Bookshops >Central> West Midlands

Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK 2020



Albion Books, Birmingham - recently added.
The Booksmith - moved to Northamptonshire.
Summer Hill Books, Halesowen - closed.

 Open at advertised times
Phone before travelling
Appointment necessary

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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

Albion Books
15 Woodlands Road  Saltley 
BIRMINGHAM  West Midlands  B8 3AG 
tel: 12132 82878  fax: 12132 82878  e-mail
Open: Please contact me about opening times.
About 1000 books on military, the army, the air force, the navy, battles.also a couple of hundred on other subjects. Very reasonably priced, I have a book room.

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Books Revisited (Charity Bookshop)
110 High Street
BIRMINGHAM  West Midlands  B46 3BL   map
tel: 01675 464 853  e-mail  web
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 4.00.
Fiction, children's, sport, travel, art, history, auto/biography, gardening, cookery, literature, CDs + DVDs, foreign language, humour, music, entertainment and some antiquarian and collectables. We probably have close to 25,000 books and are able to check stock rooms upon request. A charity Bookshop with 4 rooms on a small High Street. We are located in an old building with a lot of character and all proceeds go to the Mary Ann Evans Hospice, a local charity.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsVisited Saturday afternoon after finding free 1hr parking in a side street. The front room is well stocked with popular paperbacks, the back room downstairs is filled with children's books. Upstairs the back room is music, Vinyl, CD's & DVD's. The 2 front rooms upstairs are non fiction and hold some magazines. I came away empty handed as I found the WWII, Military History, naval/maritime sections poorly stocked. I certainly don't feel they hold as much as the advertised 25,000 books as it took me only 5-10 mins to look over this charity shops holdings. - Laurence Batchelor 22.03.14.
    A gem of a town with free parking nearby. I was a little late and had little time to browse. There was a good selection of modern hard back and paperback fiction. The staff were very courteous but were shutting up shop and assured me that there was little space to display in the premises but the stores were extensive. Worth going early and worming ones way in there.This place is a short drive from Astley and a wander around the small but interesting town is highly recommended. Fantastic old buildings and so close to Birmingham. - Jon Morgan 07.10.14.
    A return visit after 4 years and pleasantly this high street charity shop has become enlarged. Stock is spread in 2 rooms downstairs - popular fiction and Children's and then with 3 rooms upstairs containing music, non-fiction and magazines etc. Pricing was very reasonable and every main area of interest seemed catered for. Came away with a bag load. Free parking in Morrison's for 2 hours a short walk away. - Laurence Batchelor 30.08.18.
    Ditto for me, back after 4 years and if anything it is even better. Good general stock, Excellent military! (females serving in RAF section - sorry, I emptied it !). I was allowed into the back store too (Next time upstairs!!!) and scored a few more ! Worthy of the Driff accolade WAD! - Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18.

