Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK 2020
Avenue Books, Northampton - closed.
The Courthouse Bookshop, Oundle - closed.
The Booksmith, Weedon Bec - recently opened.
Open at advertised times
Phone before travelling
Map of Northamptonshire
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure these details are correct, we recommend that you contact each individual bookshop before travelling any distance. Add a Bookshop
Brackley Antiques Cellar
BRACKLEY Northamptonshire NN13 6BE map
tel: 01280 841841
Open: 7 days 10.00 - 5.00.
Add a comment Read commentsHide commentsSituated
under the Waitrose supermarket. A huge area of treasures including
thousands of books of a very high standard. Well worth a visit. -
Chris Harte 19.05.09.
Interesting place in a lovely town, even in the rain, but the books such as they were scattered throughout numerous antiques stalls and number in the hundreds and not the thousands. Much very dead stock and the whole place smelled damp , rather surprising as under Waitrose, a relatively new building. NWAD but the Old Hall Bookshop is worth a visit. - Jon Morgan 03.03.12.
I'd agree with Mr Morgan the books were in the 100s and mostly dead stock. He is also correct about the damp and musty smell. Also if you are politically motivated then perhaps the UKIP sticker on the front door might make you think swice before entering. Inside there is a vast array or antique stalls and 1 which did postcards so the books are merely 'mixed in'. There was an onsite cafe and toilets but we decided to eat on the high street instead. Although I picked up 1 title here at 20% off I would say NWAD if its books you seek. - Laurence Batchelor 14.06.14.
Various parts of the cellar include selections of books but I would not go out of my way to visit for books alone. - SteveBrissle 04.08.14.
I've been here a few times over the last year - most recently just last week - and the number of outlets here with books does vary a bit. Quite a few most recently but it IS primarily an antiques type place, not a bookshop. I always view the books being there as a bonus. Saying that, not found any to buy so far. If you're not interested in the antiques and collectibles side of things, probably NWAD. Worth popping in if you're visiting Old Hall Bookshop nearby though (which is WWAD). - Flip M 08.04.17.
Visited again after 4.5yrs gap and the book holdings have improved somewhat. There is now an alcove at the back with 4 bookcases worth and Steven Rench from Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, and main champion of the PBFA book fair in Stratford Upon Avon, now has 2 units inside 1 entirely of antiquarian stock and one which had a bookcase of military and history books. Pricing was fair and there are also other scatterings of books by the antique dealers. - Laurence Batchelor 06.12.18.
Would reiterate previous comments. Some bargains to be had if you have a good look through. WAD. - David 24.12.18.
29 Abington Square
NORTHAMPTON Northamptonshire NN1 4AE map
tel: 01604 602311
New and secondhand comics and graphic novels.
61 High Street
FINEDON Northamptonshire NN9 5JN map
tel: 01933 681522 e-mail web
Open: Tuesday to Friday 9.30 - 5.30, Saturday 10.00 - 5.00.
Over 18,000 books in stock covering most subjects. We offer a friendly personal service. Browsers welcome.
Add a comment Read commentsHide commentsThere
are insufficient superlatives in the English language to describe this
place. Just when you begin to despair that the type and quality of
second hand bookshop which existed in bygone days is in fact a thing of
the past, along comes one which restores faith. You are offered a
complementary cup of excellent coffee on entry by a very well dressed
owner who is attentive, intelligent and well informed. The stock is
extensive, varied in and between subject / genres. Price for HB and PB
is excellent £2 upwards for the former and on average £1.50 for the
latter. Cafe next door in this very pretty calm and quiet Northants
village. AND you can park free right outside - Perfection itself. I
urge, advise, exhort an early visit. If only there were more like this. -
Jon Morgan 03.03.12.
That's a fantastic review Jon, and very much apreciated. Can't think who this "attentive, intelligent and well informed" chap can be though ... does he work here? - Mike Sumner 13.03.12.
Absolute agreement with Jon Morgan's comments. WWAD. - Steven Whitehead 25.08.12.
It will probably embarrass him but proprietor Mike Sumner is a hugely knowledgeable man who made my visit more interesting than I ever expected. His stock contained so much material I had never previously seen that I felt my final boxload of purchases should have been much, much more. WWAD. - Chris Harte 13.09.12.
If only every village had a place like this. A compact, tidy, and well organized general stock with highlights in most areas. I left in a really good mood. - OWC 13.09.12.
I would endorse everything good that has been said about this shop - if only there were more like it. Prices are extremely realistic and it contains a stock of quality and variety. Well worth the detour. - Nicholas Pendower 29.10.12.
Excellent shop with sensible prices. Well worth a visit and I fully endorse the other reviewers' comments. - Steve Brissle 06.03.13.
I very much appreciate everyone's very kind comments. It makes it all the more worthwhile. Many thanks. - Mike Sumner (proprietor) 19.03.13.
