Monday, 26 September 2016

Bookshops in East Kent

Here is the list of East Kent Bookshops that I have put on my latest version of the pamphlet I leave in other bookshops tourist information offices and so on.

Chaucer Bookshop 6-7 Beer Cart Lane CT1 2NY 01227 453912 mon-sat 10-5 sun & bank hols 11-4 (100 bookcases secondhand antiquarian, collectable, Kent local history)
Oxfam 51 St Peter's Street CT1 2BE 01227 454091 mon-sat 9.30-5.30 sun 11-4 (30 bookcases charity Bookshop)
Catching Lives Books 28 Palace Street CT1 2DZ 7 days 10 to around 5 (45 bookcases charity bookshop)
Burgate Bookshop 10B Burgate CT1 2HG 01227 638458 mon-sat 10-5 Sun 11-4 (60 bookcases charity Bookshop)
New bookshops
Waterstones 8 Rose Lane CT1 2SJ 01227 452354 mon–sat 8.30-6 sun 11-5 (new 2 floors)
Waterstones 20-21 St Margaret's St CT1 2TH 01227 456343 mon–sat 9-6 sun 11-5 (new 3 floors closing in jan 2017)
New Stories 19 Whitefriars Street CT1 2TA mon-sat 9-6 sun 11-5 (remainder) 
The Works 17 High Street CT1 2JE 01227 764267 mon-sat 9-5.30 sun 10-6 (remainder)
WH Smith 19 St George’s Street CT1 2LB mon-sat 8.30-6 sun 10.30-430 01227 766129
Blackwells University of Kent Locke Bldg, University Rd, CT2 7UG 01227 451654 mon-fri 8.30-6 sat 10-4 (new academic)
Christ Church University Bookshop, Canterbury Campus CT1 1QU
01227 782256 mon-fri 9-5 (new academic)

Most bookshops within a short drive or bus excursion from Canterbury are in the surrounding coastal towns, so going clockwise around the coast.


Past Sentence 119 West Street ME13 7JB 01795 590000 mon-tue 10-2 sat 10-5 (50 bookcases secondhand general & collectable)
Fleur Bookshop 1A Gatefield Lane ME13 8NX   01795 590 621 mon-sat 10-3.30 (23 bookcases charity Bookshop)
The Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre 10-13 Preston Street ME13 8NS 01795 534542 mon-sat 10-4 sun 10-1 (12 bookcases new Kent local history)
Oxford Street Books 20a Oxford Street CT5 1DD 01227 281727 mon-sat 9.30-5 sun 11-4 (93 bookcases secondhand general & collectable)
Harbour Books 21 Harbour St CT5 1AQ 01227 264011 mon-sat 9.30-5.30 sun 10-5.30 (25 bookcases new and remainder)

Herne Bay
Bundle of Books 6 Bank Street CT6 5EY 01227 373802 mon 12-4.30 tue-sat 9.30-4.30 (30 bookcases new children’s)
Demelza House Bookshop 165 Mortimer St CT6 5HE 01227 283806 mon-sat 9.30-4.30 (30 bookcases charity Bookshop)

Hooked on Books, 21 High Street CT9 1DL Mon Sat 10-5 Sun 11-4 01843 446400 (55 bookcases secondhand general & collectable)
Old Bank Bookshop, 17 The Parade CT9 1EY 01843 220239 Mon-Sat 10-5 Sun 11-4 (20 bookcases charity bookshop)
Tiverton Books, Smiths Court Hotel, Eastern Esplanade CT9 2HL 01843 222319 Tue and Sun only 10-2. (35 bookcases general & collectable)


The Broadstairs Bookshop 7 Albion Street CT10 1LU 01843 860824 open every day 10-5 (35 bookcases secondhand general & collectable)
The Chapel 44-46 Albion St, this is a real ale pub with secondhand books for sale, open pub hours 9-12.


Michaels Bookshop, 72 King Street, Ramsgate CT11 8NY 9.30 to 5.30 Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat 01843 589500 (130 bookcases secondhand general, collectable secondhand, new & S Kent history)
In this area The Isle of Thanet, both Ramsgate and Margate have fairly small W H Smiths in their High Streets and Works remainder shops Margate High Street Ramsgate Garden Centre, the main new bookshops, largish Smiths and Waterstones in Thanet are both at Westwood Cross shopping centre.


Nature Reserve Bookshop Canterbury Road Monkton CT12 4LH 01843 822666 open every day April-October 10-5 Nov-March 10-3 (35 bookcases charity bookshop)


Oxfam Bookshop 5 High Street CT14 7AA 01304 364752 9.30-5.30 mon-sat (25 bookcases charity bookshop)
Books 168 High Street CT14 6BQ 01304 368662 12-3 mon, wed, fri 10-2 sat (8 bookcases general secondhand)


Marrin's 149 Sandgate Road CT20 2DA 01303 253016 9.30-5.30 tue-sat (45 bookcases secondhand antiquarian & collectable) 
S.B Paperbacks 5 Guildhall Street CT20 1EA Tel: 01303 223922 9.30-4.30 wed-sat (secondhand and remainder paperback fiction)
Oxfam 10 Sandgate Road CT20 1DP 01303 245178 9-5.15 mon-sat (25 bookcases charity bookshop) also Watersone’s, WH Smith and a Works.


Demelza 130 High Street Hythe, CT21 5LE 01303 262403 9.30-4.30 mon-sat (24 bookcases charity bookshop)

If you can think of any others that need including please let me know.

The main website for secondhand bookshops is

Tripadvisor has also got some of the Kent bookshops listed, although they don’t seem to have mastered this one very well, the link to their bookshop listings is the best I can do and probably won’t work for long.

I visit all of the secondhand bookshops on my list fairly regularly mainly for sourcing books for my bookshop in Ramsgate, my local history book publishing project and my own collection.

Recently there has been a shift in bookbuying and part of this shift means that there are more people going from bookshop to bookshop as part of their leisure activities, hence the leaflet.

Although this particularly relates to secondhand bookshops I have tried to list the new ones as well. Although I think sales of new physical books are rising again with sales of digital books falling, with new books I think that the increase in physical book sales is mostly happening online and not in high street new bookshops.

In the secondhand book world things are very different, with lots of people wanting to see the book before they buy it.

I haven’t tried to review the bookshops in my list, but with the secondhand ones I have put the approximate number of bookcases devoted to books.

When it comes to antiquarian I mean this in the strict sense of it being a book published before 1810, with collectable I mean books that are more expensive that a non book collector would expect.  

I also try to get the feel of every bookshop I visit, the last one being the Blackwell’s academic bookshop at The University of Kent, in the case of this one I stopped for a coffee and sketched the concrete staircase outside, which sounds a bit lame, but actually did the trick when it comes to sending people, who come into my bookshop looking for that type of academic bookshop, to the right place.    

I think the most unusual factor with this one was a sign saying they would match the price of any other shop including the online ones like Amazon, I would imagine this would make working there interesting. 

Things are very grim on the independent new bookshop front in East Kent, there is a children’s one in Deal and I think that’s it, as far as I can see.

On the open-handed trading front I think mine is still the only bookshop worldwide publishing the books we put out on the shelves everyday on the internet, see

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