Gosford Books
116 Gosford Street
COVENTRY  West Midlands  CV1 5DL   map
tel: 024 76220813
Open: Monday - Saturday 12.00 - 6.30 (usually).
A old-style bookshop.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsThe shop has been there for roughly 20 years and run by Robert Gill. Its a gloomy and old fashioned place but still a decent bookshop. - Kevin Ring.
    It took me three attempts to get into this shop. It was only on the second occasion I saw the faded notice saying "Best think of this as an afternoon bookshop" ! It was only lack of steel toecaps that stopped me applying boot to door in my disgust. What makes it more annoying is that, when I finally did get in, it was well worth the effort. It has a good general stock and very reasonable prices - I came away with a full bag of bargains. - Son of Drif 06.07.10.
    Although it is open only in the afternoons, it stays open longer than the other shops in the city. (Even Waterstone's shuts promptly at 5.30 p.m.!) As someone interested in history, politics, economics and religion, I found plenty to tempt me and very reasonably priced. If you are in the area, don't miss this shop. - Geoffrey Warner 07.10.10.
    Thank god for the Sat Nav. Don't go on Match Day traffic is horrendous! Interesting little place a bit tardis- like with a clear history to it and photos of archaeological excavations at the premises, I was a little taken aback, having parked outside to speak to the owner (when he eventually emerged from the troglodytic depths) re parking as I could not see any time-plates. He informed me he did not know , did not drive and appeared un-interested. Surely one of the basics of customer care a) communication and b) Knowledge of the local situation to ensure that your customers do not fall foul of the patrolling vultures. However back to the shop. Very cold, and with the exception of the front, poorly lit. Some good stock, albeit poorly organised - A very good and extensive French Language section. Little fiction and a good philosophy selection - Decent prices. Quite crowded. Initially as above the owner was uncommunicative and as he did not take cards I had to go the cashpoint. (He did at least know where this was). On my return he had really changed and opened up, was knowledgeable and friendly. I suspect it was the interest in the archaeology of the place. NWAD but if passing worth a visit. Stunning that right in the heart of the University district it is a) not bigger and b) the only second hand bookshop in Coventry - Ho hum! - Jon Morgan 03.03.12.
    Slightly delayed review, as we visited about 6 months ago. We're still looking for an excuse to be in the area and go back - one of our favourite bookshops from around the country, very reasonable prices and great old hardbacks and paperbacks. - M&O 14.04.12.
    The owner is rude, unhelpful and obnoxious - avoid. - John 06.03.13.
    I've bought from this shop for around 10 years. The owner usually gives me access to the old step ladders and leaves me to it as my ww2 interests are normally on the top shelf at the front of the shop. His stock turn is not great so I would not recommend to visit frequently but once a year normally allows me to pick up 4-5 books. The above reviews are correct in that it is small and dark, but it does have some character at least which is something which sadly the rest of the city centre is lacking. Prices are reasonable. - Laurence Batchelor 10.03.14.
    Decent lighting is essential and would improve this place 100%. - Brian Stringer 27.10.14.
    As stated above, the lighting is awful. Oh how I wish I had taken a strong torch with me. The stock looked so promising and after an hour I had found four really good publications: but what an effort pulling books out individually just to look at the spines. I will know for my next visit. - Chris Harte 10.08.15.
    Visited midweek in July on the nearby Coventry University Graduation day meaning the footfall passing his shop was extremely high and yet according to a pencil scribbled note on the door.....he was closed owing to a Power cut and would only be open in the evening. After knocking the door the owner did begrudgingly let me in for 5 mins for my annual visitation to check his WW1 & WW2 stock via standing on his step ladders whilst he went about his errands. He would not let me view the military history section at the back owing to no light and him having to 'go out now'. I found the stock littered with books I viewed there 5+ years previously and came away empty handed. Amusingly not 2mins after unlocking his door for me someone else dared try to enter to spend money but I warned the unsuspecting customer he was closed so as not to force the owner to have to deal with any more of the unwashed masses! Clearly, if you visit this shop don't expect 21st Century customer service. - Laurence Batchelor 03.08.18.
    I've been out of reach of Coventry for years so unable to visit. But glad Basil Fawlty's still in business. Don't let the old grump put you off. - Mark Adler 06.09.18.
    This shop and owner are shockers. - The fifthoffensive 13.02.19.

Mogul Diamonds
17 High Street
WOLVERHAMPTON  West Midlands  WV7 3JT   map
tel: 01902 372288
Open: Monday - Wednesday & Friday 9.00 - 5.30, Saturday 9.00 - 1.00. Closed Thursday.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsA bit out of the way on a village High Street. Interesting range packed tightly into two small rooms. Specialist in music - has an organ. Friendly owner. Prices a bit high, but will negotiate. Stock in the window faded by the sun. Might benefit from a bit more vivace. - Book Buyer 18.11.11.

