Second-Hand Bookshops in Kent
PUBLISHED: 17:39 24 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:56 20 February 2013
Second-Hand Bookshops in Kent...
Baggins Book Bazaar
Rochester 01634 811651
Described as the largest second-hand bookshop in England, Baggins is close to the castle and city centre. The front part of the building is 18th century, with a large 1960s extension on the rear. Theres a huge range of stock on two floors, lots of space and the building has a labyrinthine layout.
Theres a large selection of local and Kent history, ordnance survey maps, natural history, military, marine, fine art, literature, travel, children's and fiction. Prices range from 1-1000.
Having worked in the (new) book trade, Godfrey George opened the shop in 1986, launching Baggins with the original intention of putting Rochester on the map as a book town which, he admits, hasnt quite materialised, apart from his own part of it. He chose the Tolkeinesque name because it sounded friendly.
Godfrey says: We cater for the real bibliophile. My personal interest is in illustrated books, and the subjects of modern art and local topography, plus I have a tremendous comprehensive collection of books illustrated by local artist, Donald Maxwell.
I may not be rich in financial terms, but Im rich in useful knowledge and trivia, gleaned from the thousands of tomes which pass through my hands each week.
Every year we hold several book-signing events, for local, or Kent-interest titles. Coming soon will be Haunted Rochester and the re-issue of The Chatham Scandal. We intend to re-start poetry readings and talks on the premises at some stage too.
Edenbridge 01732 862180
This large, attractive timber-framed Grade 11-listed shop, dating from 1387, is in a beautiful part of central Edenbridge, near the church. The stock is general, a combination of second-hand and new, but no antiquarian books are sold.
Originally a nurse at a major hospital, Anna Griffin took over the 30-years-established shop 10 years ago because she felt that if Edenbridge lost such a good bookshop it would be tragic. She will order any book, regardless of price. An enthusiastic supporter of local charities such as the Local History Society, Eden Valley Musuem and Cancer Research, profits from her donated second-hand paperback sales go to support these.
Anna says: Ive always been a reader I feel that books feed the mind just as food feeds the body. I read anything and everything, and I have a particular liking for historical fiction. There were always plenty of books in our house when I was growing up. When the shop came up for sale I was determined to save it for the town. We have a loyal core of customers who come here and buy, and even though they could purchase at one of the big chains slightly cheaper, they prefer to order from us.