The best second-hand bookshops you must visit in Devon

The original branch of charity Book-Cycle, selling second-hand books and other goodies

The original branch of charity Book-Cycle, who use proceeds to help send educational books to schools and orphanages around the world and create tree planting projects with primary school children in the UK. - Credit: Colin Smith / Geograph

Step inside one of these charming second-hand bookshops and be whisked away by the treasures you can find and the allure of books bearing the creases of time and joyful re-reads. Romance aside, buying second-hand books is also an easy way to be more sustainable without having to change your habits drastically.

So whether you're trying to be more sustainable or love the romance of a pre-owned book, we have found the best second-hand bookshops in Devon.

The Book Cupboard

18 The Parade, Plymouth PL1 2JW

It all started as a hobby, but 20 years later, The Book Cupboard is a local favourite. The second-hand book emporium is a self-described Alladin's cave that houses some 200,000 books over 3 floors; in essence, this is a bookworm's dream come true.

The Book Cupboard also owes some of its charm to the Grade II listed building that contains it; built-in 1584, the stunning Elizabethan structure has been an old customs house, an army barracks and even a winery over the years


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7 West St, Exeter EX1 1BB

Book-Cycle has to be one of the most charming second-hand bookshops around; not only is it housed in an exquisite late Medieval style building, but customers can choose what they want to pay for up to three books a day.

All proceeds go to the charity which they use to plant trees around the UK and to allow them to keep providing nearly free access to books. There are also a couple of other Book-Cycle locations to check out around the country.

Castle Books

4 Castle St, Totnes TQ9 5NU

This community-run bookshop sells a wide range of books and hosts many events such as a regular book club and creative writing groups.

The volunteers who keep this charming little shop going are also planning to have book-binding workshops and regular poetry open-mic sessions in the future.  

The Topsham Bookshop

27 Fore St, Topsham, Exeter EX3 0HD

This charming bookshop has a wide range of second-hand and out of print books over its three floors. And after picking the perfect read, why not stroll along the historic waterfront and quayside.

High Street Books

150 High St, Honiton EX14 1JX

With approximately 25,000 books in its arsenal, High Street Books is a formidable little shop. Subjects range from Military History to Art and everything in between.

High Street Books is also a member of several societies that focus on preserving rare and historically significant books, such as the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and the Ephemera Society.

Compass Books

24 Lower St, Dartmouth TQ6 9AN

From beach reads to high-brow literature, Compass Books has it all. The owner also upcycles old and unloved books and turns them into Paperback Pets and other book art. 

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