7 Best Second Hand Bookshops in London

You know by now that I love finding the best second hand bookshops in London. More than a want, it’s a need. I’ve already talked about book places a few days ago, with the biggest bookshops in London.

Today, I’m doing something a bit different. We’re on The London Rack, aren’t we, and we’re looking to get the best cheap books in London. That’s why we’re about to embark on a new adventure, that of the best used book stores in London.

I’ve tried to stay in Central London for this article. There are used bookstores in London all over the place, many more than you could ever count. From the famous Charing Cross bookstores like Any Amount of Books or the famous Foyles, you can find out where to buy used books and new titles pretty easily when browsing Google.

My goal today is to show you where to get the cheapest used books without having to resort to online websites like Abebooks or BetterWorldBooks, some of the best sites to buy used books. The goal is also to avoid going to charity shops to buy books – I wrote a full article about the best charity shops near Camden Town and Finsbury Park yesterday, and I want to focus on the actual places that sell only cheap old books in London.

Book shops in Camden, East London bookshops, Charing Cross bookstores… I’ve listed the 7 best second hand book stores in Central London. I’d love to know your own favorites – I’m always happy to discover vintage book stores where to buy used books in the city!

If you like to find the cheapest and free things to do and buy in London, I highly recommend you sign up to The London Rack newsletter. You’ll be able to learn all about the coolest and cheapest restaurants and places to do shopping in London. I promise, only the good stuff – no weird spammy emails from my part!

Ready to go on the hunt to buy old books? Follow me on the quest to the best used book stores London!

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7 Best Second Hand Book Stores in London

7 Best Second Hand Book Stores in London - Best Used Bookshops Central London - Tottenham Court Road, Camden Town, Kentish Town Road, Brixton, Charing Cross Road - Charity Shop - Used Books
Photo: TripTide

I love to order books online. However, I feel much more pleasure when I find cool 2nd hand book stores near me. There’s always going to be a vintage bookshop where I can get used paperbacks or hardbacks that will make my day.

Fortunately, I know the cheapest place to buy used book – charity bookshops in London offer some of the coolest preloved books. You can find art, fashion, psychology, fiction… Quite anything, really.

When you’re a bookworm like me, you’re always looking for the best site to buy used books and vintage book shops. Today, we’ve got some cheap used book stores in Camden, Charing Cross, Brixton, Kentish Town Road, and Tottenham Court Road. Most of those book shops are located in Central London, so when you type “second hand bookstore near me” and are roaming the streets in the center, you know you’re close.

1. Oxfam Bookshop – Bloomsbury Street

7 Best Second Hand Book Stores in London - Best Used Bookshops Central London - Tottenham Court Road, Camden Town, Kentish Town Road, Brixton, Charing Cross Road - Charity Shop - Used Books
Photo: NY Times

Oxfam Bookshop on Bloomsbury Street, at the end of Tottenham Court Road, has got to be my favorite 2nd hand bookshop in London. From the first time I ever stepped foot in this second hand bookstore, I kept a very nice memory of their offer.

That’s one of the cleanest second hand book dealers in London, which often happens with charity book shops, but not to this extent. You can find everything from this Oxfam Bookshop London, from travel books, to fashion, music, crime novels, kids books… It’s really one of the most complete and cheapest second hand book shops in Central London.

You must already know just how happy I am when I get new used books. I could spend hours browsing the racks of this charity shop. It’s just all about the best vintage books and preloved titles. The fact that it’s just a short walk for Oxford Street, and just 3 minutes walk from the British Museum is just a bonus. To be fair, their second hand books are so good and clean that I would walk from North or East London to reach the Oxfam charity bookshop.

Oxfam Bookshop London: 12 Bloomsbury St, London WC1B 3QA

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2. Henry Pordes Books

If you want to find cheap books for sale in Central London, I’ve found one of the best addresses to buy books near me is Henry Pordes. That’s one of the best antique book shops London where you can find both super cheap titles and rare books.

Thrift store books can’t really go better than that, with titles about music, arts, and countless novels. Usually, when you go to vintage bookshops, there’s this particular smell of old books, and that’s exactly what it smells like in the Henry Pordes second hand bookstore.

When you’re in the center and have just gotten an amazing piece of cake from Chinatown Bakery, finding exciting cheap books for sale can finish to make your day. In this 2nd hand bookshop, what’s more impressive is just how the duo running the vintage bookstore remembers where every title is. Don’t order books online – getting used books first hand in that kind of vintage book store will feel a hundred times more fulfilling. Especially when they’re that cheap.

Henry Pordes Second Hand Bookshop London: 58-60 Charing Cross Rd., London

3. Best Used Books London: Bookmongers Brixton

7 Best Second Hand Book Stores in London - Best Used Bookshops Central London - Tottenham Court Road, Camden Town, Kentish Town Road, Brixton, Charing Cross Road - Charity Shop - Used Books
Photo: TripTide

When I’m looking for a second hand bookstore near me in South London, I know Bookmongers will always have a great selection of cheap used books for me. The store has been around since 1992, which means it’s turning 30 next year. How many used bookstores in London can brag about such a long lifespan?

Brixton is one of my favorite areas in London, especially for its market where I can buy all-natural shea butter for almost nothing. Still, we’re talking about sites to buy books on the cheap now, so I’ll remember to write about natural hair and skincare products in London in the near future.

When looking for bargain books UK, Bookmongers is one of the most independent-feeling bookshops. Their cheap books for sale revolve around both fiction and non-fiction. I love to get lost in the crowded alleys because I feel like I’m in Diagon Alley.

