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The Tennis Bookshop was established in September 1988 by Alan Chalmers as a specialist catalogue dealer in printed matter related to Racket Sports, principally Lawn Tennis, Real/Court Tennis, Rackets/Racquets, and Squash Rackets. At that time there were no other specialist dealers in these fields, though most other sports were well covered. Since then, several others have set up similar businesses, but I make a strong claim to be the world’s leading dealer.

Visit the Real Tennis page and click on the new PDF catalogue to view details of 61 books and 14 images. Uploaded May 2015


I played Squash Rackets and Lawn Tennis for some 30 years, and moved on to Real Tennis 25 years ago, a sport that I play regularly and with a great passion. I have organised and run many lawn tennis and squash tournaments from club to international level, and in recent years have been privileged to write the internet ball-by-ball commentaries on several of the World Real Tennis Men’s Singles championships. (see www.irtpa.com)

For four decades I have worked on Wimbledon's Centre Court, first overseeing the seating arrangements for the huge corps of international writing journalists who report from Wimbledon. And more recently, I have been filling the same role for the competitors, their families, friends and guests

The Tennis Bookshop philosophy is that only very good condition books are acceptable to my customers, and even now, I stock no titles published after 1930 that are not in their original dust-wrappers. Whereas in the early days from 1988, I issued occasional lengthy catalogues, I have promoted the business by the issue of occasional topical e-mail newsletters and the mailing out of 70 paper newsletters round the 60 or so countries where I have customers. Many of these newsletters can be found in the archive section.

Over the last 30 years I have staged exhibitions of tennis literature at many major tournament venues including Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bournemouth, Brighton, Eastbourne, Frankfurt, London Arena, Nottingham, Olympia, Queen’s Club, Royal Albert Hall, Southampton, Stockholm, and Wembley. By the summer of 2015, the total of week-long exhibitions staged has risen to 95. These exhibitions give me the opportunity to meet many existing customers, to make new customers, and to turn over a very large proportion of my already very large stock. After all, some customers will still only buy books if they can inspect them in person first.

Alan Chalmers on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, pictured with his daughter Lisa
Alan has been a Wimbledon Centre Court steward for 40 years, and Lisa for 15 years

I maintain my stock levels at about 500 titles across the range of Racket Sports covered. These are most likely to be modern biographies, especially the most recently published titles, annuals, histories, novels and anthologies, but I do not stock the modern coaching titles. Such coaching titles as I do stock will be the much older titles that appeal to collectors. I specialise in signed editions. I also make a feature of Wimbledon Final Edition programmes, first published in 1935. These are very collectable items. If I had to select a personal favourite field, it would be for the books on Real Tennis, where the earliest title dates from the 16th century.

I maintain a very upto date bibliography on my database. This is amended several times a day as new information comes to light. And for each title, this includes the author, publisher, country and date of publication, pagination and format, ISBN, and a brief description if I have actually seen the book. At present that bibliography contains 7000 separate entries, of which approximately 6100 relate to Lawn Tennis. Compare that with Golf and Cricket, both of which have bibliographies at least three times as large!

The website key is situated to the left of this page. It includes an updatable News Page on which I am now listing titles of interest, my current Newsletter, an Archive section containing many of my previous Newsletters, and a very comprehensive list of books on Real/Court Tennis and Rackets/Racquets.

So please browse the website, and use the contact form at any time, if you think I can be of assistance to you in matters related to the literature of these great sports. If the book you want is not there, then there is a very good chance that I will be able to find it for you. And if you have quality Racket Sports books for sale, do please offer them to me.

Alan Chalmers
June 2015

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Oaklands Farm Cottage
Oaklands Lane, West Lavington,
Midhurst, West Sussex,
GU29 0EJ, England
Tel: +44 (0)1730 816116
FAX: +44 (0) 870-7052288
Alan Chalmers