Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Book Temple #3: Skoob and second-hand book stores

This a new monthly feature for Mel’s Random reviews where I wax lyrical about a place dedicated to books or reading. It can be a shop, market, website or even a place to curl up and read in. There’s no sponsorship  involved and as such is subject to reversal, mood changes and general inaccuracies - I just want to share my favourite book places! I’m afraid it will be focused on London as it’s where I live and the place I do most of reading – but feel free to join in! If you have your favourite Book Temple you would like to share through a guest blog, please contact me – my email is on the right!

This month I’m celebrating second-hand books! I love getting a bargain – don’t we all? And one of the best places to try an author you’re not sure about without a large investment is picking up a couple of their books at a second hand book store. Most high streets have at least one charity store where you can find some bargains – if you’re lucky! Last week my local shopping centre had a book sale with all paperbacks 10p! Couldn’t resist picking up a couple at that price. It’s always worth checking them out periodically as different books get donated regularly – and if there are book you don’t want any more try donating them and making someone else happy with a bargain!
Award winning Skoob
One of my favourite second-hand book places isn’t a charity story but a proper book store near Russell Square in London – Skoob (Books backwards!). Down an alley that have no distinushing features - not even a dead end. It’s more like a little cellar with the entrance mostly just a door to some stair where you descend into a small and crowded cellar filled with book everywhere”! Not just fiction but non-fiction resides here and while the books are shelved in a rough order it’s worth checking out areas you wouldn’t normal stop at – for example I found the Dresden books in the crime & thriller section (which does make a perfect kind of sense...)
While I admit to being a bit of a snob and preferring my book spines to be un-creased, I’ve been amazed at some of the great condition these second-hand books have been – a few look like they’ve never been read! In addition I can usually find one or two books that have only just been released. 
I’ve been feeling a little conflicted about letting other people know about my genius little find – I kinda want to keep it all to myself! If you want to know more check out their website here -  or just drop by when you’re in town!
So what’s your favourite second-hand book place?


  1. I want to go! I am very annoyed because I told my husband about this place and he has got to go there (yesterday in fact) and I didn't and won;t for ages!!!!

    best place I have found in Norfolk is Peter's Books in Sheringham - chaotic and stock is quite old but I love it. That said I usually find my best finds in charity shops

  2. It is a fab place - I've laways found books I didn't know I wanted there rather than anything already on my wishlist!

    Charity stores are great as well - there was a charity stand in my local high street at the weekend and I managed to get 3 paperbacks for 10p each - I felt bad that I was getting such a good deal I rounded it up to £1! Still think I got the better end there...