Are you looking for a list of the best bookshops in Kent? We’ve selected and featured 10 below for your perusal.
If you’re looking for a good second-hand or older book, check out the Halls Bookshop in Tunbridge Wells. They carry a wide selection of used books on topics such as travel, art, British geography, history, and even popular children and fiction books. If you’re a James Bond fan, you can head upstairs to the Adrian Harrington Rare Books shop and see what they have to offer or what new rare book they have in stock.
Hall’s Bookshop buys second-hand books, as well, so if you have some you’d like to pass along, make sure you follow the guidelines found here. While they don’t hold many events at the bookshop, they do exhibit their newest additions at various book fairs in and around Tunbridge Wells; you can find out where they’ll be next here. You can contact them to find out more.
Opened in 1948 by Basil and Frances Krish, the Sevenoaks Bookshop in Sevenoaks has been the independent shop for local residents to buy brand new books ever since. They carry a book on almost every topic, including books by local authors or about the local area; you can see their online catalogue, and even order a book for delivery, here. If you feel adventurous, you could sign up for one of their subscription services and get a new book delivered straight to your door!
Having been such a mainstay of the community for so long, the Sevenoaks Bookshop hosts a variety of events and workshops: there’s the Bookshop Writers’ Group, various local author events, a monthly book club, and literary festivals in and around Sevenoaks. Be sure to pick up a cuppa and a cake at the Writers’ Café while you’re there! For other questions about what they offer, contact them using their online form.
Mr. Books has been the independent bookshop of Tonbridge since 2005. They offer hundreds of new fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books alongside the thousands of second-hand, rare, and collectible books they have in stock. They are particularly fond of second-hand books about traveling, art, science, and local history.
Mr. Books offers a variety of events, such as book launches and author readings. There’s even a podcast, Ideas in Writing, which offers online versions of many of these events. For more information, contact them by phone or email.
Opened in Canterbury in 1956, the Chaucer Bookshop sits a short walk from the Cathedral and carries books and prints on a large scale of topics. The bookshop’s two floors contain collectible books, popular and contemporary fiction and nonfiction, out-of-print and antiquarian fiction and nonfiction, maps and prints, and even greeting cards and wrapping paper. You can search their entire catalogue here.
You can sell your own used books to Chaucer Bookshop; you must make an appointment first. You can do this by contacting them using their online contact form or by phone and email.
Paul Minet opened Baggins Book Bazaar in Rochester in 1986 as a second-hand store for the ‘everyman’ reader. As the biggest used bookshop in England, Baggins Book Bazaar has a book on everything from Antiques to Criminal Law. They’ll even purchase your used books, as long as they aren’t too modern or commercialised; the older and more obscure the topic, the better.
Baggins Book Bazaar sometimes hosts local author events; these can be found advertised on their social media pages. To find out if they have a particular book or for more information on how to sell your books to them, contact Baggins Book Bazaar using their online contact form.
R.E.W.B.S. Books began as an Amazon store in 2007 before settling into a brick-and-mortar storefront in West Malling. While R.E.W.B.S. Books sells both new and used books on all sorts of topics, their main aim is to sell mostly misprints and imperfect editions in an effort to protect the environment by keeping these books from being pulped and destroyed.
R.E.W.B.S. Books does not hold any events at their shop but does offer door-to-door shipping through their Amazon and eBay sites. To find out more about their stock or for any other questions, contact them by email or phone.
7. Wadard Books
In the village of Farningham, Martin and Pamela Finch opened Wadard Books in 2001. They sell old, collectible, and out-of-print books on topics such as anthropology, military, natural history, sports, topography, and even gastronomy. They offer worldwide shipping but welcome in-store visitors, as well.
Wadard Books is part of the larger Mathew Finch Design Consultants Limited (MFDC) group, which also publishes books, many of which can be found for purchase at Wadard Books. If you are looking for a particular book or need more information about how to order from their online catalogue, contact Wadard Books by email, phone, or stopping by their shop in Farningham.
Sunburst Books is a charity bookshop in Rainham established in the early 2010s to aid in maintaining St. Margaret’s church in Rainham. They sell used academic books, audiobooks, biographies, fiction and graphic novels, law and music books, and nonfiction books on a variety of topics. They even have used vinyl, CDs, and DVDs for sale.
9. Store 104
If you want to visit an independent bookshop with more than just books, look no further than Store 104. Located in Rochester, Store 104 sells not only fiction, nonfiction, children, and cookery books, but they also offer folk art by Sarah Crouch and a range of quality yarns in varying strengths and thicknesses.
Store 104 offers events and workshops for all things creative: from author readings to jewellery workshops to book clubs and film clubs. To find out more, contact them by email or stop by the shopfront in Rochester.
Opened in Folkestone by George Marrin, Marrin’s Bookshop has specialised in the rare, collectible, and unique since 1946. If you’re looking for that first edition or rare out-of-print book, check with Marrin’s first as it’s likely to be there. Especially if it’s related to H.G. Wells. They even have a selection of rare maps, prints, and book related artifacts.
Marrin’s does not host a lot of events, but they do exhibit and sometimes host book fairs. They also purchase books from their customers; if you have an old or unique book related to local history and geography, philosophy, travel, science and medicine, or even some interesting maps and prints, contact Marrin’s for an appraisal.