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Rare Closing Down Sale At Leicester Square

BY Boon Koh
Published 12 March 2010

One of Leicester Square’s most famous second hand bookshop has decided move to new premises, and for the two weeks before the move, they’re having a clearance sale! The second hand bookshop in question is called Quinto’s, and is located on the corner between Charing Cross Road and Great Newport Street. We dropped by the bookstore to verify their sales pitch, and indeed found that many of the books inside were genuinely discounted.

Started on the 27th February, stacks and shelves of second hand books are deeply discounted, which were already cheaper than the full recommended retail price (RRP) already. Comprising of books across all genres, there are shelves of fiction books available, as well as non-fiction books including those on travel, nature, and history. Interestingly, they also had a section titled “books about books”, but we were too busy exploring the other sections to find out what it contained!

As always, The London Insider is always skeptical of these so-called closing down, stock clearance, or “everything must go” sale. It seems like if we were to believe all these sales, there wouldn’t be any high street shops left at all!

But this sale is quite genuine enough, judging by the small sample of books we looked at. There was a King Henry IV Part I by Shakespeare going for £1. The book itself looked like an edition from the 1970’s, with its grey cardboard backing and yellowing pages. A modern copy of King Henry IV Part I is retailing for £7.99 at Waterstones.

Another book we found was a hardcover copy of John Grisham’s A Painted House, which was selling for the bargain £2. This fiction novel isn’t even available anymore in hardcover brand new, and is available on paperback for £7.19 at Waterstones.

So is this a real closing down sale? All signs point to that it is, as there are leaflets in store and a notice on their website that Quinto Bookshops is moving to new premises at 72 Charing Cross Road on the 23rd March. Presumably because their current location, on 48a Charing Cross Road, looks like it hasn’t been renovated for more than a decade. What new shop is going to take its place? I hope it will be one of character and uniqueness, and not a Starbucks or a Subway. But given its excellent corner location and probably exorbitant high rent, I’m not counting on being positively surprised.

Still, there is a happy ending in sight. Quinto Bookshop will have brand new spanking premises come the 23rd March 2010, and all book lovers are invited for a complimentary glass of champagne on that day at 2pm to celebrate the grand opening. For the regulars, fear not; they will still be selling the same antiquarian, rare, collectible and second-hand books. At least they’re not closing down for good, like Borders did back in December 2009.

Address: 48a Charing Cross Road, Leicester Square, LondonWC2H 0BB
Phone: 020 7379 7669

Article written by Boon Koh.