The Second Shelf
14 Smiths Court,
Tel: 020 3490 2800
Sunday – Monday: Closed
Tuesday – Thursday: 11-6
Friday – Saturday: 11-7
How did you come up with the name of your bookshop?
The Second Shelf is a new bookshop of rare books, modern first editions, and rediscovered works by women, in London’s Soho. Named for a 2012 Meg Wolitzer essay published by The New York Times, it refers to the current condition where books by women are not collected and esteemed equally with their male contemporaries. The Second Shelf is a space for women to explore our own literary history and foster and care for our own legacies.
Do you mainly sell new or second-hand books?
Almost all of our books are rare books and modern first editions by women. Our oldest book at the moment is Les Dames Illustres, an early French feminist work and our newest book is a first edition of Toni Morrison’s Mouth Full of Blood. Our most popular books are from mid-twentieth century, but we also sell a lot of copies of the very contemporary Ache Magazine.
Describe your store in three words:
Pink, unpredictable, informed.