Five Amazing Independent Bookshops in Manchester

Bookworm and Go See This contributor, Helena Wright, shares her favourite independent bookshops that can be found in Manchester.

As a book lover living in Manchester, I know how tempting it is every shopping trip to find yourself floating towards Waterstones and the masses of fresh, new, glossy books on the shelves or to just ‘have a peek’ in W H Smith – but sometimes it’s nice to change up the routine and, luckily for Manchester, there are a couple of independent bookshops that will be a breath of fresh air to the typical book lover!

The Art of Tea – 47 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester M20 6TW
The first independent bookshop to make the list is the hidden gem ‘The Art of Tea’ which is only a 5-10 minute walk from Didsbury Village Metrolink – what seems like just a little café, actually has an amazing bookshop galore right at the back! You’ll be greeted by the scents of fresh coffee and the friendly café staff, but as you get behind the side of the bar you will see steps down to a treasure trove of books – it will get any bookworm’s heart racing. The bookshop is also owned by a very friendly man who will happily guide you to whatever books you are looking for, you just need name an author or genre! He was an absolute legend when I visited and every bookworm in Manchester should meet him. There’s a whole section for plays, one for poetry, Penguin Classics, antiques and more.

Chapter One Books – Chatsworth House, 19 Lever St, Manchester M1 1BY
Next up and located in the heart of Manchester City Centre, only a few minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Gardens and the Northern Quarter and also teamed with a gorgeous café is Chapter One Books. Everything about Chapter One Books is something quite unique and hard to find elsewhere. There’s gorgeous décor, plants everywhere, beautifully decorated shelves and they also show off and publicise new books and art made by great, inspirational people. This is an amazing place in Manchester to find unique reads that you may not be able to find in your usual Arndale walk around. Plus they do tons of cakes and sweet treats – why not grab yourself a cake and have a read!

Manchester Bookbuyers – 1 Church St, Manchester M4 1PN
Also in Manchester City Centre is the underrated Manchester Bookbuyers, located across the road from Manchester Arndale’s market section, with the rebellious slogan ‘Kill the Kindle, Buy a Book!’, you can get some amazing deals and rarities in the Bookbuyers stall. The staff are lovely and time flies whilst you’re in there because there’s just so much to look at. The Manchester Bookbuyers really proves you don’t need to have a fancy setup to show off what amazing editions there are in the literature world because this stall is an incredible place to search for your summer holiday read.

Chorlton Bookshop – 506 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 9AW
South Manchester has no lack of incredible bookshops and Chorlton Bookshop is certainly an incredible find. The range of books in Chorlton Bookshop is definitely something to marvel at and the staff are just as incredible – willing to help and even just a visit overall is definitely something to bring a smile to a bookworm’s face. Chorlton Bookshop has been around since 1983 and has provided books to local schools which just proves how much of a lovely addition they are to the Manchester Independent bookshop scene. They also have a selection of greeting cards and other bits and bobs to go with their amazing book supply.

Paramount Books – 25-27 Shudehill, Manchester M4 2AF
Finally, if you’ve been in Manchester for a while, it would be a surprise if you haven’t heard the quirky music playing along Shudehill at the weekend, which comes from the amazing Paramount Books. It’s almost like being lead down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, the jazz music is enticing and it’s a definite visit for any book lovers visiting Manchester, also perfect for a sci-fi lover because there’s tons of sci-fi finds in Paramount Books.

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