Oxfam Books & Music
74 Hertford Street
COVENTRY  West Midlands  CV1 1LB   map
tel: 02476 229684  e-mail  web
Open: 7 days 9.00 - 5.00.
Trading for over 30 years, we have a wide selection of academic textbooks, literature, poetry, and plays, alongside fiction, crime, travel and children's books. We have one of the largest sci-fi departments in the country, stocking hundreds of comics (many rare and out of print). We also have many film & music reference books and biographies.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsNot sure why you're missing this one Mike as its been there decades. Heavy on Sci-fi and comics and unsurprisingly paperback fiction. Worth checking every now and then. - Laurence Batchelor 28.07.14.
    A good example of a well-stocked charity bookshop with particular strengths in classic fiction and history as well as a useful CD rarities selection. - Herne 21.11.18.
    A return visit on a Sunday and happily came away with 3 books. Selection now superior to the big comfy bookshop in Fargo village. Strong on most subjects. - Laurence Batchelor 28.11.19.

Oxfam Books & Music
134 High Street
HAROURNE  West Midlands  B17 9NN   map
tel: 01214 274 784  web
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsGeneral stock, slightly smaller and less well stocked than the old shop just down the road- this one is next to Specsavers. The modern fiction is reasonably priced, the WW1 stock is very over priced as they try and cash in on the centenary. Many other charity shops in the high street with books but nothing special. - Jon Morgan 07.10.14.
    As Oxfams go this one isn't bad - better than average range of particularly local books. Usual gripe over silly prices for anything that is "old". Worth a look if in the bookshop desert of Brum. - Norman Davies 03.12.14.

Oxfam Books & Music
110A High Street
Kings Heath 
BIRMINGHAM  West Midlands  B14 7LG   map
tel: 01214 431377  e-mail  web
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.00, 10.30 - 4.00.

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Oxfam Books and Music
1659 High Street
KNOWLE  West Midlands  B93 0LL   map
tel: 01564 20773798  web
Open: Monday - Saturday10.00 - 4.30.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsSurprised that no one has commented on this bookshop. One of the better Oxfam shops with a changing stock and often a wide range. The prices are reasonable and the staff very pleasant. - CB 21.08.15.
    I must admit I'd have to disagree with the former reviewer in so much as I found this shop expensive for a charity shop. For example, The Eye of the Wind by Peter Scott £6.99 at this Oxfam but just £2 at Treehouse books Kenilworth both in the same condition. The other 'gripe' I'd have with this store is a lot of the books were double-stacked and also many front-end facing which made browsing difficult. On the positive side, this is one of the better Oxfams I've visited in the Midlands so clearly residents of Knowle donate in a lot of books. The military section was better than Leamington and on par with Coventry but the pricing as already mentioned was high. The Manageress and staff were also very helpful in searching their stock room and bringing out books of my interest which on the hole were of a better quality than the ones displayed in the shop. If in the area, despite the high prices, I'd still recommend you visit as particularly Knowle offers 2 hours free parking as long as you display a ticket. - Laurence Batchelor 15.09.18.

Oxfam Bookshop
9 Drury Lane
SOLIHULL  West Midlands  B91 3BB   map
tel: 0121 7094342  web
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 6.00.
Good Volume of secondhand books. prices reasonable. Strong Crime Fiction section. Other charity shops in the town are lacklustre with the exception of British Heart Foundation in the shopping centre. Good basic selection.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsBuckled 1/10. - The Boxer 26.09.13.
    Used to be fair but on a recent visit there were some startling prices. I could not find comparative prices on the internet so it is something of a mystery where they come from. The shop is immaculate, probably because no one buys any books. - CB 20.02.14.

Saturday Books
61 Tower Street
DUDLEY  West Midlands  DY1 1ND   map
tel: 01384 481455 or 079771 481455  e-mail  web
Open: Monday &Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 2.00 - 5.00. Saturday 10.00 - 3.00.
I have large collections of English and American literature, military history, self-help and special needs education. If this not diverse enough, some 30 other catalogues. Link through website. A physical shop too, open daily but with restricted hours

 Add a comment  Hide commentsFocused on good condition stock with an academic tilt, very friendly owner and more importantly lots of people coming and going! Good central location two minutes from the still bustling open market - Peter Hadley 21.09.17.