One of the few bookshops in the UK where the owner makes the effort to present the stock in a clean and orderly manner. None of the complete rubbish that most shops insist on sticking on the shelves " just in case". Sensible prices and a nice environment. Well done. - The Travelling Bookdealer 24.08.13.
Although WWAD it is quite a way off my usual routes so I was delighted to get back again. Stock is excellent, prices most agreeable and the coffee first class. - Steven 24.03.14.
First impressions count and every one was favourable here. Mike Sumner (Proprietor) immediately offering a coffee; well ordered, clean and quality stock; sensible pricing - all make you feel that the trip is going to be worthwhile. It certainly was for me - History, Civil War (Mike is member of English Civil War Society). However don't expect long shelf runs on any particular specialisation. I dare you however to come away with nothing. - Brian Stringer 07.10.14.
Lovely shop, nicely ordered & displayed with sensible prices-some very cheap, not all expensive! Very good varied history section. Friendly welcome too. Definitely revisiting. - Flip M 18.12.15.
Why oh why haven't I found this excellent shop before?! It's all been said above so there's nothing for me to add, but I just had to add my own plaudits! - Henry Middleton 31.01.17.
Made my annual visit and very pleased to report that all is as it ever was. Readers books competitively priced and much of interest for collectors. - Steven 23.10.17.
Possibly the most civilised book buying experience ever! Where on a windswept Tuesday morning in Sept. can one be left to browse ones possible purchases sat at a table and chair, with plenty of daylight through the window, overlooking a quiet village green and be served a complimentary cup of tea in real china on a silver platter. At the delightful Harrowden books in Finedon that's where! Mike Sumner the owner has created a very special shop here and definitely WWAD. I made the 85 mile round trip and wished I had visited earlier. Quality stock all very keenly priced and a most courteous owner. This has to be in the top draw of bookshops in the UK. Free parking outside. Get visiting and get buying is all I can say! - Laurence Batchelor 23.10.18.
Glad Laurence found Harrowden Books after his experience at Weedon - I visited again recently after a year and the stock is such good quality, and VERY keenly priced, I have always come away with an armful. Hopefully revisit very soon but will really miss this shop when we move to Scotland soon. - Flip M 02.11.18.
Agree with all previous comments. Excellent shop, stock in good condition, prices fair. WWAD. - David 24.12.18.
Previous reports all true, (yes I had a coffee). Excellent shop, good, clean stock and very reasonably priced. Everything a good bookshop should be. Many thanks. - Bazza 22.09,19.
59 Little Street
RUSHDEN Northamptonshire NN10 0LS map
tel: 01933 0353265 or 01234 359784
Open: Tuesday & Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 11.00 - 5.00.
Add a comment Read commentsHide commentsSeveral
shelves of books in the main shop and a room full of antique stock
(much of it in fairly ropey condition) upstairs: viewable by request. I
bought 6 or 7 books. - Richard 31.03.09.
Closed at time of visit, and although antique stock in shop looked closed full stop. No evidence thru the window of any book related activity. As for the town definitely NWAD. Even the charity shops were depressing.The ony reason for going anywhere near it is the bookshop in Finedon, which I have reviewed seperately and justified the journey all on its own.
Building 1 The Royal Ordnance Depot,
WEEDON BEC Northamptonshire NN7 4PS map
tel: 01327 227 391 e-mail web
Open: Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 10.30 - 4.00.
New, used & antiquated books.
Add a comment Read commentsHide commentsVisited
recently - nice roomy premises and just getting off the ground. Fiction
stock mainly at the moment but non-fiction due to be moved from their
Sutton Coldfield premises soon - that will then close. Coffee too - all
within the very interesting old Weedon barracks site - worth a look just
for that. - BT & ET 10.08.17.
I've been a few times since they opened last Spring and things are settling down but still much stock to bring in I think (plenty of boxes outside the shop in the lift lobby). Fiction is in the main shop along with the Children's section; the non-fiction is actually in the room marked "art gallery" through a connecting corridor - there is art on display but lots of shelves of used non-fiction here too. Biogs and memoirs of all sorts, along with Military history were well represented I thought but most categories are covered. Some other shelves are still to be sorted out and stocked, however. Condition varies, as does price, but bargains can be had.
Coffee and refreshments are good quality and the building is full of character. The enormously high ceilings do mean, however, that despite bringing in some heaters, the rooms can be rather cold in Winter.
If in the Northants/north Bucks, its definitely worth popping in. Loos and an interesting antiques/collectibles place are downstairs, with enough informal parking space outside the building. - Flip M 12.02.18.
My 1st visit prompted by Flip's comment that military history was well represented, but I came away disappointed. The stock is spread across 2 spacious rooms and an adjoining corridor but more of the floor space is given over to leather sofas, the cafe area and the non-fiction room was filled with a painting and sculpture exhibition. To say I spent more minutes chatting to the helpful lady than browsing their military books gives one an idea just how sparse their shelves were. I'm surprised the owner is taking so long to get the stock out and priced as it's been open nearly 18 months. Many bookcases were empty or depleted and the quality was lacking which is a shame as this place could perhaps aspire to match my nearby Astley book farm if it concentrated on the books. Pricing was also on the high side, which was reflected in my 1 purchase. I'll wait now until 2019 before I visit again to see if that gives them enough time to improve the quality and quantity of non-fiction available. - Laurence Batchelor 15.09.18.
