About P J Hilton Books


We offer a friendly, efficient service to everyone who wants to buy, or sell, books, or needs information about books.

If you are new to the world of old books, or perhaps looking for a present, we are pleased to help, and to make it a relaxed and enjoyable experience for you. Our many years of experience of the rare and second hand book trade mean, if we cannot supply your book ourselves, we can probably recommend a colleague who can help you. Contact us using the link on the top right of the homepage, or by telephone.

We hope that our stock will also interest the more experienced collector. If you are looking for books in a particular field, please let us know.

You can buy any book displayed on this website by clicking on the button and pay by the secure Paypal link, with paypal or most credit and debit cards.

Our Particular Interests Are:

Books from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century, any Country, any language.

English Literature, particularly of the Nineteenth Century.

Religious books: Bibles and Liturgies and Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic works.

Something About Myself

The first book I can remember acquiring is The Children’s Bible (Christmas 1963), the first old books I handled were a small collection of Victorian poetry collected by my mother before her marriage and relegated to a box in the spare bedroom, where I found them. (I can still recall the warm, dusty smell and the sun catching the gold on the variously coloured covers). The first antiquarian book I purchased was The Spectator Volume One, 1786 (odd volume, cover detached, some foxing).

Reading has been the great solace of my life; along with illustrated books, it broadened my experience, from an ordinary suburban childhood, and led me to expect, and find, so much more in life. Furthermore it brought me in contact with extraordinary minds; Wordsworth, Proust, Samuel Beckett, Shakespeare, to name a few at random, have changed the way I see the world.

I started selling books when in the fifth form, and another fascinating layer of knowledge began to accrue; how, and why, other people valued, and craved, particular books. This learning inspired me to start to upgrade the books in my own collection. More than this, I began to appreciate the book as physical object and to understand how much a particular volume has to tell us.

Until early in 2011 I kept a bookshop in Cecil Court, London. This was a wonderful experience for the whole twenty years I was there; I handled thousands of books and met hundreds of bookmen and women, from the richest dealers and collectors to the poorest browser of outside shelves, and I learned something from every one of them. Some of the people who worked at the shop have become amongst my most valued friends.

But costs and paperwork continued to grow; instead of dealing in books I found myself fire-fighting an inferno of bills and forms (a low point was a demand from the local council, backed by statutory powers, that I provide a written analysis of the contents of the waste-paper basket). My prices were being absurdly inflated by costs unrelated to the purchase and sale of books.

Now I trade by post and over the internet and, once again, I can focus on customers and books. The stock is the same mixture; books that are valuable but also worthwhile, books that I believe will enhance life and, well, the downright odd.

If there is a book that would enhance your life, I very much look forward to hearing from you.