First & Last Editions

England's Second-Hand Bookshops

Gordon Allan entered journalism straight from school in Aberdeen in 1951. After seven years on the local newspapers, interrupted by National Service in the RASC, he spent thirty years in Fleet Street, mainly as a sports sub-editor and reporter with The Times. He lives in Carshalton, Surrey.

“A mixture of fact, anecdote and quotation, this book describes the author’s exploration of the best of England’s provincial second-hand bookshops – a splendid personal view of hours spent closeted among shelves filled with every book imaginable.” The Oldie

“I would say that bookselling is the most humane, sociable, ill-organised, yet absorbing form of commerce to be found anywhere.”
Eric Moore, Hitchin bookseller

“Five million books are published in the world every year. Only one per cent of them are any good, and settle, and they end up in second-hand shops.”
Victor Suchar, Camden Books, Bath

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-898595-41-0
Paperback Price: £7.95 / $14.95
Release Date: November 2002
Page Extent / Format: 96 pp. / 216 x 138 mm
Illustrated: Yes




Stone Trough, York
Kim's, Worthing
Hall's, Tunbridge Wells
Staffs, Lichfield
Baggins, Rochester
Camden, Bath
Howes, Hastings
Steedman, Newcastle
Tombland, Norwich
Gibb's, Manchester
Fifteenth Century, Lewes
Chapel Books, Westleton
Albion, Broadstairs
Halewood & Sons, Preston
Camilla's, Eastbourne
Brookes, Brighton
Sanctuary, Lyme Regis
Broadhurst, Southport
Castle, Colchester
Thornton's, Oxford
The Bookshop, Cambridge
Barely Read Books, Westerham
H. M. Gilbert & Son, Southampton
Academy, Southsea
Readers Rest, Lincoln
Portland, Leamington Spa
Sterling, Weston-super-Mare
Two islands
Murray & Kennett, Horsham
Treasure Trove, Leicester
Scarthin, Cromford
Rye Old Books
D'Arcy Books, Devizes
Eric T. Moore, Hitchin
Barter Books, Alnwick

Farewell to True Bookshops by John F. X. Harriott


Review Quotes to Follow

Books can be ordered by phone or online

Ordering in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America and Rest of the World

Gazelle Book Services
Direct sales tel.: +44 (0)1524 528500; email:
Web ordering:

Ordering in the United States and Canada
Independent Publishers Group (IPG)
Direct sales tel.: (800) 888-4741
Web ordering:

Bookseller Ordering
Information is provided under the Resources tab.

eBook Ordering
e-Book type availability can be sourced via by book title. Kindle availability is via Amazon .com and sites.