The Best Second Hand Bookshops In London

Second hand book shops in London

Written by Sara Shaikh

Innovative and crafty content creator who loves to convey her experiences and expertise through her blogs. On a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and make boring blogs sparkle. With a curious mind and child-like spirit, I love to enjoy nature, travel, and explore things!

September 21, 2022

Although London has a rich literary heritage, there are several wonderful second-hand bookshops in London where you can pick up a book to pass the time during the daily commute without spending a fortune. The city of London has no shortage of bookshops, when you enter a second-hand bookshop, you can pick up anything from the newest thriller blockbuster to antiquarian treasures and important historical tomes. You can find your favourite titles, look for bargains, get lost in the stacks, and discover hidden notes in the margins at the second-hand book store in London.

Put on some comfortable shoes, a big bag, and a pocket full of change because we are going to walk you through a tour of the best second-hand bookshops in London.

Pages Of Hackney

This pleasant location in Lower Clapton Road is much more than just a second-hand book store in London. While the basement houses a carefully curated collection of vintage and used books along with a selection of classic vinyl from the Record Deck, the UK’s only floating record shop, the ground floor offers an eclectic mix of new books, ranging from literary fiction and children’s books to volumes on politics, feminism, psychology, and philosophy. Want to talk books with other bookworms who share your interests? There is a regular book discussion and a fun schedule of author activities.

New Beacon Books

New Beacon Books was established in 1966 by John La Rose and Sarah White. It went on to become the first black publisher, speciality bookstore, and foreign book distributor in the UK. More than 50 years later, it still conducts a range of seminars and readings, celebrates and disseminates literature with an emphasis on Africa and the Caribbean. The George Padmore Institute, a library and archive housing resources about the black population in Europe and Britain, is located in the Finsbury Park building.

Skoop Books, Bloomsbury

Skoob Books is regarded as one of the largest and best second-hand bookshops in London. It occupies an area of 185 sq m (2,000 sq ft) and has over 55,000 titles crammed onto shelves, on tables, or even rising from the floor in towers. This second-hand bookshop in London offers its customers a wide selection of books in philosophy, modern literature, art, politics, and many other areas, all at half price or less, and is situated in the Bloomsbury neighbourhood of Brunswick. 

Additionally, it offers discounts to students and sells items like postcards, book covers, and Penguin and Puffin mugs. The enormous assortment of vintage Penguin paperbacks, which are scattered throughout the collection and have their own section, will excite book lovers who enjoy classic literature.

Judd Books, Bloomsbury

In 1992, Judd Books, a two-story building on Marchmont Street near Russell Square, opened for business. Its shelves are stocked with an extensive selection of discounted and used academic books that will enrich the understanding of readers and students alike. The cosy Judd Books, with its helpful staff and bohemian atmosphere, is the kind of place where you’ll want to hide on a rainy afternoon.

Judd Books, which specializes in arts and social sciences, sells both new and used books (over 50,000 in total) and is regarded as the best second-hand bookshop in London. There’s also a good section on local history and London architecture.

Bookmongers, Brixton

The yellow doors of Bookmongers are a portal into some much-needed calm which is just minutes away from the madness of Brixton Road and Brixton Market. A quick scroll through their detailed Instagram posts confirms that the staff here are passionate about books — and equally so about Popeye, the shop’s resident cat who can be found curled up among the books or posing in the window.

If you’re in Brixton, head down Coldharbour Lane to the iconic Book Mongers, where books are piled high. For the past 20 years, this shop has been amassing an eclectic collection of books by buying and selling used books of all shapes and sizes.

Book and Comic Exchange, Notting Hill

The Book & Comic Exchange in Notting Hill, founded in 1967, is a must-see second-hand bookshop shop in London for book lovers. Its shelves are tightly but tidily packed with books of literary fiction, poetry, and plays, with a middle aisle filled with vintage comics and magazines. The Book & Comic Exchange in Notting Hill is undoubtedly a place to go with friendly and knowledgeable staff, great music streaming throughout the store, and a range of books to choose from.

The Takeaway

Although online shopping has made book purchasing easier than ever, there is nothing like browsing a physical brick-and-mortar store for new reading material. The combination of the smell of books – whether secondhand or new – the sight of shelves of stories yet to be discovered, and the calming, serene atmosphere that is unique to every book store is difficult to beat. Indulge your passion for the printed word by visiting these aforementioned best second-hand bookshops in London. Also, read our blogs and get to know more about the city: 

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