Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

new bookshop The Sandspout Bookstore
Berwyn Books has been destroyed in a major fire
Bodorgan Books has closed
new bookshop the Berwyn Bookshop
Colwynbooks has closed
new shop Aberconwy House (National Trust) Conwy
Oxfam shop Bangor has closed

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Open at advertised times   Open at advertised times
Phone before travelling   Phone before travelling
Appointment necessary   Appointment necessary
Status unknown, update requested Status unknown, update requested

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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Aberconwy House (National Trust)/CONWY/Castle Street
Aberconwy House (National Trust)   Open at advertised times
Castle Street  CONWY  LL32 8AY
tel:  01492 592246    web
Open: Thursday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.00
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A 14th century merchant's house, one of the oldest houses in Wales. Ground floor re-opened in October 2023 as a second-hand bookshop. 'We have a range of books that will appeal to everyone'. No admission charge to visit the bookshop.

Acanthophyllum Books/HOLYWELL/Long Chase FarmSundawn Avenue
Acanthophyllum Books   Appointment necessary
Long Chase Farm  Sundawn Avenue    HOLYWELL  CH8 7BH
tel:  01352 716596, mob: 07758 583706  e-mail   web
Open: by appointment
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Out of print, used, and rare books and maps, also a small number of new books on behalf of independent publishers. All books are stored at Long Chase Farm, where visitors are welcome by prior appointment.

Alans bookstall/RHYL/17 Wellington Rd
Alans bookstall  Open at advertised times
17 Wellington Rd  RHYL  LL18 1AY
tel:  07881 407637  e-mail  
Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 3.00
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Large room-sized stall taking up half of a unit - SF in the corridor in the entrance in the middle (lots of hardbacks!) and other fiction inside.

This is NOT a second-hand bookshop. Nor is it a shop in any sense of the word. It is a ginnel with a side room. The books are all paperback; most are new; and the contents are what would be politely called "for the lowest common denominator." How on earth did it get on here?  Chris 04.05.24

Berwyn Bookshop/MOLD/Mercia Drive, Mynydd Isa
The Berwyn Bookshop     Phone before travelling
Mercia Drive, Mynydd Isa  MOLD  CH7 6UH
Open: Monday - Sunday mid-morning - 4.30
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Berwyn Books in Buckley was totally destroyed in a fire in November 2021. This shop carries on the name, thanks to Caffi Isa on the same premises and to many supporters. It's not a replacement for the original shop, that sadly is irreplaceable, but sells recent purchases and donated stock given by its supporters.

The shop is 'Berwyn Books' in name only and can never surpass the wonderful holdings which used to be sold under that heading. Having said that, the effort which has gone into this shop has to be praised even though there is nothing for the collector but plenty for the reader. The community council must be commended for allowing a bookshop to be created on part of their premises. I can only but wish them well.  Chris 16.09.23
I went to Berwyn books today to donate, the sign outside says it opens at 9.30 every day. I have been waiting in the cafe since 10.15, it is now 10.50 and I cannot wait any longer. A lady in the cafe seems to think that he rarely opens before 10.30, which is frustrating if you've made a special journey. A realistic change to the opening times would be helpful.  Dol 28.02.24

Bookbane/BETHESDA/Unit 9
Bookbane  Phone before travelling
Unit 9  Felin Fawr  Coed y Parc   BETHESDA   LL57 4YY
tel: 01248 600 632  e-mail 
Open:  7 days 9.00 - 6.00.
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25,000 books in Welsh, English & other languages. Poetry. Technical publications from the 19th & 20th centuries. Working class movement library. Shop & bindery in interesting early 19th century quarry workshop.

Called in and returned on long weekend London-Manchester trip. Worth visits - purchased 6 books. Browsed in peace & enjoyed chats with owner. Interesting location with added travel bonus of wonderful N. Wales scenery. Some books sealed in clear film.  Zim 24.06.17
If you like books on Albanian Communism then this is your mecca. About 1,500 of them to be precise. Shelf upon shelf; row upon row of Marxist literature. The owner used to have a bookshop in Birmingham. Other than the multi-published works of Enver Hoxha the shelves groaned with books from the 1950s to 1970s; nothing modern whatsoever.  Chris Harte 22.09.19
Bit gutted as hours say they are open but we made a detour and they were shut. Ring ahead before setting off as the hours are clearly unreliable. Disappointing.  V Roberts-Gourlay  16.09.22
Apologies to V Roberts-Gourlay. Please call again. Lindsay Hutchinson.   BOOKBANE 02.04.24

Books Llangollen/LLANGOLLEN/First floor, 17 Castle Street
Books Llangollen   Open at advertised times
First floor, 17 Castle Street    LLANGOLLEN  LL20 8NY
tel:  01978 860334   e-mail   web
Open: Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 4.00
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Above S&G Bistro, we are one of the largest second hand book shops in Wales with over 100,000 in stock. Dr Who, art, antiquities/collectables, crafts/hobbies, DIY, fishing, fiction, gardening, health, history, horror, lit-crit, music, plays, poetry, religion, royalty, Shakespeare, sport, transport, theatre, war/military, westerns. Trade welcome.

