Good Military Bookshops

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by von Poop, May 31, 2009.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    In my neck of the woods (Ontario) I haven't find any exclusively military bookstores at all. However, here's what I know of:

    - the Canadian War Museum (Ottawa) has a used book room to raise money for the museum
    - The Book Bazaar (Ottawa, Bank Street) has a pretty big section
    - there's a big used bookstore outside of Ottawa called The Book Gallery with a good section
    - in Toronto, the BMV used book stores have a pretty big section, particularly on Bloor St
    - also in Toronto, Military Antiques Toronto (next to Wheels & Wings model shop) has a very large book selection but it's pricy.

    I buy a lot of things from abebooks. Just after Christmas I went on a buying blitz and picked up half a dozen books for about $8 Cdn each including shipping from the UK!
    ozzy16 and CL1 like this.
  2. Kellard

    Kellard Active Member

    The Lewes Book Centre (right at the bottom of the hill past the brewery) is excellent, probably the best I've seen. Opening times on the door are somewhat of a guide rather than a rule as last week I spent half a morning going backwards and forwards but it didn't open. But don't let that put you off, old or new books they'll probably have what you are after.
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  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The very shop that made me begin this thread. Glad to hear it's still going. Remarkable place.
    Kellard likes this.
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    My local Military bookshop also deals with models as well.
    They have a vast selection of English, German and French language books covering all periods of history.
    Just purchased an excellent book regarding the Sherman tank called Son of Sherman. A most complete work on all Sherman with fantastic details in closeup.
    The shop is called " Berliner Zinnfiguren "in Charlottenburg, Berlin.
    I have no connections with this shop, but anyone who is visiting Berlin, it is well worth a visit as a friend and forum member will vouch.

    James S likes this.
  5. Kellard

    Kellard Active Member

    In Eastbourne there is a huge second hand bookshop with a very, very large selection of military books called Camilla's. The military and aviation books are upstairs. It's wildly messy and disorganised, just hundreds of piles of books with bookshelves that go to the very high ceiling. If you have time to browse, it's well worth a look their selection is very extensive my wife parks me there (much like a nursery) whilst she looks around the charity and antique shops.
  6. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    I would agree with Tom who took Mp and I too this great shop in September last year. marie as with all such shops was " very impressed" ( as she thought about the next coffe stop. :) (Her patience jnows no bounds).
    A very extensive stock of some excellent books in both English and German, the model kits like nothing I have seen before, you could sertainly come out much the poorer from a visit.

    Last month I contacted them as a result of a sales flyer I got along with a book from Bücher - Luftfahrtverlag Start for a set of books on German paratroops and their " gear"/ equipment.
    To cut to the chase I bought the two books of three which have so far been published from "Berliner Ziiifiguren" who were very good at getting them to ireland very quickly and the price for the english language edition was better than from some UK suppliers by more than £27 (which included postage from Germany).
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  7. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Luftwaffe im Focus - Luftfahrtverlag Start

    This publisher/ dealer / bookseller is German based, publishing the booklets "Luftwaffe in Focus" and "U Boat in Focus".
    Apart from the quarterly publications the firm publishes a growing number of very high quality books, text is German and English and quality of build and product is top notch.
    Postage costs are excellent, the seller does not " put the arm in" and when you balance it up it is often cheaper to buy directly than from some Uk outlets but , I would always recommend "shopping around".
    To date I have bought 4 -5 of their books and all of their U boat booklet which are A4 size and are again high quality, you get what you pay for.
    Smudger Jnr likes this.
  8. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Have just done a post on this shop in reply to one from Tom (Smith), great wee place. If I am back in Berlin will definately be calling again.
    Smudger Jnr likes this.
  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I do believe that Marie thought that you had barricaded yourself in the shop☺
  10. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Tom , she would sent in the Forlorn Hope ! :)
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I went to the Canadian War Museum Research Centre today and to the book room which I can definitely recommend. I made it out with four old AFV Weapons Profiles in great condition, and a quite a large unofficial history of the Calgary Regiment published by their Veteran's Association in 1990.
  12. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Update for Canadians -

    Military Antiques Toronto moved up to North York somewhere. I expect they will actually have more stuff available for sale (although the basement book area was pretty large).

    The Book Bazaar is kind of pricy. I've seen books there for sale which would be cheaper to buy from the UK via abebooks, including the postage.
  13. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    The Works bumps a number of cheap WW2 books always worth a look
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  14. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Chaucer Books, Canterbury.

    Not by any means an exclusively military bookshop, but a general second-hand and antiquarian bookseller with a superb military section. This room shown is mostly military in hardback with a single wall of paperbacks outside. More general than specialised, but books are mostly in very good to fine condition with jackets, with a good batch of rarities and pamplets nestling around the place.

    Staff, on today's visit, were very friendly and helpful indeed.

    SmartSelect_20220811-182829_Gallery.jpg SmartSelect_20220811-182848_Gallery.jpg SmartSelect_20220811-182902_Gallery.jpg SmartSelect_20220811-182914_Gallery.jpg SmartSelect_20220811-182924_Gallery.jpg SmartSelect_20220811-182936_Gallery.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2022
  15. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    I used to say "I never met a bookshop I didn't like" - until I encountered the manager of an Oxfam bookshop in a seaside village in the South I visit regularly. He is roundly despised by the other charity shops in the area as he thinks he's a cut above them, as he's an "antiquarian bookseller". He barks orders at the delicate blue rinse little old lady and teenaged volunteers, and ridiculously overcharges for books. Yes, I know they're there to maximise income for the charity, but an overpriced book will sit there earning nothing. But he does get lazy sometimes; I bought a wartime-produced history of HMS Ark Royal (the WW2 one) not only signed by the author but from the library of the author and naval historian John Winton.
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  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Oxfam often idiots on this score.
    Some seem to look up the thing on Abe, and put it out at the highest price on there, regardless of condition, signed, hardback etc etc. Then, as you say, it sits there forever. (You can sometimes also see their stupid price eBay listing permanently ignored too.)
    Our local Oxfam seems to hide the military history in a far corner while the supercilious manager tries to keep up the tone he wants with unsold art and theatre books to the fore.

    It's not universal though, is it.
    The Nottingham Oxfam is great. Intelligently priced good selection where neither buyer nor seller feels they're ripping anyone off. Significantly; the turnover of books appears substantial to my eye. Which I would say is the whole point.
    CL1 likes this.
  17. John(txic)

    John(txic) Junior Member

    I never give Oxfam my support: about 10 years ago it was their stated aim to put all small independent 2nd-hand booksellers out of business. Such hubris.
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  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I've wider reasons for avoiding them as a charity, but sometimes, well... y'know... the book urge. :unsure:
    If I can confirm that intent above that's probably it for me and them too.
    CL1 likes this.
  19. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    The musty smell of dead persons shoes whenever you enter.
    The books hum as well
    Markyboy likes this.
  20. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    I agree, truly baffling prices sometimes. I always check out the Tonbridge and Hastings branches when I'm passing as it's a pure lottery.
    CL1 likes this.

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