phone before travelling
25-29 High Street   ROCHESTER   ME1 1LN
map
tel: 01634 814790  web 
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Quite a large shop with a good selection of books too, though not quite as many as Baggins. Most were in rather better condition though, and at least the Observer books were cheaper!  Steve Newman 05.08.09
A fairly good selection of general books with a special section on Dickens and three shelves of pre-1914 titles. However, the shop specialises in pianos and harmoniums (!) with some bargains to be had here.  Chris Harte 14.12.09
Don't be taken in by the first review - it's nowhere near the size of Baggins. Worth looking at, though, if 2-3 hours in Baggins hasn't left you thoroughly exhausted!  Henry Middleton 10.11.12
This place has gone downhill of late with large gaps appearing on the shelves (seems to be a trend in the Oxfam shops with a once decent book area). The prices as in many Oxfam shops range from the inflated to the obscene. It appears that they wish to capture the passing tourist trade rather than sell books.  Jon Morgan 07.08.14
Still worth a visit. The shop is spacious with nearly half of the floor space given over to books. As expected, Dickins dominates but I still managed to purchase a couple of titles.  Chris Harte 06.06.15
Common modern titles mainly. Over priced.  loracs 10.07.18
Like Jon Morgan, above, I know this branch for its sad and forlorn half-empty shelves. Yet, the shop has now perked up - stock has doubled, with unusual curiosities lurking in Travel and Local History. Prices are a tad fanciful, as is the way with Oxfam. Still, worth a shufty before gawping at the prices in Baggins, a few doors along.  Nicholas Sack 24.03.19

Oxford Street Books.com/WHITSTABLE/20a Oxford Street
Oxford Street Books.com  Open at advertised times
20a Oxford Street   WHITSTABLE   CT5 1DD
map
tel: 01227 281727  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 4.00.
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General mix of approximately 20,000 secondhand and antiquarian books across all categories. Sensible prices and friendly service.

Nice varied stock. Most helpful owner. Will go back on a regular basis.  Chris Harte 14.04.09
A little gem. The owner is, indeed, most friendly and helpful and may let you into his cellar, which contains even more books. (He hopes to expand.) History is my speciality and I found plenty of interest at reasonable prices.  Geoffrey Warner 15.12.11
The cellar will apparently be open in the summer. And there is already a very extensive selection. Whitstable is definitely no clone town!  Herne 30.03.12
Great to see the basement has now opened, increasing the range of material and ease of access.  David Collison 14.06.12
On a return visit found the basement full of interesting items, especially on the subject of WW2. Also some good bargains in the boxes outside.  Herne 15.05.13
Public car parks just behind shop, Weatherspoons next door, art deco Peter Cushing, must be seen, handy for loos and cheap food and drink. I bought about 60 books ranging in price from £1 to £35, speaking as a trade customer this is about as good as it gets in Kent, I take the rather relaxed approach of if it's a book I want for stock and it's in the same price ballpark or below what I would put it on my shelves for, then I buy it. So don't expect charity shop prices, but a good quality stock, priced to compete with the internet. My guess would be the shop contains about 20,000 books, which are on shelves, there are no great piles of unsorted books on the floor to wade through. Fiction arranged alphabetically and split into categories. Staff pleasant and easygoing, e-cigarette allowed, some chairs to sit on when browsing lower shelves.  Michael Child 26.10.15
Seven years since my last review and the shop is still as good as ever. The cellar is now fully opened and contains a varied selection of titles all duly categorised. The ground floor has a pretty good antiquarian section along with much else. Well worth a visit.  Chris Harte 22.06.16
Four years on from Michael Child's comments above, signed first editions of Peter Cushing's memoirs (he lived in Whitstable for 30 years) are on offer for around £125. Prices generally are reasonable in this labyrinth of small rooms on two floors. Stock is carefully ordered in categories, and neatly shelved. Strong on paperback fiction, but art and photography are disappointingly thin.  Nicholas Sack 22.09.19
Stock well ordered, prices fair. All in all worth a visit if in the area.  David 18.09.21

Past Sentence/FAVERSHAM/119 West Street
Past Sentence  Open at advertised times
119 West Street   FAVERSHAM   ME13 7JB
map
tel: 01795 590000 
Open:  Monday 10.00 - 2.00 & Tuesday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00.
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Good quality secondhand books bought and sold.

