If you read a lot, you’ll want to read my favourite places to grab a bargain book or five.
I went through a period of reading a new book every week or two for a year.
This can add up not only on your bookshelf, but in terms of money too.
That’s where discounted and secondhand bookshops can be a wallet saver. There’s also the additional benefit that if you don’t like the book, you didn’t pay £9.99 (we’ve all been there and made bad choices, perils of being a bookworm).
You’re also giving a used book a new lease of life. Like Phoebe saving the older Christmas trees in Friends, fulfilling their Christmas destiny.
Here are my favourite secondhand bookshops in London.
Skoob Books –
66 The Brunswick, off Marchmont Street, WC1N 1AE
The one with the huge selection:
Skoob Books is a ten minute walk from my work, which is very dangerous. It most likely has the book you want, such is it’s vast selection. It’s website says it has a catalogue of 55,000 and I’m going to say that’s probably true.
I can’t think of a larger secondhand bookshop in Central London than Skoob Books. Their fiction selection spans around 12 bookshelves alone…
And their Plays section is a theatre aficionados heaven.
Judd Books –
82 Marchmont St, WC1N 1AG
The one with the textbooks and coffee table books
Just a minute down the road from Skoob Books is where you’ll find Judd Books. If you like visual books on topics such as art or architecture, you’ll love Judd Books. As soon as I get a coffee table, I’m raiding Judd Books. They have a great selection of used fiction books too.
They’ve made use of every space available to pack in all the books. Then I discovered their basement… Even. More. Books. And now I’m really running out of time on my lunch break
Grab a Judd Stamp Card while you’re there (you’ll be there often). Spend £10 and get one stamp. Collect 8 stamps & get £10 off your next purchase
South Kensington Books –
22 Thurloe St, Kensington, SW7 2LT
The one with the great window display
The picture perfect bookshop, South Kensington Books is a great place to stop after visiting the museums close. It’s on the way to the tube so it would be rude not to.
They have a selection of fiction and non fiction, but also great deals and signed books by authors too. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, order from Hive.co.uk and have it delivered to South Kensington Books to pick up; they receive a bit of money from the order so you’re still supporting them.
I love their Twitter feed, follow them for awesome recommendations of what to read next as they do a Book of the Week!
1 Earlham St, WC2H 9LL
The one with the great deal
Fopp aren’t second hand, but brand new books, often old editions. Fopp in Covent Gardens has an incredible selection of classics, modern fiction and non fiction. Many are two for £5 too. There are some discounted larger volumes like cooking books too under a tenner.
Gems I’ve found are Slaughter House Five (Kurt Vonnegut), Parisians (Graham Robb) and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls (Peter Biskind) to name a few.
Oxfam Books –
12 Bloomsbury St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3QA
The one with a good cause
Books win. Charities Win. You Win. Everyone’s a winner.
If you’re searching for antiquarian books, you’ll find a surprising selection at an even more surprising price too. As they’re a charity, you’ll find fair pricing all round. They even have a decent selection of dvds and comics/anime too.
You can also find coffee and chocolate for a discounted price, meaning you can treat yourself and feel good in more ways than one.
Any Amount of Books –
56 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0QA
The one with the £1 books
Their basement contains books for as little as £1 if you don’t mind/love rummaging around. They also catalogue all their books on Abe Books if you’re looking for something in particular. They have a new books section which is refreshed often. It’s location means books come and go quickly so it’s always worth seeing if they have anything new to pique your interest.
82 Gower St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6EQ
The one with the clearance books
This is my rainy day place. Five minutes from my work, I spend much of my lunchtime browsing it’s five floors.
The Gower Street branch draws you in with it’s five bookcases of second hand books outside it’s doors.
But it’s the basement where you lose track of time. That’s where you’ll find a huge range of clearance books on all topics.
Didn’t find what you’re looking for?
Visited all the above and no luck? There’s always Foyles and Waterstones. Anywhere else is better than Amazon, right? Buying from physical bookshops means we can continue having the joy of browsing.
Can you imagine a world without bookshops? Fahrenheit 451 becomes a little closer to reality…
Where are your favourite cheap and second hand bookshops in London? Tell me in the comments section below!