You have to enter though a cafe smelling of chips and go up the stairs to find the entire first floor including a vast cavernous upstairs hall - presumably an old chapel - filled top to bottom with books. High prices and a rather tired old stock are helped hugely by the apparently permanent half price sale. Worth a visit.  George Marshall 06.02.09
Even with a 50% discount some of the stock strikes me as being overpriced - e.g. an early Penguin paperback, not particularly rare and lacking a paper jacket, at £40 (£20)!  Henry Middleton 15.10.09
Agree, even with 50% off this is one of the most overpriced bookshops anywhere. Huge stock but surprisingly uninteresting.  Norman Davies 24.04.10
Lovely coffee smells greeted me when entering the cafe which wafted up the stairs to the bookshop. A very varied selection of books on the many shelves with a stong section on religion. I spent some time in the literature room and saw quite a number of titles circa 1820-40. Although I only purchased three volumes there was much I could have bought had I had the space. New owner is Darren who showed me the thousands of remainder books he has in store which will eventually find their way into the shop.  Chris Harte 18.08.10
A large fiction section caused initial excitement however most of the fiction stock was of charity shop standard , There were still a few decent pickings to be had and a methodical search can be rewarding. Sales are handled by the surly cafe staff who appear to have no interest in book sales.  The travelling bookdealer 10.08.13
Not been for 20 years, popped in on Friday. Much of a muchness stock-wise, multiple copies of some bizarre titles in my field of interest. Half price was a nice surprise on the purchase I made.  Anthony 08.02.14
Vast stock, well laid out and not too cramped. Sadly the stock is generally somewhat poor, and overpriced even at 50% off. And the place feels abandoned - no sign of an owner or even an attendant.  Ewie 01.11.14
Revisited, nothing much changed, stock looks very familiar. Odd goodie but frankly ridiculous prices even at half price for many often not good condition items. Have a look if not visited before.  Norman Davies 14.11.14
Since the new owner Darren took over, this is the biggest and best secondhand bookshop for many miles around, well worth a visit. Always open, constant new stock, all subjects. a must see!  Paolo 22.09.16
News of a new owner and 'constant new stock' had me all excited. Sadly, there was no sign of any owner, no sign of any new stock, just the same old tired dusty books that have been there on the shelves since I don't know when. If you've never been here before then it's certainly worth a visit, as there are a lot of books, though as others have mentioned even at half-price some are dear. But really, if you've visited in the past eight years or so, forget it - the same books are still there. Needs a complete overhaul and some of the much-promised new stock needs to make the shelves. A great disappointment.  Steve 13.03.17
Revisited today, Saturday, and was open. Full of fairly dull books, as other visitors have commented. You might find something, but not sure it would repay the time taken!  Robert Brown 22.09.19
My first bookshop visit post lockdown. Agreed, lots of mediocre material, but some gems amongst them, and part of the fun here is wading through and looking. Father, daughters and myself all found something worth having and well priced, against my previous experiences here in the past.  Anthony 06.09.21
Things have improved here. I spent some hours going through all sections but the books on high shelving defeated me. Some might think the selection of titles could be "dull" but in them there are some real treasures. I have been coming here for over thirty years and never fail to purchase. The owner has re-priced downwards as his predecessors had been somewhat optimistic with their pricing. A bit untidy but to the collector that is the joy of the place. Very strong on fiction but very well sorted on the shelves. Politics excellent. I am re-visiting next week to continue my searching.  Chris Harte 05.12.21
Shop closed on Thursday 12 October, a special journey made for nothing.  Disappointed  12.10.23

Clock Tower Books/TYWYN/Market Hall
Clock Tower Books  Open at advertised times
Market Hall  College Green   TYWYN   LL36 9BY
tel: 01654 711011  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.00.
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18000 Books in stock. General seller with railway, Welsh interest, art, military, shipping, fiction and bits of everything else. Opened 2016 in the far south of Snowdonia National Park Mid West Wales.

