simon 209x300 - Island Rare Books Online

Founded by Simon Westall in 1974, Island Books has been buying and selling fine, rare and collectable books for over forty years. We cover a wide range of subjects, concentrating on titles of historic or scholastic note, and place great emphasis on state and condition. We have established a reputation for accuracy of research, thorough and detailed descriptions, and high levels of customer service.

All our stock is carefully checked and collated, and every item guaranteed for authenticity and accuracy. Any item found unsatisfactory for any reason may be returned within fourteen days for a full refund subject to prior notification. All shipped items are carefully packed and fully insured. Printed books and maps are zero rated for Value Added Tax. Our VAT registration number is 603 1440 95.

Simon holds a double honours degree in English Language and Literature from the University of London. He trained for four years with Bernard Quaritch Limited before founding his own company. Island Books began in London, then enjoyed some years in Devon before relocating to its present base in West Sussex..

Offering books to us

We buy books on a regular basis. If you wish to offer us books for sale, please take a moment to check our current inventory which provides a guide as to the type and condition of stock we purchase.

Please be aware that we will not purchase books without seeing them first. So an initial enquiry online will be followed by a request for images, and in some cases by the need to see the books themselves. We will always require a valid ID and proof of address before proceeding to purchase. When we purchase, we offer realistic prices and prompt payment.


We offer a professional appraisal service, from notable individual items to entire collections. Valuations are provided on a trade or retail basis, carried out in person and charged on a combination of time and travel. Please note that we do NOT provide valuations online.


Our stock is represented on major online public sites including ABE, Alibris and Biblio. The following testimonials are drawn from their published feedback.

Everything went well. Book was received safe and sound. Very much appreciated. Thank you.
Vincent M

What a FANTASTIC book! Better than described, and I did notice the price reduction. A very Highly Recommended bookseller, 10 Star Rating

Very speedy transaction and I am very pleased with the book.
Old Soul

Torgny K

Very satisfactory,thanks.
Carole F