Wandering in Wantage …

If you go SE from Abingdon, you get to Didcot – go SW and you reach Wantage – a town I very rarely visit. It has an historic association with Alfred the Great and his statue graces the market place. After having dropped my daughter off at King Alfred’s School – the starting point for her DoE Practice Expedition this weekend, I headed into town to look around…

I’ve wanted to visit Regent Books for ages – which is a huge cave of a second-hand bookshop which also sells furniture upstairs. One of those musty rabbits warrens absolutely crammed full of books (right), it was presided over by a moustachioed old chap and his two younger sidekicks – not traditional booksellers – they are traders in books. But they do know their stock, and what they can sell it for! Having purchased £15 worth of mostly old penguins, I enquired about bringing some of my excess in to sell to them … ‘I’d have to sting you for them,’ said the old chap, ‘Got to make a living.’ Sad but true – I don’t know if I’ll be going back though.

Then, wandering around a bit more – I came across this place in a side-road…

The door said ‘open’ – but it didn’t look like either a bookshop or a library from peering in – so I didn’t go in! When I got home, I googled it and came up with this piece about the place – turns out there is a Betjeman connection (although not surprising as he was local). If I go to Wantage again, I’m going to be brave and go inside.

Have you been to any interesting second-hand bookshops lately?

9 thoughts on “Wandering in Wantage …

  1. Guy Savage says:

    I haven’t been to a second hand bookshop in ages. There are two in my small town and one is rather strange, messy and w/ an owner who seems to think everyone is there to steal. I think she just doesn’t want to sell anything.

  2. Col says:

    Through a friend at work I got given a plan for touring second-hand bookshops of London in a day – it’s like the Circle Line Pub Crawl but with book-buying chucked in! Once my wallet – and my liver are ready – I intend to give it a go and see how far I get before I fall down ( on Circle Line crawl I rarely get beyond pub 12 these days!)

  3. Spade & Dagger says:

    Sadly I don’t know of any second hand bookshops within easy reach – which is probably just as well for my bookshelves. By the way, weren’t you trying to reduce the number of books on your shelves recently !

  4. kaggsysbookishramblings says:

    Regent Books sounds lovely Annabel – I suppose I’m lucky to have the local charity shops and Oxfam but I must make the effort to go to Felixstowe when the weather is better to visit the lovely Treasure Chest Books! The Wantage Novel library sounds fabulous!

  5. farmlanebooks says:

    I’ve never been to Wantage, but it looks like a lovely town to walk around. I’m in second-hand books all the time! I try not to buy too much, but I love a quick browse every week!

  6. Alice says:

    I do love a rabbit warren of books. Brighton has many a quirky secondhand or trader-esc bookshop, but I never seem to go in them. I should soon.

    Let us know when you go in the novel library!

  7. Athene Miller says:

    The Novel Library is a fantastic ‘Step Back in Time’ shop. The gentleman who continues to trade there is in his 80’s. It is well worth a visit as there are some real gems in the shop and the prices are very competitive. I love going and always find something that I can’t live without!

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