Like most other bookshops, we regretfully have closed our doors for what, I hope, will only be a very short time. This is so the UK  can get back on track with getting the corona virus under control. Meanwhile we can be contacted by email at this time which is shown at the top of the page.  You can also telephone us on our mobile number 0780 394 1307. Keep healthy and take a look at our books for sale here. If there is anything you would like to reserve then please go ahead and contact us. We will be sending out all reserved books or those bought directly from our website as soon as we can.


Not of lot of parties going on are there? York is uncommonly quiet with few tourists or residents around and many working from home. The bookshop is still open with a skeleton staff . We are working. If you are in York and would like to visit at this time, we recommend you ring ahead to check we are here. We  will welcome you.

Meanwhile, we have uploaded our spring catalogue onto this site and you might find things on that not on the general part of the website. Click on  Catalogues to find it.

Whilst the post is still being collected you can buy books from us and we can send them to you so hope you will. If you live within the boundaries of York then we are happy to deliver to your door any books you would like by bike, car or on foot, dependent where you are based.


CALIFORNIA BOOK FAIR 2020 7th-9th FEBRUARY in Pasadena

Selecting books to take to a book fair is always difficult. No selection ever is the collection which ever reflects the wider range of books left on the shelves in our York Book Shop. This year the California book fair has adopted a theme which  is focusing on the achievements of women. This is because, in the USA, 2020 marks  the centenary of women, nationally throughout the USA,  being given  the right to vote. In August 1920 the right to vote was extended to all regardless of their sex.

With this in mind, I have looked through my stock to find the works of high achievers in the field of “The Arts” but here women  often seem to be masked as makers, architects, artists, designers and photographers by their male counterparts,  although in general today, they are in a more rosy position than ever before. To include outstanding items by women in the sector of design, for the California book fair  has, I have to admit, been challenging.  In my list of books for the fair are a few by unsung heroes. Go to the catalogue section of this website and take a look, The list opens with a short selection of affordable books on relatively unknown women architectural and design figures.  This is an indictment of the role women have really played in design. However,  perhaps  it is better to be remembered ultimately because of skill rather than gender. For my own part this is certainly how I feel about the book trade, I would rather be known as a bookseller than a woman bookseller.



The lights are up along the front of our shop and we are beginning to assemble our Christmas gift books. The shop will generally be open Wednesday to Fridays throughout the run up to Christmas. We sell cards and wrapping paper so, not only can you purchase a book, we can wrap it up for you all ready for the holiday season. We appreciate that not everyone wants to give a second hand book for Christmas but we have a selection of very attractive new titles on art, design, architecture or photography which might make a lovely present. Drop by and have a look and give us a call if you are travelling from outside York.


We are putting together a list of books relating to building techniques this autumn entitled “Methods and Materials” and this list comprises books on the philosophy of building conservation and key books on stone masonry, woodwork, decoration, fixtures and fittings.

At a time when new building of houses as slowed in the UK, repair, renovation and conservation has become  central to all the building trades. Old techniques are recorded in most of the books on this list and have huge relevance in this world of reuse and recycling.

Let us know if this is one of your interests and we will add you to the mailing list for the catalogue.    Many of the books came from the well known firm of William Anelay’s which was wound up a few years ago. The firm had a massive reference library some of which has found its way onto our shelves in York.


The 13th and 14th September 2019 marks the annual book fair in York and we will be there with a wide selection of books, largely not available from our online offerings on the website. These will include the 9 volume set by Avary Tipping on English Homes, a selection of modern architecture, art and design titles including copies of books associated with Eduardo Paolozzi and his contemporaries. We will also have a good selection of trade catalogues relating to architecture, design and building which inform the process of construction.

Hoping to see you there. Complimentary tickets can be downloaded from www.yorkbookfair.com. The fair opens at midday on Friday 13th and is open until 7.00pm for those who are at work in the daytime. It is also open on Saturday 14th 10.00am-5.00pm.


In 1846 Edward Twycross,  began a major project to record the country houses of Cornwall. He produced descriptions of over 80 with superb illustrations of 51 of them, publishing them in a wonderful book  which combines the family and architectural history of each house. The book was only produced in an exceptionally limited edition. Indeed there were only fifty two subscribers to the original edition.

Twycross had ambitious plans to extend the series for all of England and Wales, but following the publication of the  Cornwall volume he only managed to produce editions for Lancashire and Cheshire [ two parts for each County] before the whole project was cut short by his early death.  All titles in the series are rare and fabulously expensive.

This year, Kenneth Cooper, who has an enviable collection of country house view books and early guide books, in collaboration with Adrian Lack of the Senecio Press and Ludlow Book Binders,  has produced a facsimile of the Cornwall volume supported by an introductory essay on the history of the book and project.

We are promoting this beautiful edition and it can be purchased from us through the book shop, or by ordered from us by email or telephone. Attention to detail has guided the production of this lovely book which is limited to 175 copies.  Please contact us should you like to add this to your collection.


We are making some alterations to our shop and on the ground floor you will find more books than ever if you call to see us.

We are also  making changes to our opening hours. We are often here  and if you see we are in, come in! However, from now on we plan to open by appointment  and will cease to be here at regular times so please give us a call if you are travelling any distance to visit.  We don’t want to disappoint.

We are changing our hours because, in line with other retailers, less of you are visiting us and we plan to make more use of our website to reach you all out there and also plan to issue more lists. We hope you will still visit the shop if you live in the city or are just visiting as our customers make our shop come alive.

Christmas time 2018 at our bookshop

Our Christmas selection of books, bits and bobs are now on sale in the bookshop and both the shop and street are taking on a festive air. The street is looking particularly great with swags of fairy lights outside all the shops along Bootham, which is an initiative of all the independent shops and cafés around us. So please do come and visit us if you are in York and see what we have on our shelves. For those of you not able to come to the shop we are able to send out books to friends as Christmas presents if you want anything from our website. All books can be gift wrapped.

New Year – Ringing the changes

The 12th of January 2019 is a date to reserve in your diary as it is date of the York One Day Book Fair. This is the sister event to the York Book Fair held in September each year.  We will be exhibiting there and this event kicks off the season for book sales and our busiest season. Whilst others slumber through January we will be leaping to action producing catalogues and lists for sale and then in early February will be attending the 52nd California Book Fair 9-10th February.

Shop open by appointment

Our shop will open be open only by appointment from January. Please give us a call if you would like to visit. The business will continue to operate as before but please call us if you want to visit the shop.  You may find us here by chance but don’t be disappointed for want of a quick phone call.


Enjoy this catalogue which aims to give you a glimpse into the life of an architectural historian and an inquisitive mind. Some of the items in this list were originally bought from me in the 1980s when,  often in the company of Nicholas Long, and Alan Powers,  he was a regular visitor to the book fairs, held by the PBFA at the Russell Hotel, London; events long passed into oblivion. Other items are from earlier periods and indeed later ones. It will include  samples of his own original design work and writings, as well as books, pamphlets and journals which supported his projects, his campaigns for conservation, architectural history and photographic research interests.

For a copy email us or sign up on our website for newsletters. This material  will be issued as a paper catalogue and should be out in early November.