By Holly Presswell, Christiana Jasutan and Tamara Yamamoto
Now the weather’s improved and the sun has finally started shining, we have compiled a list of the top bookshops you can find near the beaches this summer. This way, you will never have to worry about running out of books to read while you are away on your summer vacation. So, pack up your beach bags, grab your sun cream and head down to all these hot spots to discover your next great summer read (or reads).
The Open Book, Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway
On the main street of Wigtown lies The Open Book. This bookshop by the sea has a surprising twist for book lovers. Just above the bookstore is a self-catering apartment that can be rented out via Airbnb. The twist is that whoever rents out the Airbnb is in charge of the bookstore for the duration of their stay. This includes changing displays or prices and re-categorising the books, allowing guests to experience the life of a second-hand bookshop owner! The shop’s aim is to celebrate books and independent bookstores, and to get more people to visit Scotland’s National Book Town.
St Ives Bookseller, St Ives, Cornwall
Found in the heart of St Ives, on Fore Street, is St Ives Bookseller, an independent bookshop loved by the locals and the tourists that come to visit. They stock all sorts of books including general fiction, music and arts and specialise in children's books and local interest. Alongside their beautiful collection of books, St Ives Bookseller publishes children’s picture books with a Cornish theme to them. Their impressive résumé continues as this family-run bookstore runs events and supports schools through their work. It also has two more sister stores found in Falmouth and Padstow.
The Bookshop by the Sea, Aberystwyth, Wales
Located in a small town by the sea, The Bookshop by the Sea is an independent bookshop owned by long-time bookseller and librarian Freya Blyth. This bookshop has their own motto, which is to prioritise community, connection and conscience. The Bookshop by the Sea values connection with the community, both locals and students alike, and loves to host events such as creative writing classes, poetry evenings, workshops with local artists, events for children, author talks, live music and many more. As a bookshop that cares for the environment, half of their collection is second-hand, championing the importance of pre-loved books. They also deliver the orders, which is always convenient, but we think there’s no better idea than visiting The Bookshop by the Sea the next time you’re in Aberystwyth.
Bridge Bookshop, Port Erin, Isle of Man
This bookshop is located less than one hundred metres away from the beach, which means you don’t have to worry about being short on books on your next holiday to the Isle of Man. This independent bookshop beside Port Erin Beach not only sells books but also art materials, art books, music sheets and maps. A lot of the collection also focuses on the Isle of Man, making it the perfect place to go when you are looking to bring a souvenir home from your holiday.
Bookworms of Cromer, Cromer, Norfolk
If you are visiting Norfolk this summer and want to go for a relaxing beach day, the cute and quaint coastal town of Cromer is the place for you. The three places that you must stop off en route to the beach are: Davies Fish Shop where you can get a fresh Cromer crab caught just off the Northern coast; The Reef Stop, where you can have some mouth-watering warm sugar donuts and, finally, Bookworms of Cromer where you can buy all the second-hand books you want. Bookworms of Cromer can be found nestled on one of the winding streets next to the beach. This charming little shop is an absolute gemstone of a second-hand bookshop. Not only does this shop have a great selection of second-hand books, it is well-curated and organised – and the outside is also pink!
If you think there is nothing better than dipping your toes in the sand with a ten out of ten book in hand, then imagine an endless supply of books by the beach! Go visit some of these amazing beachside independent bookshops and enjoy the glorious summer weather.