We occupy an old stonemason's workshop close to the station in Cambridge. Visitors are very welcome, be it to save on postage, to get to know us, or to spend time in our bookshop, distinct from the Internet stock offered on the web. Our walk-in bookshop, described by some as an Aladdin’s Cave, has many bargains. Arranged loosely into categories, there are plenty of rare and wonderful old books, but also current titles in excellent condition. Most of them are yours for less than £5.00, many are less than £1.00. Look out for old maps, sheet music, various ephemera and the products of our craft workshop: Paper Stars out of pages from broken 18th Century law books, paperback covers converted into notebooks, illustrations from old Encyclopaedias, and the mural on our office wall, constructed out of old coloured bookboards, courtesy of Cambridge Artist and Plurabelle Bookhand, Lisa Wilkens.
The grey barn contains over 70,000 books with 55,000 catalogued and online. Working amongst so many treasures is a delight, but before 2008, we were strictly an Internet bookshop and had few visitors.
When yet another second-hand bookshop closed down in Cambridge, we decided it was time to share our books with the local Community. At the same time, we discovered that our Landlord was seeking a home for a set of beautiful, handmade (and very large) wooden bookshelves. We were delighted to take them off her hands for a very reasonable sum and our browsing bookshop was born. In the early days of Plurabelle Books, Michael Cahn could not resist acquiring some very unusual objects. These included an old printing press, a strange, wooden, temple-like structure, various birdcages and a collection of old suitcases. They all found a place in our bookshop and we think, greatly add to its atmosphere and unique character.
The Internet has transformed the second-hand book market. Today, rarity is the main factor for pricing books. Together with the practice of automatic pricing some dealers use, this means that we are left with an excess of very good books that we cannot expect to sell on the Internet. The best and most interesting of these books find a placeo n our wooden wooden shelves, where they are waiting for you.
Our mission has always been to do everything we can to find homes for books we cannot sell. Whatever is not suitable for the Internet or browsing bookshop is sent off to one of the two charities we work with: afrinspire and school-aid. Only the most unwanted books in very poor condition go into the recycling container.
Of course we also buy books. Locally or internationally, in Cambridge or in Santa Monica. If you need the space, and if you think those books are rather on the specialised side, or even arcane, then we would like to hear from you.