Parked in the nearby Co-op. Walked up the pedestrianised West Street opposite and found, in the bookshop, two treasures marked at such a low price that I ran back to the car with them and drove out of town before anyone could stop me. General stock is run of the mill but the stuff on the shelf behind where the owner sits is superb.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
An interesting and unusual selection of good quality photographers' monographs reflects the genial proprietor's former occupation. Small sections of local history and transport also bear fruit. Reasonable prices.  Nicholas Sack 23.12.15
Fairly small bookshop my guess would be about 7,000 books good quality general stock mostly on shelves, some piles. Most subjects, good range of fiction sensible pricing, I was able to buy as a trade customer. Pleasant helpful staff.  Michael Child 15.03.16
Just my type of bookshop wide range of stock well priced. There used to be loads of bookshops like this 20 years ago.  John Bacon 18.04.16
The people who run this shop are among the nicest I've ever come across in a bookshop. Sometimes I find nothing, sometimes I come away with a bag-full of joy. Very WAD  Peter M 03.09.19
Nice little shop with helpful staff. Prices average and a good cross section of subject matter. Faversham itself is an attractive town with many delightful old buildings.  David 18.09.21

Periwinkle Press  /SANDWICH/trading at Basil and Rose, 29 Strand Street
Periwinkle Press    Open at advertised times
trading at Basil and Rose, 29 Strand Street  SANDWICH  CT13 9DT
map
tel:  01304 614141  e-mail
Open:  Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 5.00
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Established in 1968 we are general secondhand booksellers, specialising in Kent, Children's and Art books. We also sell antique prints, art, postcards, ephemera and collectables.

Situated in a small quality country retail centre. Stock small but of a very high standard. Owner, who was very knowledgable, said he had many thousands more book in store as he also works off the internet.  Chris Harte 27.06.09

Plantagenet King/CANTERBURY/13 Burgate
The Plantagenet King  Open at advertised times
13 Burgate  CANTERBURY  CT1 2HG
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tel:  01227 941543  e-mail   web  
Open: Tuesday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.00
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The Plantagenet King buys and sells high-quality rare books. We specialise in particular in modern first editions. We also have an interest in children's books, 19th century literature and landmark non fiction titles.


Roadmaster Books/ROCHESTER/105 High Street
Roadmaster Books  Appointment necessary
105 High Street   ROCHESTER   ME1 1JS
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tel: 01634 862843  
Open:  Appointment necessary.
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Perhaps we are the smallest but most packed shop in the County! We are in the centre of the High Street by La Providence the French Protestant Hospital. just over from one of the finest views of the Cathedral. With 4 shops in Rochester (if you count Oxfam?) a visit is well worthwhile.

This is a small but excellent shop, well-stocked and with good turnover. Transport and local history are specialities but there is a full range of subjects with strengths in literature, travel and showbiz.  Laurence Purcell 25.11.13
Two small rooms. The first has the owner and local and transport volumes neatly arranged. He then warns everybody about the piles in the second room where most of the stock is. These dangerously unstable piles are above the level of most of the shelves and mostly with the titles facing in so you can't see what's on the shelves or in the piles without risking a serious collapse. After two of these I gave up. Pity, there might be some good stuff in there.  John Allen 03.07.14
Passed on a Sunday, when it's closed, and there were posters in the window advertising a sale "everything to go". Looks like I'm not the only one that couldn't get to the books.  John Allen 22.10.15
'Back on 1 March' said a notice in the window - but still closed four days later. Posters proclaim 'Clearance Sale'; this shop has been on the brink of extinction for years. Mostly inexpensive Transport and Local History - if you can get in!  Nicholas Sack 24.03.19

Steep Street Coffee House/FOLKESTONE/18 - 24 The Old High Street
Steep Street Coffee House  Open at advertised times
18 - 24 The Old High Street   FOLKESTONE   CT20 1RL
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tel: 01303 247819  web 
Open:  Monday - Friday 8.30 - 6.00, Saturday 9.00 - 6.00, Sunday 9.00 - 5.00
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We are a literary coffee shop inspired by the famous book cafes in Paris. Our walls are lined from top to bottom with poetry and local literature, classics and coffee table hardbacks. The books are for browsing and are for sale. Our customers are welcome to take them off the shelves and read them during their visit.

