There’s nothing quite like pottering about a bookshop. The ring of the doorbell as you enter. The welcoming scent of second-hand books and their leather-bound covers. The spiralling rabbit-hole that is discovering a handful of new titles that you never knew you needed. It’s always such a wondrous occasion, and luckily for us Mancs, there are plenty of places to experience just that right on our doorstep. Keep up with your newfound (or re-discovered) love of reading and explore the almost-forgotten world that is the traditional bookshop, with our guide to some of the best independent bookshops in Manchester.
1. Paramount Books, Shudehill
A family-run independent Manchester bookshop that’s been operating since 1965 and is filled with both second-hand books and comics, Paramount Books is a lovely vintage-looking shop that’s conveniently located for city centre wanderers. Find books with their aesthetically-pleasing vintage covers still attached, or enjoy a collection of vintage magazines that are also available to purchase within their curiously-stacked collection of literature. Paramount Books, 25-27 Shudehill, M4 2AF.
2. Chapter One, NQ
A chilled spot that’s perfect for bookworms, Chapter One provides a relaxed atmosphere for those looking to get stuck into a story, with cafe seating, coffees and cakes to enjoy. Catch up with friends, get some work done, or discover something new to read in the shop’s eclectic book collection, packed full of wonderful fiction. Chapter One, 23 Lever St, M1 1BY.
3. Didsbury Village Bookshop
Truly a land of pure imagination, Didsbury Village Bookshop is nestled inside The Art of Tea cafe and features floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stacked full of literature. There are thousands of titles to discover, many of which are pre-loved and feature beautiful vintage covers. Find classic literature, poetry books and more, before settling down with a nice hot brew and getting stuck in. Didsbury Village Bookshop, Inside The Art of Tea, 47 Barlow Moor Rd, M20 6TW.
4. Chorlton Bookshop
Chorlton Bookshop is another family-owned spot that’s been providing the community with something new to read since 1983. It’s cosy, homely and packed full of both fiction and non-fiction – so there really is something for everyone at this independent Manchester bookshop. The exterior takes you back to a simpler time, with cast iron protecting the storefront and a little glass door you gently enter before getting lost in the little shop’s many, many shelves. Chorlton Bookshop, 506 Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 9AW.
5. Sharston Books
Sharston Bookshop really is a quaint spot to visit, with thousands and thousands of books to explore at its Wythenshawe premises. What makes Sharston so different is that it’s placed on an industrial site within a warehouse-type building, with aisle after aisle of literature – perfect for keen readers looking to pick up some new stories. The books are mostly second-hand at low prices, however, book hunters can also find some newer gems in there, too. Sharston Books, 15, Wearlee Works, Longley Ln, Sharston Industrial Area, Wythenshawe, M22 4WT.
6. Anywhere out of the World
With a lofty, gallery type feel, Anywhere out of the World bookshop is a breath of fresh air above the city, making it a pretty unique independent Manchester spot. The exposed brick and wooden features give the space a vintage feel, coinciding with the beautiful philosophy and poetry classics it stocks, and the crafty furniture invites you to sit, breathe and have a cuppa whilst indulging in your new book. 70 Tib Street, First Floor, Manchester, M4 1LG.
7. The House of Books & Friends
The newest offering on the block, The House of Books & Friends doubles as a café, but also a safe space to combat loneliness. The club is community-led with socialising in mind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sit on your own with a book, with other people alone reading their books – sometimes that’s all you need. Events are often held there including talks and Q&As, and of course it’s full to the rafters with every kind of book you can imagine. Manchester Club, 81 King Street, Manchester, M2 4AH.