“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
House of Hodge
As one of London’s best-loved secondhand bookshops, we offer a curated selection of books, from contemporary fiction, to the classics, unusual history tomes, bestsellers in psychology and current affairs, as well as Booker Shortlist titles given to us by local book reviewers : ). We also have stacks of CDs, DVDs and a stash of vinyl.
For enquiries or if you like the look of anything in the window, just email us.
*There may be occasions when the shop is not open at the above times: we are run by a team of volunteers who also have busy lives!
Our delightful book cave is located between Highbury & Islington and Finsbury Park. We were founded in 2009 by Dr Doreen Rolph, a popular local and well-read cat lover who wanted to raise funds for animal welfare.
People who knew Doreen and the shop back then often tell us stories of how the shop was "organised chaos",
only for die-hard bargain hunters.
The bookshop has become a local institution, and today Doreen’s work is continued by dedicated volunteers.
Still somewhat cave-like, but cosy and with a lot more labels, we think of ourselves as a book heaven/sanctuary where you’ll find an, ahem, hodge-podge of everything, from popular titles to more obscure interesting and rare texts.
All books are in good condition; some are brand new.
And our name? The shop is named in honour of a cat most beloved to Samuel Johnson - poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and lexicographer, famed for taking 9 years to write A Dictionary of the English Language (1755). It was the pre-eminent British dictionary until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later. The cat, Hodge, was immortalised in a characteristically whimsical passage in James Boswell’s Life of Johnson. Boswell wrote, "I never shall forget the indulgence with
which he treated Hodge, his cat.”
We Are A Charity
We are a registered charity (number 1193789) and our mission is to support the care, protection and humane treatment of small animals by donating funds to specialist organisations.
Organisations we support include: Finsbury Park Animal Hospital, (we are delighted that there’s a plaque on the wall in the hospital thanking House of Hodge);
Blue Cross, London, who care for sick, injured and abandoned pets; Hearing Dogs for Deaf People who train dogs to transform deaf people’s lives; StreetVet who provide professional vets to care for homeless dogs and Dogs' Trust Project Freedom, which is a dog- fostering service for people fleeing domestic abuse. We also support Woodgreen who provide safe shelter, specialist care for dogs, cats, small pets, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Songbird Survival.
We are also proud to support 'Connections & Conversations' - a project to improve literacy, being run by the Elizabeth House Community Centre particularly for migrants, asylum seekers and/or anyone that may not be abke to access English courses. Places are free!
Learners at any level, from any background welcome. Tea and biscuits will be served!
Call 020 7690 1300 or register here.
Volunteer with us!
If you have a spare 3 hours a week, you love books & getting your hands dirty, get in touch!
We have bookish things on our minds...
We ♥ Donations!
...and we are delighted to receive so many bags-full every week. But to help us manage - given our limited space - please would you:
1. Filter out any of these from your donation:
- text books
- travel guides older than 2 years old
- journals and reports
- books in too worn or poor condition
2. Phone before you donate! Call us on the day you want to come in and the volunteer on duty will be able to tell you if we have space.
NB: We can take a maximum of 2 big carrier bags per household/donor.
We can sometimes do house collections: please email us for a call-back.
New tote bags to carry your bargain books home
Hand-drawn and printed by the wonderful @anniestraus in House colours: minty green & chilled pink.
Stocks are limited so grab one while you can!