Several thousand books in rather cramped spaces, with non-fiction grouped in broad categories. Strangely, I could find nothing that appealed among arts and local history; collectors of fiction might have better luck. Still, books do furnish a room, as Anthony Powell averred, and this is a pleasant setting in which to drink good coffee and browse.  Nicholas Sack 26.06.19

Sunburst Books/RAINHAM/21-23 Station Road
Sunburst Books  Open at advertised times
21-23 Station Road   RAINHAM   ME8 7RS
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Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.
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Charity bookshop selling donated books.

Offers a big stock of donated books at knock-down prices in support of local charities. Well worth a visit; I came away with a haul.  Nicholas Sack 08.07.14
Since I was last here a few years ago they have opened up the storeroom at the back to make a reasonably sized shop. Larger than Bookmark round the corner. A lot of charity shop fiction and military history (like Bookmark, it reflects the area) but worth browsing for other non-fiction at decent prices. A separate room of older books better than most charity shops "collectibles" with a number of complete sets. Worth a look if you're near.  John Allen 12.02.18
Well stocked and priced fairly. Staff not very helpful though.  loracs 10.07.18
What a wonderful surprise. For a rundown town this charity bookshop ticked all the boxes for me. First visit resulted in a boxload being carried to the car. An hour later another lot purchased. This place is well worth a visit. Stock general but very well categorised. Prices a bargain.  Chris Harte 28.11.19
Stock well organised, Prices very good. Strongest on paperback fiction but well worth having a good look round.  David 18.09.21

Unsworths Antiquarian Booksellers  /FOLKESTONE/16 Canterbury Road  
Unsworths Antiquarian Booksellers    Appointment necessary
16 Canterbury Road    FOLKESTONE  CT19 5NG
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tel:  07802 875469   e-mail   web
Open:  Appointment necessary.
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About 2000 books, We buy and sell collectable, rare and scholarly books from every century of printing and on all the humanities, including literature, philosophy and society, with an antiquarian focus on early printing, Greek & Latin classics, Medieval & Renaissance Europe, and British history & topography. Also has stock at the Leas Lift Cafe, see above


Wadard Books/FARNINGHAM/6 High Sreet
Wadard Books  Phone before travelling
6 High Sreet   FARNINGHAM   DA4 0DG
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tel: 01322 863151  e-mail  web 
Open:  Tuesday & Thursday - Saturday 10.00 - 6.00.
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Secondhand and antiquarian books including cookery, military and local history and topography.

I was amazed at the high quality of books in this shop which also has a very knowledgeable owner who is always willing to help. The scarce titles scattered around are very tempting.  Chris Harte 27.06.09
What a super bookshop. It is in a pretty village near the M25 and M20 between London and the bookshops of East Sussex. Pleasant and airy with a mixture of antiquarian and secondhand stock, much of interest with a special focus on military history. The owner is very charming and helpful. This is what a bookshop should be. Am most grateful to your website to cause me to stop off there.  Anthony Davis 13.10.09
Another bookseller who knows about books. A wonderful selection and competitively priced. Daren't go there too often though!  Jane Jones 31.05.11
High quality stock, particularly strong on topography and local history, overseen by a most genial and helpful proprietor.  Nicholas Sack 08.07.14
This shop is in fact closed on Mondays and Wednesdays as I discovered when I visited it today (Monday!) The information about opening days shown on the panel which is displayed when you Google the shop's name is wrong as well. This sort of thing is most annoying.  Laurence Purcell 04.03.16
What a splendid bookshop.  Kingmaker 04.04.16
Visited mid-day on Saturday - when they claim to be open. Shop closed. Faded note on door saying that they might be open later was not a comfort. It might well be a lovely shop but I'd advise anyone to phone first to avoid disappointment.  Peter M 03.09.19