Bookmongers is also the best place to buy second hand books online when you want some new cool used books but don’t really have the time to go all the way down to Brixton. It’s located almost right outside of the Brixton tube station. If you want to get their books online, you can do so from Bookshop.org, from their website, and even from Amazon.

However, I’d recommend visiting the second hand book store in South London as you know they’ll perceive all the money that you pay for the books, and won’t lose anything because of the website fees.

Bookmongers Second Hand Bookshop Brixton: 439 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LN

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4. World’s End Used Book Store London

Looking for a good 2nd hand bookshop in Chelsea? Worlds End Bookshop might very well be your new favorite thrift book store. I’d suggest visiting the used bookshop after a satisfying visit to the Saatchi Gallery, for instance, since it’s located so close.

I know that when I’m looking for the best vintage bookshops near me, I’m expecting messy racks to browse like there’s no tomorrow. This West London bookshop really gives you the old shop vibe. It’s far from being the biggest bookstore in London, but the offer is pretty amazing. They even put out a few books in front of the shop for people to check out – I just love when they do that.

Careful – Worlds End Bookshop is one of those places specialized in old used books and out-of-print books. There are obviously lots of other second hand books, but be aware that you will mostly find those rare books that you want to collect and pass down to your children.

Worlds End Bookshop Chelsea: 357 Kings Road, London, SW3 5ES

5. Best Second Hand Book Shop London: The Amnesty Bookshop Kentish Town Road

When I wrote about the best charity shops near Camden Town, I mentioned Kentish Town Road a lot. I love this road, it’s one of the best places to buy cheap used books. One of the latest addresses to buy books near me I’ve discovered there is the Amnesty Bookshop.

This vintage and charity bookshop relies on regular donations of any kind of books. From children’s books to classics and non-fiction, there’s a used book for every soul out there.

I love the atmosphere of the bookstore on Kentish Town Road (for there are other Amnesty Bookshop addresses in London), it’s clean, and you just feel comfortable there. Also, the staff is particularly friendly, without being overwhelming.

You can also buy the new and used books from the Amnesty social media, and either collect them from the shop or get them sent by post. I’d still recommend going to the bookshop to get that nice feeling of taking a new book home in a small bag. You know what I’m talking about.

Amnesty Bookshop Address: 308 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2TH

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6. Charing Cross Road Used Books: Any Amount of Books

7 Best Second Hand Book Stores in London - Best Used Bookshops Central London - Tottenham Court Road, Camden Town, Kentish Town Road, Brixton, Charing Cross Road - Charity Shop - Used Books
Photo: Twitter

By now, you probably know that Charing Cross Road is filled with the coolest bookstores and secondhand books. It’s really that kind of street, bustling with people who search for used books like their life depend on it. I’m half joking.

I love being on Charing Cross Road because of the best book dealers, but also because Chinatown is super close, and I can grab a bite from cheap Asian restaurants nearby whenever I want to. When I feel like buying used books in London, Any Amount of Books is a secondhand bookstore I love going to. Why? Because I know I will find a wide array of book bargains there.

You can find lots of used academic books in Any Amount of Books, from literature to history, and lots of first editions and used rare books. The prices of the secondhand books sold there go as low as £1 – and that’s a price we all love to see on the third page of a used book, innit? And isn’t that one of the most instagrammable bookshops in London? Much like Hurlingham Books in Putney Bridge – you just want to browse for hours and crawl to a nearby coffeeshop to start reading your newest old find.

Any Amount of Books Charing Cross Bookshop: 56 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0QA

7. Second Hand Book Shop London: Walden Books

If you’re looking for a cheap online bookstore, Walden Books is probably your solution. To buy used books, I always prefer to actually get out and visit book dealers in London. I prefer to see firsthand what the used books look like – if their condition is good, if the pages are annotated, and if overall I feel a good vibe from the preloved books I find in the vintage bookshops.

I know, it might be weird. But thrift store books are sometimes in a very fair condition, with pages blackened by people’s notes. Depending on the old book I’m deciding to buy, I might actually get a used book with annotations (think Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). However, when buying used books, I’d most often to get very cheap secondhand books that look as new as possible.

The Camden bookshop Walden Books is one of the best 2nd hand bookstores in North London. It was first established in 1979 – more than forty years ago, and the bookshop is still standing. When you’re near Camden Market, you only have to walk 10 minutes to reach the store and search for used books. You never know what you’re going to find there, but Walden Books has this magical aura of cheap second hand book dealer. It’s a bit messy, a bit crowded, and it also offers used rare books in London, and out-of-print second hand books.

Depending on the used book you want to buy, you’ll pay as little as 50p per title, and as much as 50 pounds for rare used books. Think of them as collectibles. If you’re looking for the best used book websites, Walden Books has a few online stores on Abebooks, Amazon, and an online catalogue as well. Everything so you can purchase the best used books.

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7 Best Used Book Stores in London

When I’m looking for the biggest bookshops in London, I also look up where to buy books near me from second hand bookshops. I’ve never been one who thought that you should pay huge amounts of money for culture, even though you do need to pay artists for their work.

If you’re looking for the best used paperbacks and cheap old books in general, I’ve broken down what I thought to be the best vintage book shops in London. All that’s left for you is to actually go visit the stores. Preloved books are a blessing. You know that the used book you’re about to buy has already been enjoyed by someone probably as passionate about books as you are. But you’re the one who gets to enjoy cheap books for sale.

I’d love to know your own favorite used book dealers in London – I’m always on the lookout for the best cheap things to do and buy in the city, you know that!

If you don’t want to miss my upcoming posts on The London Rack for things to see and do on a budget in London, I suggest you sign up to the newsletter. No spammy things, only the best cheap addresses in the city!

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