Meant to review this a couple of weeks ago when back from holiday. Karl is a friendly and knowledgeable chap, the stock is excellent and accessible. I didn't buy, but prices are good, will be back!  Anthony 22.09.16
Oops, can't believe it's nearly 2 years since I posted. Went back last week, came away with a pile. Very strong on railways, local interest and a quantity of antiquarian stock. Shop doing well, great bistro and bar next door too, great to see a welcoming and thriving shop.  Anthony 09.08.18
Annual visit, not disappointed. Great to see Karl and the shop doing well and a great selection of stock, particularly some of the Welsh history titles. Could have spent longer and more!  Anthony 21.08.19
This place is a gem. I have purchased from Karl in the past when he worked from home. Now he has a shop and still he can produce some amazing titles. Of the many I purchased one was so rare I would have paid the full price; instead I got a most welcome discount. This shop really is an oasis in the North Wales wilderness.  Chris Harte 22.09.19
Nothing changes here. The quality is still as good as ever and the variety is excellent. WWAD.  Chris Harte 05.12.21
Made first visit in 3 years last month, still a busy and welcoming shop with an excellent stock and very competitive pricing. Very much worth a visit.  Anthony 07.09.22
Still well worth a visit. A recent purchase of hundreds of railway title some of which appear to have had short print runs made up a section of new shelving. Very good on Art.  Chris 29.04.23
I suspect Karl is closed for the winter and probably only trading online until the spring as the shop was shut on two days when I tried visiting last week. Worth checking before travelling.  Anthony 25.09.23

Escape Reality Secondhand Books/PENMAENMAWR/Bangor Road
Escape Reality Secondhand Books  Open at advertised times
Bangor Road  PENMAENMAWR  LL34 6AF
e-mail   web  
Open: Monday, Wednesday - Sunday 09.00 - 6.00, Tuesday 1.00 - 6.00
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An honesty bookshop selling secondhand books of every kind. Unstaffed, you put the price asked in a slot.

Junction Bookshop/LLANDUDNO JUNCTION/73 Conway Road
The Junction Bookshop  Phone before travelling
73 Conway Road   LLANDUDNO JUNCTION   LL31 9LT
tel: 01492 581103   web 
Open:  Monday - Friday 10.00 - 4.30, other times by appointment.
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Good, clean collectible and antiquarian non-fiction. Particularly travel and decorative bindings.

Small shop and small well chosen stock. Modern collectable fiction and fine bindings.(one or two gems). Friendly welcoming owner. Reserve stock in back room. Combine with a visit to Bay Bookshop and Madoc Antiquarian Books.  Corso 26.10.09
Excellent small shop, plenty of quality cheap paperbacks but also good specialist hardbacks including Emmett. Friendly proprietor.  Norman Davies 24.04.10
A general bookshop with an emphasis on fiction. However, there were some good regional books on the shelves. Everything was neat with complete sets/series in their own section.  Chris Harte 09.05.11
Opening hours should be described, following Driff, as Unrel. I got off at Llandudno Junction last Saturday morning specially for the shop, only to find a closed notice on the door.  John Collins 11.08.11
Small shop with clean, tidy stock. Retail prices in line with the average. Friendly owners, but probably little for the trade.  Robert Brown 27.09.12
A fairly small shop tucked away by the busy world which is now Llandudno Junction. General stock although the local books are always worth looking at.  Chris Harte 05.12.21
A little gem in a most unexpected suburban location, just across the road from Llandudno Junction Station. Notably bright, clean and tidy; a smallish stock but well chosen and high quality. Some shelves of antiquarian books, if that is your fancy. Well worth a detour, especially if you want to see Siberian huskies.   Laurence Purcell 15.06.22

Little Bookshop/BLAENAU FFESTINIOG/1 New Road
The Little Bookshop  Open at advertised times
tel: 01974 272613 
Open:  Friday only 9.30 - 2.30.
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All books are 50p each (apart from children's books which are 20p each).

Very small, & a bit higgledy-piggledy. Lot of p/back fiction, but some interesting non-fiction if you dig around. All books 50p  Caro 22.09.16

Madoc Books /LLANDUDNO/5 Madoc Street  
Madoc Books   Open at advertised times
5 Madoc Street    LLANDUDNO  LL30 2TL
tel:  01492 871 590  e-mail   web
Open:  Friday & Saturday 10.00 - 4.00. Other days by prior arrangement.
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Antiquarian and rare books

A serious assortment of antiquarian books in many subject areas. Prices on high side, but an exceptional stock.  Trefor Thomas 12.11.09
For the specialist only, good stock but mostly rare and expensive items.  Norman Davies 24.04.10
Each book individually tagged with prices more akin to central London. Strange to find such a shop in the provinces. Atmosphere starchy and cold. Shop really only for the trade and unsuspecting monied visitors.  Chris Harte 09.05.11
A serious bookshop with serious stock at serious prices. Not much/any chance of finding a cheap overlooked gem. BUT the owner is friendly and very willing to chat and share his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm. No purchase, but an enjoyable experience.  BookBuyer 26.09.13

Porth Mawr Book Cave/CAERNARFON/42 High Street
Porth Mawr Book Cave  Open at advertised times
42 High Street   CAERNARFON   LL55 1RH
tel: 01286 678010   e-mail 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.00.
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Situated within the Ancient Walls of Caernarfon Castle. Vintage and New Jewellery on the Ground Floor. The Book Cave in the underground Dungeons offers an interesting cross section of Antiquarian Books.