Some time since my last review and I have to agree with Laurence. Last time I was in recently, shelves seemed less full and what was there wasn't good quality. Pricing too seems optimistic, more often than not, given the quality. A real shame. Hopefully, things improve over the next few months. But for now, if you're nearby its worth a browse (given the quality coffee and loos downstairs) but I'd wait a few months before traveling any distance. - Flip M 02.11.18.
So I gave them 9 months and still nothing had improved when visited on a sunny Sunday. It's the kind of place which has vast amounts of space but doesn't fill it. If their 30k books on display is to be believed they need to increase this to 60-70k as there is still so many empty shelves making a special journey pointless. To give you some idea Military History in WW1 was just half of 1 shelf strong. WW2 History 2 shelves.etc. Of the 3 books which interested me 2 were triple the price to similar condition online. My family commented the cafe was over-priced and had a poor selection. Overall not worth the 40 min drive for me this one and must try harder in all departments. - Laurence Batchelor 18.06.19.
The Old Hall Bookshop
32 Market Place
BRACKLEY Northamptonshire NN13 7DP map
tel: 01280 704146 e-mail web
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30.
Large general stock of new, secondhand and antiquarian titles, located in beautiful Georgian house. Fast ordering system for books in print and full booksearch service for those that aren't! Members of ILAB, ABA, PBFA, BA. - Established 1977.
Add a comment Read commentsHide commentsVery
good quality stock. They obviously take care about what books they buy
in. Military in abundance. Visit recommended so long as you ignore the
upper middle-class twittering mothers in the room set aside for
children's books. - Chris Harte 19.05.09.
Flourishing and well worth a visit. - Tony Laverick 25.06.09.
Excellent shop with a large stock in most areas - yes it has a room for new children's books. Sensible prices seemingly good turnover too. Pleasant browsing environment. - Norman Davies 31.10.11.
A beautiful shop in a beautiful building in a beautiful town. Stock was good new and old. Bit light on fiction but very good prices generally , excellent atmosphere. Almost everything a second hand bookshop should be! NB the antiques centre under Waitrose is very poor for books but wad for antiquey stuff. - Jon Morgan 03.03.12.
Excellent secondhand section (and the new books were good too). Stronger on non-fiction but plenty of interest for readers, collectors, and dealers (and children too). - Steven Whitehead 13.09.12.
A hand-picked stock with plenty of meat on the bones which deserves quality time and serious attention. I spent a small fortune and will visit regularly. - OWC 13.09.12.
Always worth a visit. Great mostly non-fiction stock at sensible prices. - Steve Brissle 24.08.13.
After reading so many positive reviews here about this book shop I decided to travel the 50 miles to see what I was missing. The shop itself is very beautiful and parking was easy nearby in the high street for 3 hours free. Both ladies inside were helpful and now the BUT there was just 7 naval books, 1 shelf of WW2 and around 2 shelves of biographies or aviation all of which were poor quality. I expected so much more! It took me all of 5 mins to browse all the shelves of topics I collect. I made the two ladies aware of my plight and they were helpful and went upstairs to check for more stock but sadly nothing appeared. How disappointing as when you walk in the front door you expect 3 floors of books to peruse when there is in fact just 1 spread around a few small rooms. - Laurence Batchelor 14.06.14.
The stock does seem a little lighter but it is always worth a visit. Purchased yet another railway book at a very fair price. - SteveBrissle 04.08.14.
Six years since my last review although I visit this excellent bookshop at least twice a year. I have absolutely no criticism to make of well laid out rooms and excellent stock. Subjects vary to satisfy everyone with pricing very fair. I had no hesitation in parting with my money for such varied titles. If you are very lucky you might be allowed in the huge storeroom at the rear of the main building. What is on those shelves are mind blowing. - Chris Harte 19.05.15.
My 3rd visit here. Smaller than it appears from the outside but does contain a large antiquarian collection - almost like walking into the library at a NT place at times. Not huge overall and some genres like military are small, but usually an interesting selection across most genres nonetheless - and prices mostly reasonable. I picked up 2 paperbacks and a biog of Raleigh from 1882 in fine condition for 8 quid. - Flip M 15.03.16.
My 2nd visit after 4.5yrs and I'm pleased to report that their stock of military had improved. Around 60% on the shop are new books but the 'old books' section and the 2nd-hand room to the right of the till is now brimming with stock all priced and categorized. Pricing is still a bit variable e.g. 2 naval books priced reasonably purchased, but an official history of WW2 in the Med 3 vols. of 4 £100 here whereas all 4 volumes were £40 at the antiques basement down the road in the same condition! - Laurence Batchelor 06.12.18.