19 Second-Hand Bookshops In The UK Every Book Lover Has To Visit
There's nothing better than old book smell.
1. Any Amount Of Books, London
Only a few minutes walk away from London's Leicester Square, Any Amount Of Books is a quiet haven in the middle of the city, perfect for any book lover to get lost in. Their stock ranges from rare books worth thousands of pounds to a basement packed full of paperbacks on sale for £1 – no matter what, any reader will find find something that interests them!
2. The Book Cupboard, Plymouth
Located in a 16th-century building in the historic Barbican area of Plymouth, The Book Cupboard is a paradise for book lovers, filled with narrow rows of shelves from floor to ceiling that are completely stacked with all kinds of books, including rare volumes, antiquarian books, and first editions.
3. Troutmark Books, Cardiff
Situated in one of Cardiff city centre's famous arcades, Troutmark is the perfect second-hand bookshop, containing floor-to-ceiling shelves full of every genre that you can think of, including an entire sci-fi section on the second floor, and a whole shelf dedicated to Doctor Who, because Cardiff.
4. Paramount Books, Manchester
Paramount Books has been a huge part of Manchester's culture since it opened in 1965. As well as selling a variety of second-hand and rare books, the shop sells (some extremely valuable) vintage magazines and comic books – so if you're into that kind of thing, what are you waiting for?
5. The Big Comfy Bookshop, Coventry
Located in Coventry's mega-hip FarGo Creative Village, The Big Comfy Bookshop is somewhere you can spend hours without getting bored. As well as selling second-hand books, the shop contains a café where you're welcome to sit and browse your new reading materials, as well as playing host to "The Big Comfy Folk Club", a folk music night that takes place on the first and third Friday of every month.
6. Halcyon Books, Greenwich
As is evident from the huge, precarious pile of books you can see in the picture above, Halcyon does not mess around – this shop is for the hardcore book lover, and if you're willing to search through the stacks on stacks on stacks of volumes, you're guaranteed to find a hidden treasure.
8. Skoob Books, London
Found a short walk away from the British Museum, Skoob Books is crammed with over 50,000 books – the catch is, none of them are catalogued, so it's perfect for readers who love to hunt for their next read. You can also buy a Skoob tote bag as a ~souvenir~, and if you spend over £30 on books, they'll give you one for free!
9. Broadleaf Books, Abergavenny
Located in Abergavenny, Wales, Broadleaf Books claims to be the only second-hand bookshop in the entire town. Including a huge range of genres from trees to travel to general fiction, Broadleaf is a family-run business, and the adorable little shop is a must-see for any book lover visiting the town.
10. Edinburgh Books, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Books is a huge second-hand and antiquarian bookshop in Scotland's capital. Watched over by Clarence the water buffalo (you can see him in the picture above) and his friend Graham the grouse, the bookshop, according to its website was "saved by the skin of its teeth from becoming yet another café in 2006" – so you'd better appreciate it.
11. Barter Books, Alnwick
Situated in a huge converted railway station, Barter Books is one of the largest second-hand bookshops in Britain, and contains books from a huge range of genres, including a significantly sized children's section. Plus it's in Alnwick (pronounced "Annick", FYI), where you'll find the castle that appeared as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films. ~The more you know.~
12. Much More Books, Shropshire
Located in the small town of Much Wenlock, Much More Books (see what they did there?!) holds over 40,000 books from every genre imaginable, including out-of-print and rare volumes.
13. Empire Exchange, Manchester
Empire Exchange is the definition of eccentric, and if you know Manchester at all then the likelihood is you'll have heard of it. Called a "Collector's Centre" instead of a bookstore due to its ridiculous range of items for sale (including football memorabilia and rare vinyl records), the Empire Exchange is a must-visit for anyone in the area.
14. Leakey's Bookshop & Café, Inverness
Touted as "Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop", with over 100,000 books on its shelves, Leakey's has been converted from a grand old Gaelic church and, alongside its bookshop, houses a café with home-cooked food and an open fire.
15. The Sanctuary Bookshop, Lyme Regis
Situated on the main street in the seaside town of Lyme Regis in Dorset, the Sanctuary Bookshop is difficult to miss. Although it might not look like it from the outside, the inside is huge, containing multiple rooms on several storeys filled with shelves of books of all genres. If that's not enough, the decor inside is totally eccentric, and completely fascinating.
16. Chaucer Head Bookshop, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Located in a Grade II listed building in the town of Shakespeare's birth, the Chaucer Head Bookshop holds over 12,000 books from pretty much any genre you can think of, including collectibles and modern first editions.
17. Astley Book Farm, Warwickshire
Astley Book Farm is apparently the "largest second-hand bookshop in the Midlands", and is located on an actual working farm whose fresh produce they serve in their café. The bookshop itself contains the "Children's Hayloft", which is the shop's kids' section, and the "Ten Bob Barn", where all of the shelves are uncategorised but books are only 50p each – perfect for a rummage!
18. Addyman Books, Hay-On-Wye
Addyman Books is one of dozens of second-hand and antiquarian bookshops in Hay-On-Wye, a small village in Wales that is basically just one huge bookshop. The village hosts a literary festival during May and June of every year, and prides itself on being Wales' National Book Town. If you're book obsessed, you absolutely cannot miss Hay.
19. Oxfam Books, Various Locations
Okay, so it may be a chain, but with over 150 store locations dedicated entirely to selling books – each with a constantly rotating stock – you're bound to find some treasures. Plus, all of the proceeds go to charity!