“I come here at least twice a month to buy second-hand books,” said Michael Mcteknagnam, a 17-year-old teenager who regularly visits the place. “Second-hand books hold traces of the former owners. In this sense, the books are the accumulation of knowledge.”
Founded in 1877, Charing Cross Road has been a home to numerous second-hand bookshops in the UK since then. Famous bookshops such as Quinto and Henry Pordes are also located there, attracting lovers of second-hand goods and ordinary people who are looking for special kinds of books.
Those who have been close users of second-hand books since they were young have continued to show their affection toward this pattern of use and reuse, becoming a bookstore owner themselves.
“I was interested in second-hand books since I was very young,” said Stephen Fowler, who is the owner of Quinto Bookshop. “A second-hand book is like a history itself in that it embraces so many memories and trends of the time. That is the most wonderful aspect of second-hand books.”
Books in not so good conditions are for sale in Charing Cross Road as well, since customers usually take the value of the books into consideration rather than the external conditions.
“When we buy books to sell, the conditions of the books are not so important compared to their actual value,” said Sasha Ilyykevich, another owner of Quinto Bookshop.
Even after 136 years of its foundation, Charing Cross Road still continues to maintain the reputation as a second-hand bookshop street, welcoming second-hand lovers from all over the world.