The best second-hand bookstores in Madrid

We all like to read, and whoever doesn’t like it is because they don’t know it yet. But what we don’t like so much is spending more than €20 on average per book. That’s why the second hand bookstores They are the alternative that is maintained and multiplied over the years.

You won’t live long enough to enjoy so many books at a good price, so if you don’t read, let it not be because you can’t afford it. Madrid is full of second-hand bookstores (some people still call them second-hand bookstores) and here are just a few of them. And since creating a list implies eliminating potential members, here is a excusatio non petita accusatio manifesta: there could well be two bookstores that we really like, such as Alcaná Libros (Marqués de Viana, 52) or Libros Dodó (Vallehermoso, 35).

1. The Offal

Offal is undoubtedly the most alternative proposal. Based on the principles of the social and solidarity economy, this second-hand bookstore has reinvented one of the stalls in this Lavapiés market with the explicit objective of “recovering the market” because “it means putting it back in value as an economic and social engine of the territory it inhabits.” Like many others, they feed on donations, but the most interesting thing is that the price of the books is calculated by weight. You just have to take a walk among its shelves, where the books have been assigned a value based on weight, and go to the box where they will weigh your books and tell you their equivalent in euros. An essential of the letters of Madrid.

📍San Fernando Market, Calle Embajadores, 41 (Lavapiés)

2. Snatch Books

This Malasaña bookstore is many things. As its website says, “there are things that are difficult to define in essence. Above all, if Arrebato is not entirely a bookstore, as it is not exactly a publishing house, as it is not exactly a nucleus of cultural management, but rather it is everything at the same time”. In addition to top-quality second-hand books (they have a collection of about 12,000 copies), they have a strong presence of independent specimenswithout large stamps behind.

📍Calle de Palma, 21 (Malasaña)


most likely the largest second-hand book franchise in Madrid, TikBooks has the advantage of having several stores and you can ask them to bring you a copy from one of their stores to the one closest to home. One of those second-hand bookstores where the romance novels and books with brightly colored covers abound, but where it is also easy to find the great classics thanks to the union of the catalogs of all its stores.

📍various locations

4. J&J Books and Coffee

Image result for jj books madrid

This local Malasañero is a cafeteria/pub where Anglo-Saxon immigration camaraderie in the company of some Spaniards looking to improve their English. While the first floor of the bar is pure partying on weekends with its pub quiz (question and answer game) and its shady but charming British slum atmosphere, the The ground floor is a bookstore with some armchairs, chairs and tables where to take refuge until the storm and the paints arrive.

📍Calle del Espíritu Santo, 47 (Malasaña)

5. 7 Colors Library

This tiny place, located in one of the streets that leads to the Plaza de Lavapiés, is one of those little jewels that the neighborhood hides. The local, as usually happens in these cases, deceives, and you could spend hours going through its shelves full of books where academic spines are combined with relatively recent and in good condition narrative copies.

📍 Calle de la Fe, 6 (Lavapiés).

This bookstore is a classic among those who like to browse second-hand bookstores. Its operation is simple: “take the books that fit in your hands” and “leave the donation that you consider”, reads its website. They have a bit of everything and sometimes maybe too much rubbish (although this happens a bit to all of them), which does not mean that it is not worth visiting.

📍Embajadores Street, 11 (Lavapiés) and Padilla Street, 78 (Salamanca neighborhood)

7. Reread

This bookstore is a small oasis in that tangle of students and older men that is the Chamberí neighborhood. Reread, run by Rosa, is the result of the fact that she had to take all that was left of unemployment to set up a business with which to get ahead. Nobody is going to get rich with this book thing, but it is always appreciated to be surrounded by them, as it happens to Rosa.

📍Blasco de Garay Street, 70 (Chamberí)

Little needs to be said about this slope that is a must for Madrid residents and visitors alike and that is continually renewed with new activities such as the ¡Hostia Un Libro! initiative. Not all of its stalls have second-hand books and not all of them are equally cheap, but it is worth taking a look. Even if you’re (very) lucky, you might run into a box full of books in the middle of the street that some of the stalls cannot sell and for which they no longer have space.

📍Calle Claudio Moyano, s/n (downtown)

9. Books & Co.

This bookstore, in the heart of Delicias, is the best stop on the way to El Retiro (if you come from Legazpi, of course). They buy books for 20 cents and sell them at different prices. Every once in a while there’s a little dog (well, a big dog) out there who lets himself be loved, and, furthermore, his website is quite functional if you prefer to go straight away and look for a specific book or author.

📍Murcia Street, 16 (Delights)


One of those second-hand bookstores that have managed to buy and sell books a whole emporium at the national level. They have stores all over Spain with special influence in Barcelona. In Madrid its growth has been gradual and in just a couple of years there are already five bookstores. Also their search and buy catalog is quite useful.

📍various locations

11. Reading Corner

Image result for reading corner bookstore madrid

It may be one of the most expensive on the list. They know what they have and the genre is not sold at any price. In addition, it is located in the Plaza del Dos de Mayo, the epicenter of traditional hipsterism. Take advantage while time permits and grab a good book to read in the same square.

📍Plaza del Dos de Mayo, 5 (Malasaña)

12. San Ginés Bookstore

Editorial credit: vongar / Shutterstock

The San Ginés passageway has the best-known chocolate shop and churrería in Madrid and one of the oldest bookstores in Spain, both taking their names from the adjoining church. Since 1650 this corner with Arenal street sells books. Its outdoor shelves and the wood that covers the small place make it one of those charming corners that are in the album of almost any tourist who passes through here (even if their destination is the churrería). They are specialized in old and second-hand books, and you can find everything from bargains to collector’s editions of almost any theme.

📍 Passage of San Ginés, 2 (center)

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