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Kate Costigan / © Culture Trip
Kate Costigan / © Culture Trip

The Best Second-Hand Bookshops In London

Picture of Clara Chiarpei
Updated: 12 January 2018
Spread everywhere, from the famous Bloomsbury district to the multi-ethnic Brixton, second-hand bookshops offer a broad selection of titles at bargain prices. Here’s our list of the best stores to read, buy or smell the oldest books in London.

Skoob Books

In a 2000 square-foot space — with over 55,000 titles squeezed on shelves, displayed on tables or even towered up on the floor — Skoob Books is considered one of the best and broadest second-hand bookshops in London. Located on the underground level of The Brunswick in the Bloomsbury area, this amazing store provides its customers with a large collection of books in Philosophy, Modern Literature, Art, Politics and many other subjects — all at half price or less! It also sells postcards, book cover posters, Penguin and Puffin mugs, and they even offer a student discount on books and a discount for cinema­­-goers.

Skoob Books, 66 The Brunswick off Marchmont Street, London, UK +44 20 7278 8760

Best Second-hand Bookshops in London

Kate Costigan / © Culture Trip

Judd Books

Situated on Marchmont Street near Russell Square is Judd Books. Opened in 1992, this shop is spread across two floors, with shelves filled from floor to the ceiling; offering a wide range of both used and bargain academic books that will enrich the knowledge of the student, the occasional, or the hungry reader. With its expert and helpful staff — and bohemian atmosphere — the cosy Judd Books shop is the kind of place where you run to and hide on a stormy afternoon.

Judd Books, 82 Marchmont Street, London, UK +44 20 7387 5333

Book Mongers

If you’re near Brixton tube station, head down Coldharbour Lane to the characteristic Book Mongers. Buying and selling second-hand books of all shapes and sizes, this shop has been building, for the past 20 years, an eclectic selection of books for the local residents. Owned and run by an American book expert that crossed the ocean to come to London, this shop welcomes its costumers with a gorgeous friendly dog who clearly enjoys the peaceful atmosphere of a bookstore. With volumes piled up everywhere and a homely environment, Book Mongers is worth crossing the seven seas for.

Book Mongers, 439 Coldharbour Lane, London, UK +44 20 7738 4225

Best Second-hand Bookshops in London

Kate Costigan / © Culture Trip

Book & Comic Exchange

The Book & Comic Exchange located in Notting Hill is part of one of the oldest running chains of second-hand shops in the UK. Established in 1967, this is an absolute must for book hunters! Tightly but tidily packed, its shelves are stocked with books of literary fiction, poetry and plays, while a middle aisle is filled with old and vintage comics and magazines. We know you can already smell that old book smell! There is also a basement where customers can find hundreds of items available for 50p or even less. With friendly and competent staff, excellent music from the oldies and a particular ‘mishmash’ of books to choose from, Book & Comic Exchange is definitely a place to visit when in Notting Hill.

Book & Comic Exchange, 14 Pembridge Road, London, UK +44 20 7229 8420

Best Second-hand Bookshops in London

Kate Costigan / © Culture Trip

Quinto Bookshop

Just re-opened in December 2015 from a change-over, and with more than 1,000 new books and a varied selection of second-hand titles, Quinto Bookshop covers all interests: whether history and travel (especially on North America), a wide range of children’s books, Literature, London history, archaeology, and a distinct selection of texts on cinema and film scripts. Situated on the busy Charing Cross Road, with its attractive and colourful windows displays, Quinto Bookshop is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the street.

Quinto Bookshop, 72 Charing Cross Road, London, UK +44 20 7379 7669

Henry Pordes Books

Opened as a family business by the famous Henry Pordes, Henry Pordes Books has been one of the main destinations for book lovers since 1983. This old-fashioned shop attracts many visitors, from Arts & Humanities students to antiquarian book collectors, from history fanatics who go right to the history section, or curious tourists that enjoy wandering around. Original and vintage editions are proudly displayed on the window shelves, whist the inside shows off a whole world of books covering modern and contemporary literature, travel, art and drama in each corner. On Charing Cross Road, Henry Pordes is a little book heaven.

Henry Pordes Books, 58-60 Charing Cross Road, London, UK +44 20 7836 9031

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Kate Costigan / © Culture Trip

Worlds End Bookshop

The Worlds End Bookshop is an established leading dealer in antiquarian and second-hand books in Chelsea. With more than 25 years of practice, this small shop has been a prime location for West Enders. Specialising in architecture, modern art, fashion and costume and further coverage on general culture, Worlds End Bookshop provides great expertise for book suggestions, rare editions and not to mention every book lovers favourite event, book fairs!

Worlds End Bookshop, 357 King’s Road, London, UK, +44 20 7352 9376