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Our Story

In 1978, full-time civil servants John and Janet Kennedy set up Chener Books as a hobby, selling second-hand books on a part-time basis at 52 Grove Vale (now the Blackbird Bakery).

As the business grew, they opened up the shop full-time and began selling new books, quickly outgrowing the space on Grove Vale.

Chener Books opened up in its current location at 14 Lordship Lane back in 1984.


Shop staff members were an eclectic mix of part-time staff who were mostly trying to forge careers in the arts. John and Janet continued working in the civil service, spending their “free” time doing the behind-the-scenes tasks to help keep the shop running.

In 2005, John retired early from a very successful career to concentrate more on running the shop alongside the Chener staff.

In 2018, Chener Books celebrated 40 years of bookselling in East Dulwich.


In May 2018, John sadly passed away, and since October 2018 the shop has been owned and run by Miranda Peake, who worked at Chener on a part-time basis between 2002-2004.


Find us at 14 Lordship Lane, London, SE22 8HN, United Kingdom

020 8299 0771

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