Thursday, November 5, 2015

London-on-a-Dime (Bookstores)

Before we travelled to London I googled, "cheap bookstores in London" and made out a list. But only one of the bookstores ("Any Amount of Books" on 56 Charing Cross Rd.) had what I would consider inexpensive books. Most of the other stores only had new titles, which don't interest me at any price.

Fortunately, I already knew that thrift stores in England are called "charity shops." I did a search for Oxfam stores (like Goodwill) in London and put about 10 of them on my xeroxed map of the city. That way when we were in that part of town to visit a museum or historical site, we could zip over to a nearby charity shop and look at their used books' section. A few of the Oxfam stores were just bookstores. I was thrilled to find vintage books in these places for 2 to 3 pounds.  Even though that comes out to about 4 to 5 dollars, I was pleased to find some books on my wish list. They are more valuable to me as souvenirs than all the overpriced junk in the tourist shops.

(One of my favorite Oxfam bookstores was three doors down from the Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford, so be sure and look it up if you take a side trip to C.S. Lewis territory.)

Sadly, I did not find any Elizabeth Goudge titles, but consoled myself with a beautifully bound copy of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford (pictured above). It's a 1949 tiny blue hardcover printed by Oxford University Press as part of its World Classics. It's lovely to hold!

Previous posts on saving money in London are here (tours) and here (food).


Unknown said...

Beautiful book! :) Bookmarking your England wisdom! :)

CLL said...

So was this book shop just down the street from 84 Charing Cross Road (as in the fabulous book?) That's my favorite part about going anywhere. Forget the "souvenir" shops and t-shirts. Give me the used books stores and thrift shops.

hopeinbrazil said...

Charing Cross Road was the London book sellers street for many years, but now many of the book shops are gone (including #84).

Vintage Reading said...

Enjoyed reading your thrifty London posts. I think you enjoy a trip more if you stick to your budget! Love Cranford, must re-read it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how fun!! I would have loved to join you along Charing Cross Road, I am sure!!

Carol in Oregon said...

Oh, we are kindred! We brought an extra suitcase to bring books home. I still have many on my shelf. And it was Oxfam all the way. I think we went to about a dozen.

When we were in Edinburgh we got a case of castle fatigue. So we skipped one we had planned to visit, walked down a huge flight of stairs to the bookstore district and had one of the most pleasant afternoons nosing around.