Books are mainly to be found in the basement of this small shop. Very strong on military and espionage with a couple of rows of topography. Prices all over the place.  Chris Harte 26.10.15
A small basement room down a steep and winding set of stairs. Small stock, sign mentions their mountaineering and cycling books are located in a couple of nearby outlets towards Llanberis.  Graeme Rendall 15.09.18

Sandspout Bookstore/DOLGELLAU/Tudor House, Arran Road
The Sandspout Bookstore      Phone before travelling
Tudor House, Arran Road  DOLGELLAU  LL40 1HB
tel:  07737 876213  e-mail   web  
Open: Wednesday - Friday 11.00 - 5.00
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Around 15,000 secondhand books, also new stock. Cash payment only.

How nice to see a bookshop restored to Dolgellau after an absence of some years. The window display was enticing and the stock was of good enough quality for a visit of an hour. Owner chatty and friendly especially when reminiscing about his former bookshops.  Chris Harte 05.12.21

Siop Lyfrau_r Hen Bost (Old Post Office Bookshop)/BLAENAUFFESTINIOG/45 High Street
Siop Lyfrau'r Hen Bost (Old Post Office Bookshop)   Open at advertised times
45 High Street    BLAENAU FFESTINIOG  LL41 3AA
tel:  01766 831802  e-mail
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30
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Siop Lyfrau'r Hen Bost (Old Post Office Bookshop) was established 30 years ago. It is one of the few Secondhand Bookshops open 6 days a week. Call to browse through our enormous stock.

New books & some s/hand books in the main shop, 1 room of s/hand books downstairs + 3 rooms upstairs, plus a store across the road (mainly internet stock). Interesting stock, reasonably priced.  Caro 22.09.16
Quality and quantity, some really scarce titles in one of my spheres of interest, wish I could speak Welsh, I'd have bought more. A very good visit and welcoming staff.  Anthony 09.08.18
Very helpful owner. The sort of place that makes you want to buy something even if you can't really find something that you're after. A small section of fiction towards the back of the main (new books) room, plus another two rooms beyond it and a further three upstairs. Only a couple of minutes walk from the railway station.  Graeme Rendall 15.09.18
This shop was quite a surprise. A small frontage with back rooms, both downstairs and upstairs, which went a long way back. A good stock of general titles with the reference section being fairly large.   Chris Harte 05.12.21

Walter Lloyd Jones Saleroom /BARMOUTH/High Street  
Walter Lloyd Jones Saleroom   Phone before travelling
High Street    BARMOUTH  LL42 1DW
tel:  01341 281527 mob: 07787 986 002  e-mail   web   
Open:  Monday Thursday & Friday 10.00 - 5.00, Saturday 10.00 - 4.30, ring before travelling, Tuesday by appointment
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A family-run saleroom which includes three rooms of secondhand books.

This was an unexpected surprise. Noted as being an "Auctioneers & Furniture Saleroom" the left section of the ground floor comprised old titles with antiquarian books locked behind glass. The basement had six rooms all of which were stuffed to the ceiling with books, most of which were in their respective categories. Quite a number of purchases were made.  Chris Harte 09.05.11
The books in the main shop were a little overpriced. The basement rooms were priced fairer and some interesting pieces turned up. A couple of the rooms were inaccessible due to piles of furniture in the way.  The Travelling Bookdealer 24.08.13
Some books upstairs (quite pricey); The Book Cellar downstairs – crammed, & in part used to store furniture so not easy to get at the books. Prices seemed more reasonable.  Caro 22.09.16
As with Chris Harte, an unexpected surprise. Made all my purchases upstairs but left the really high priced stuff. My purchase price was pleasantly rounded down which will encourage a visit again in the future. Nice lady working there, knew her stuff.  Anthony 09.08.18
Made a detour to find the shop closed. Sign on the door said "not open Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday."  Chris Harte 22.09.19
There are quality books to be found here. The stock on the ground floor needs at least two hours to go through properly while the basement is an Aladdin's treasure trove albeit somewhat cluttered. The Victoriana titles had depth although I am not sure if the owner appreciated the scarcity of some of them.  Chris Harte 05.12.21
The excellent news here is that the owners have purchased the shop next door. On my visit the decorators were busy in it. It will be a specialist bookshop which is very good news for they currently have a cellar full of some good stuff which should shortly be easier to browse.  Chris 29.04.23