(Updated 28th September 2020) We have resumed buying books but only in very limited numbers, and by appointment only. The shop remains closed for browsing, and we cannot offer callouts at present. Please do not abandon books on our doorstep; instead please make an appointment or donate them to a charity who will be able to make good use of them.
If you have books to sell, please follow the guidance below. We hope to resume more normal activity in due course. If, upon reading the guidance below you think you have books of particular interest, please email us directly.
See the corresponding section below for answers to your question:
- Where do we buy books from?
- When do we buy books?
- What kind of books do you buy?
- I think I’ve got books of interest — what’s the next step?
- Do you offer valuations?
- Do you accept donations?
- Do you offer binding and restoration services?
Where do we buy books from?
Hall’s Bookshop traditionally buys books in West Kent, East Sussex and South-Eastern Surrey; for books of particular interest we may be able to travel outside this area.
When do we buy books?
Tuesday of each week is our dedicated buying day. Please make an appointment in advance by emailing us. We will not view books without an appointment. You can email us with details of books you’d like to sell at any point — see the guidance on that below.
What kind of books do you buy?
The best way to gauge the kind of books we want to buy is to look at the kind of books we sell; we aim to sell good secondhand books in the very best condition in a wide range of fields. We want to sell books you can’t find in major highstreet chains or supermarkets. If you want to sell first editions, rare, or antiquarian books, please see the details for our sister business Adrian Harrington Rare Books.
Hall’s are currently interested in purchasing books in these subject areas:
- Kent and Sussex topography and history.
- Modern Literature first editions.
- Collectible children’s books.
- Notable Antiquarian and other rare or fine books.
- Science-Fiction and Fantasy.
- Music and dance.
- Philosophy and Psychology.
- Military History.
- Folio Society.
- Art and Photography.
- Ancient history, archaeology and Classical literature, either in translation or the original text with commentary, e.g. the Loeb Classical Library.
We do not buy books in poor or heavily-used condition; we sell these books to our customers, and therefore they must at least look pleasing on the shelf. If you wouldn’t want to buy it from us, we likely won’t want to buy it from you.
Due to space constraints we do not regularly buy large collections.
At present, we are unlikely to buy books of the following kinds:
- Theology and religion
- Coffee table books (excluding art and photography)
- Books in foreign languages
- Reader’s Digest
- Mills and Boon
- Sheet music
- Ex-library books
- Non-fiction paperbacks
- Books on trains
I think I’ve got books of interest — what is the next step?
In the first instance, we will need you to email us with a brief description of the books and photographs of them. If there are a small number of books, your description should include:
- Date of publication
- A brief outline of condition
- Photographs of the binding (and dust-jacket), the title page, and the copyright page.
If there are a large number (such as a shelf, a book case, or more), please email us photographs of the book case so that we can read the spines — in many cases this will give us enough information.
Should the books be of interest we will make an appointment either for you to bring the books in on a Tuesday,
or for us to come out to you and view the books depending on the circumstances.
It is important to note that even at this stage we may not buy the books you have to offer; in the majority of cases we buy only a small number of books offered to us. This is because there are many many people interested in selling their books, so we need to be selective about what we buy or we rapidly become overwhelmed with stock.
Do you offer valuations?
We are not able to offer informal or formal valuations at present. If you would like to offer your books to us, please follow the steps above.
Do you accept donations?
Though we appreciate the thought, we are not a charity shop and therefore we don’t accept donations. Please do not abandon bags or boxes of books on the doorstep, as this is considered fly-tipping. The best thing to do is to follow the guide above to see if we would be interested in buying them. If we can’t make an offer for the books and we can’t recommend someone else in the trade, the best thing to do would be to donate them to a charity — they’ll be able to make best use of them.