Southcart Books
20 Lower Hall Lane
WALSALL  West Midlands  WS1 1RL   map
tel: 07528144837  e-mail  web
Open: Erratic
We have a large collection of all genres but specialise in sci-fi, horror, fantasy and comics. We offer a quick and prompt ordering service.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsA second hand bookshop opening in the West Midlands should be cause for some celebration. The owners seem to be enthusiastic and did admit to having some of my interests in the cellar and agreed to get them out for a future visit. I felt that the stock was a little thin but I bought a very good original book about Birmingham that I was able to negotiate for a reasonable price. Worth a look I think. - CB 09.01.15.
    This is developing into a good bookshop that is worth visiting. On a previous occasion I found that they were asking too much for a map that was in very poor condition, and even in good condition would not be worth what they wanted. On a subsequent visit, there was a lot more stock, including a pile of maps where I picked out three. There was some confusion about prices and the first price suggested was too high. We negotiated and I had the three maps for a fair price. Owners were keen to show me a very collectable book that they had obtained and I feel that they are keen on creating a good quality bookshop. All credit to them; to do that in the West Midlands is a challenge, to try in Walsall is beyond that. - CB 02.04.15.
    Another visit to Southcart books, probably six months since the last visit. I was impressed with the progress they have made. The shop is tidier and better organised there have an attractive window display and any books that they have no room to display are placed in storage boxes and are brought out when you ask for a particular subject area. They have a wider range of books and I bought one interesting book for a very reasonable price. The owners are doing very well and they still seem to be enthusiastic. - CB 05.11.15.

St Clare's at the Cathedral Shop
St Michael's Avenue
Off Cuckoo Lane 
COVENTRY  West Midlands  CV1 5AB   map
tel: 02476 521200  e-mail  web
Open: Tuesday - Saturday 10.30 - 3.00.
Our secondhand books include an extensive theology section, as well as a range of novels, reference, history and other books. We also sell gifts, many of which are ethically sourced and church supplies. We are uniquely situated between the old and new cathedrals in the heart of the city.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsVery much a religous book and gift shop well positioned for Cathedral tourists. The 2nd hand stock wasn't extensive and by and large, most was religous paperbacks. Very pleasant lady owner who seemed helpful. - Laurence Batchelor 03.08.18.

St Giles Hospice Bookshop
284a Lichfield Road
Mere Green 
SUTTON COLDFIELD  West Midlands  B74 2UG   map
tel: 0121 308 0006
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.15 - 4.30.
Charity bookshop selling donated books.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsGood turnover of stock and very good prices, plenty of free parking nearby, excellent volunteer staff. I try to donate my unwanted books each time I visit. - Brett 17.09.09.
    Embarrassed as I am to say so, but this is a pretty decent bookshop. Their collection of century old titles was good but the sections on railways, transport and similar headings was well worth my time studying. Not a normal charity shop although the clients were generic. - Chris Harte 20.04.10.
    Good charity bookshop with a large number of paperbacks etc. Some nice hardback editions and very good quality. Not many rare items but good for an 'everyday' book - and 'down to earth' pricing. - The Brummie Bookman 16.07.11.
    Worth the long bus trip from the centre. This is a really rare and excellent shop. Wide variety including surprising number of "older" titles at sensible prices. Clients serious readers not generic when I was there! - Norman Davies 14.12.12.
    Tis a pity the staff are so impolite ... - The fifthoffensive 22.02.18.
    Small shop with better stock that Lichfield's but not quite as good as Books revisited in Coleshill. They let me browse their cramped stock room but nothing in there of my interests although I noticed 2 Churchill WW2 volumes with dust-covers. Like others have noted there is quite a number of older titles in the far corner which are worth browsing. Pricing was very reasonable as found 3 military hardbacks for around £5. Free parking outside for 1hr or 3hrs in the car park behind. - Laurence Batchelor 15.10.18.

