About The Shop

Photo by Sarah K Marr

Photo by Sarah K Marr

The Second Shelf bookstore opened in November 2018 to offer customers rare and antiquarian books, modern first editions, ephemera, manuscripts, and rediscovered works by women.

Located in the heart of Soho, through Farrier's Passage right off of Brewer Street or from a narrow alleyway off of Great Windmill Street, in Smiths Court, a renovated well-hidden courtyard that once housed farriers and horsemen, The Second Shelf is one of many new shops in the courtyard transforming the space into a quiet meeting place for people who love to browse, shop, meet for tea or coffee, lunch, and, of course, discover great books by women.

Our shop carries over 3,000 titles ranging from affordable first edition collectible Penguin paperbacks and Virago green spines to Jane Austen's best friends personal copy of Sense & Sensibility. From collectible and signed editions of literary classics and modern first editions to experimental and avant-garde poetry. There are works on suffrage, feminism, history, science, philosophy, cookery, and children’s books. We also carry rare books, historical ephemera, and objects relating the work and lives of women, as well as unpublished manuscripts.

We specialize in providing this scarce material to collectors, to libraries, and to institutions.

We delight in making book recommendations, helping start or add to an existing collection, or selecting the perfect special edition for a birthday present or gift, whatever our customer’s budget.