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Second Hand Bookstores in Bloomsbury

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by Leonard Shearmur (subscribe)
Freelance ballerina based on Earth. I have no birthmark.
Published October 16th 2016
Bloomsbury site of authors, artists, libraries, universities, museums, and snobbery is a bookish place. It is, therefore, no uncanny move to have a bookshop in this area. As it so happens, there are two second-hand bookshops within close proximity to each other.

Judd Books and Skoob Books are exactly what a lover of books would expect from an unknown second-hand bookshop. They are messy, overstuffed, dingy, mouldy, the receptionist bumbly, labyrinthine in layout, and stock an inimitable selection of books.

Skoob Books
The underground labyrinth of Skoob Books


Skoob Books is situated in the Brunswick Center and sells, as well as buys, second-hand books of any kind. Its stocks are vast. Prices are not as cheap as one would expect and sometimes the editions are damaged. That said, part of the fun of such bookstores is in finding a cherished copy. It was also featured by Time Out in 2013, which voted it one the best shops of the year.

Judd Books is the best of the two in terms of value. It sells unused and un-read books that other stores have discarded for various reasons missing page, typo, overstocked, undesirables. But, you are buying a completely 'new' copy. It specializes in used academic books.

It is the smaller than Skoob Books but has higher quality in relation to the price. In both shops, prices are justifiably stamped between 2 to 10 for paperbacks and hardbacks. A coffee-table book is half-price, or less, of the original market price.

Both are homely, almost the extension of a parlour. Browsing or carelessly leafing through a volume becomes a pastime, as one is left alone as a solitary recluse.

Judd Books
'New' secondhand books of Judd Books


Opening Hours

Skoob Books
10am to 8pm Mon - Sat and Bank Holidays
10.30am to 6pm on Sundays

Judd Books
11am to 7pm Mon - Sat
12 noon - 6pm Sundays
Closed Bank Holiday Sundays and Mondays
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Why? Pass tour time amongst book treasures
Where: Skoob - 66, The Brunswick, off Marchmont St London; Judd - 82 Marchmont St, London
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