Indie Bookshop Week: Our Favourite Independent Bookshops From Around the UK
In celebration of Indie Bookshop Week, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite bookshops from across the UK. Find the shops we love, along with details on how to support them, below:
London WC (@PersephoneBooks)
Persephone Books is both an independent publisher and bookshop located near Russell Square. Persephone champions forgotten female authors, so here you’ll find an array of hidden gems, mostly written by women during the mid 20th century, all with their signature grey, oh-so-Bookstagrammable covers. The store is currently open on weekdays from 12 to 3 p.m., but you can also support them by ordering online. Why not sign up for their book subscription, and get a book delivered to your door every month for 6 or 12 months? Of their 137 books, you’re sure to find a new favourite.
The Book Hive, Norwich
Nestled in the centre of Norwich, The Book Hive is a delight to behold and explore. During this year’s Indie Bookshop Week they re-opened as a ‘Pit-Stop Bookshop’, allowing customers to browse a selection of the latest books and hand-picked favourites through the safety of their shop window, taking payments safely at the door. Over on Instagram they launched a wheel-of-fortune prize giveaway, offering a Book Hive year-long subscription, a Book Hive membership, two hand-picked book packs, a lucky dip box, an art book selection and an ‘And Other Stories’ bundle each day of the week. Not one to be missed if you find yourself in this lovely city!
October Books, Southampton (@OctoberBooks)
October Books prides itself on being local, radical and ethical, featuring bestsellers and children’s books as well as specialised non-fiction focusing on feminism, gender studies and politics. Functioning as a cooperative, the shop also offers community space to hire and sells organic and fair-trade produce alongside the books that have attracted visitors since 1977. In 2018, the local community showed its appreciation for October Books by forming a 150-metre human chain to help move stock to their new premises. With diversity and social justice at the heart of everything they do, this is an independent bookshop worth celebrating.
Scarthin Books, Derbyshire (@scarthinbooks on Twitter)
Tucked away in the stunning scenery of Cromford, Derbyshire, is a special bookshop that offers the full experience. Scarthin Books boasts over 40,000 new and second-hand books, and over 5,000 rare and antiquarian books. It also offers author events, a gift room, a vegetarian café, music room and children’s room. Through their online services, you can also find their own publications and even track down books out of print - its new books ordering service has been helping this bookshop to survive during the pandemic. With three floors offering books on all subjects, Scarthin Books is truly a ‘destination bookshop’ and one worth the visit.
Lighthouse - Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop, Scotland
Lighthouse is an independent bookshop in Edinburgh's beautiful city centre that specialises in diverse and marginalised voices. You may rediscover your love for poetry through the shop's lovely selection, pick up a brand new picture book on environmentalism, or get stuck into the latest intersectional feminist issues. Normally, the shop is brimming with customers and has an exquisite events programme, Lighthouse's passionate booksellers are still available to advocate radical change and recommend books through their online shop.
News From Nowhere, Liverpool (@newsfromnowhere on Twitter)
News From Nowhere is a radical and not-for-profit bookstore on Liverpool’s Bold Street. Established in 1974, it is not only a bookshop but an integral part of the local community. The building serves as a meeting place for social justice groups, a Methodist church, and the nerve grassroots magazine amongst others. It is a truly collective organisation run by a women workers co-operative - which means they have no boss and no owner! If you’re interested in literature about social justice, featuring authors from a myriad of minority backgrounds, then this is certainly a place for you to find comfort and inspiration.