Found Crofton Books by accident some years ago! The first time I stepped into the Crofton Park Community Library building, I was more than a bit surprised. I was expecting to find shelves and shelves of books with dewey decimal labels on their spines. I did actually find those but I also found half the ground floor was a second` hand and vintage bookshop!
That day, I left with quite a few books although I’d just intended to browse (yeah, right). They included an old edition of Sam Selvon’s Lonely Londoners and a 1966 copy of Zoey And Franny on it’s last legs but pages and spine still intact! Also got A Change Is Gonna Come (Stripes publishing) that day. If you are looking for second hand books in London, Crofton Books can make your day if you step in at the right time. Thinking about it now, I should probably go more often for the re-stocks
I visited last week and picked up these beauties, most at around the £2 mark. Beloved by Toni Morrison was £6 and a copy of Girl, Woman, Other ordered new from publisher was a discounted £7. Very VERY excited to have that copy of Beloved!
Crofton Park Books specialises in secondhand contemporary books, vintage books, antiquarian books, modern classics. It’s run by a poet named Jason who time to have a quick chat!
How did you start Crofton Books?
I was renting a space above the library with a commissioning editor for Faber & Faber. We set up a writing company together as well as worked on our own writing and publishing. It was then we approached the library and suggested the bookshop idea which benefits the local area and the library building. I’d worked in quite a few bookshops beforehand, like Waterstones on Charing Cross, so learned about book selling.
Crofton Books is an independent business but donates money to the library, which is run by volunteers .
Poems and Publishing
I have been writing poetry since I was 8 (!) and still at it. I run a publishing company, haven’t released anything for a few years but in the past we have put out a children’s book, poetry, an art book and some fiction
How often do you get new stock and what are the best books you’ve received?
We get new stock every day! Some of the best books we’ve received include a limited edition Murakami. Occasionally some earlier edition Toni Morrisons (edit: like the one I got!), early edition George Orwells and Kurt Vonneguts. These are all quite popular.
What would you recommend to me?
I would recommend Penguin Histories editions eg Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker (edit: accurate recommendation, I already have it!). The Penguin classics go very quickly here too (There were loads)
What are your favourite books?
I like books by Samuel Beckett, Sylvia Plath, James Baldwin, Miranda July. Currently really like Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
Probably will be back there soon
Crofton Books: 375 Brockley Rd, Brockley, London SE4 2AG ; 020 7998 8387
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