The Big Comfy Bookshop
Fargo Village
Far Gosford Street 
COVENTRY  West Midlands  CV1 5ED   map
tel: 07710 400 428  e-mail  web
Open: Tuesday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00 (Friday closes a 4.00) Sunday 11.00 - 4.00.
General secondhand bookstore. Large SF fantasy and Crime thriller section. Cafe serving cake, tea, coffee and alcohol.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsI'm happy to provide this shops 1st review on TheBookGuide. It's a large charity shop spread through 1 room and based to the East of the city centre, 10 mins walk along Far Gosford street from Gosford books. There is several large car parks nearby just off the A444. Its part of a larger and whacky development Fargo village developed from EU funding containing many eccentric shops and eateries. The stock was all well categorized with pricing in the £2-£3 range for the military hardbacks I purchased. The shop has a cafe and encourages reading before buying. It also has 50p bargain boxes outside and new donations were by the till. There were also several shelves to the left of old, rare and antiquarian. An excellent addition to the city's 2 other bookshops and like all charity shops there's always a chance to get lucky. - Laurence Batchelor 30.08.18.
    A return visit after a few months. They now close at 4pm on Fridays as they use the venue for singing. The chair is now moved blocking the antiquarian books making them easier to browse. Pricing on my military non-fiction still reasonable. WWAD. - Laurence Batchelor 06.10.18.
    This was a nice find in Coventry. Not a charity shop as a previous reviewer mentioned. A good selection of books; I came away with an armful of paperbacks to read. A welcoming cafe environment, with tea and cake and it looks like they have some good music nights in the shop, though I'm sadly not local enough to sample one of these. - MPW 30.01.19.
    I incorrectly tagged this one a charity shop, what I should have written is they sell alot of donated books. A return visit on a Sunday after walking the length of the city centre hoping their stocks had been replenished after their recent floods but alas nothing to buy in Childrens, Military History, rare and collectable or cookery so I came away empty handed. Many books in the military history shelves were there 2-3 years ago. Stock in need of pruning and updating. I also visited Greens Home Interiors where they deposit some of their older books amongst the antiques and there too I found nothing worth buying. - Laurence Batchelor 28.11.19.

The Bookstop
52-53 High Street
STOURBRIDGE  West Midlands  DY8 1DE   map
tel: 01384 671104  e-mail  web
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 4.30.
Charity bookshop selling a wide range of high quality 'nearly new' fiction, non fiction and children's books together with a small section of collectables. All the book sale proceeds from the 1st floor High St shop go to support the running of Mary Stevens Hospice.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsFound this completely by accident on Saturday. A very good selection of reasonably priced books in a large room above a normal Charity Shop. Staff very helpful and stock diverse and generally in good condition. Beats your average Oxfam bookshop by a good 'country mile'! - Steve Newman 10.07.18.
    Visit yesterday.all stock new or recent and worthless. Staffed by young nincompoops, including a frosty female in office. They played modern rubbishy dance music on the radio. NEVER AGAIN! - The fifthoffensive 13.02.19.

The Handy Bookshop
Coven Farm
6 Brewood Road  Coven 
WOLVERHAMPTON  West Midlands  WV9 5DE   map
tel: 01902 791833  e-mail  web
Open: Appointment necessary.
General secondhand and antiquarian books. Also on display - Local artists work and country bygones.

 Add a comment  Hide commentsWhen you can get into the place it's not bad. Recently I've tried twice and it was shut. Even rung the bell - no answer. Last time I resolved it would be my last attempt, but of course it won't. If you have books for sale please open the bloody place. - Book Buyer 26.07.12.
    Unfortunately it is now open by appointment only. - tikitnet 21.06.14.

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