It's the final chapter for The Little Bookshop in Oxford's Covered Market, which is closing after more than 25 years.

Owner Philip Gilbert, 75, from Summertown, is retiring so that he can spend more time with his family.

The bookshop was often mentioned in Oxford guides as being one of the city's hidden treasures and tourists from across the globe would pay a visit, together with a loyal band of students and locals.

It is standing room only in the tiny space, which is packed from ceiling to floor with a huge variety of secondhand books.

Mr Gilbert worked as a hairdresser and as a staff member at Oxford University's examination schools before a love of literature prompted him to embark on the business venture in the 1970s.

He said: "I've enjoyed it and met a lot of nice people over the years but it is time to call it a day.

"I'm looking forward to spending more time with my wife Ruth, my two children and my grand-daughter. I will also be able to do more book-binding, which is one of my hobbies and reading my favourite authors -- Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell.

He added: "I think Internet selling is damaging the trade and people are losing the art of using secondhand books.

"I always tried to talk to customers to get to know them and find out the kind of books they wanted."

Mr Gilbert worked five days a week until two years ago when he broke his leg, and reduced his hours to three days a week.

He expects to shut the door of his shop for the last time in the next fortnight.

Books at the store are now half-price in a closing down sale.

Mr Gilbert said a store selling Oriental rugs, furniture and curios would be taking the book shop's place.

Alan Lester, former chairman of the Covered Market Tenants' Association, said: "The Little Bookshop was a quaint little place but it was one of the shops that made Oxford a bit different and it will be sadly missed. I wish Philip all the best in his retirement."