Independent Bookseller’s Week is in full swing, and here at Atwood Tate, we’ve been thinking about our favourite bookshops. Personally, I love second-hand bookshops: they’re generally great value for money, and the knowledge from the bookseller is second to none. There’s been many occasions where I’ve walked in without a clue of what I want, but walked out with my new favourite book.
Here’s the roundup from us – our favourite books from across the country. What’s everyone else’s favourite bookshop?
The Uplands Bookshop, Swansea
“The Uplands Bookshop in Swansea has to be my favourite independent. My mum used to take me there to buy the Marshall Cavendish Story Teller series, and it was the most exciting thing ever (anyone too young to remember Story Teller should check it out on youtube). Years later the bookshop would host lovely, intimate author events for the publisher I was working at, so my fond memories of this place span more than two decades…”
Waterstone’s Piccadilly and 5th View Bar and Food
“Waterstone’s Piccadilly is brilliant and also has a 5th floor restaurant where you can also see views of the city. Many famous authors also shop there. I ran into Salmon Rushdie buying books.”
The Big Green Bookshop
“A gem in the backstreets of Wood Green in North London. A small paradise a world away from the high street clatter. Upon entering my daughter toddles happily over to the children’s section. She is quick to settle herself in amongst the toys and books distributed openly on the floor and surrounding shelves. The staff don’t mind the fact that she treats the shop as her own because, in its own way, it is. During her time there I can happily chat to the staff, mostly about comics, but always about books and people and life.”
Blackwells Bookshop, Oxford
“They have a really wide collection of all books, not just academic, a very friendly twitter presence and regularly hold fantastic events like the current run of Jekyll & Hyde by Creation Theatre
Lovely review here (http://www.oxonianreview.org/wp/the-albion-beatnik-bookstore) and here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2013/may/13/the-albion-beatnik-bookshop) If you like things a little bit more… jazzy.
And I do have to give props to Waterstones Oxford. Not previously a fan, they have really turned things around in the last year with great window displays, really varied author events, and really engaging with people.”
Claire Louise Kemp
“This is one of my favourite bookshops, ever. It’s pretty much a house that someone’s emptied out and crammed full of second-hand and antique books. Joe and Jane are fantastic: if you can’t find a book, they either show you exactly where it is in the shop, or offer to order it in for you. They’re also ridiculously knowledgeable. Definitely a lovely shop, with the unbeatable smell of old books. “