By Holly Presswell, Christiana Jasutan and Tamara Yamamoto
Do you ever find yourself craving a good read in the evening but have nothing left at home to read? Or you just really want to go to a bookshop but it is past 5pm after you finish work and there are no bookshops open? Or maybe you want to be surrounded by books before your night out? Look no further, as we have hand picked some of the best bookstores to browse at night across the UK for you!
Topping & Company Booksellers – based in Bath BA1 1NG and Edinburgh EH7 5JH
These independent bookshops are open till 9pm every day of the week. Found in the heart of Bath and Edinburgh, in beautiful historical buildings, they really have it all. Spread over three floors, they have every type of book you can imagine from fiction to children’s and history to fashion. Hidden amongst the nooks and crannies of the bookshelves are reading corners, some containing sofas for the ultimate comfort and others tables and chairs. So if you do not fancy reading at home, you can always come along and find refuge inside the store. Top tip – if you ask the staff nicely, they supply tea and coffee for a small charge which you can enjoy while you read!
The Last Bookshop – 60 Park Street Bristol, BS1 5JN
This bookstore found in Bristol is open until 7pm on weekends and 6:30pm week days. This store is owned by Bill & Ben Books, an independent book selling operation, selling second hand books at a very reasonable price. They work by recycling the returns and samples of the publishing world. All the books that are overstock and left in the warehouse are given a second chance here. So if you fancy something a little different, that is not your typical mainstream read then this is the shop to browse to find some hidden gems.
Voce Books – 54-57 Allison Street, Birmingham, B5 5TH
Voce Books is located at The Warehouse and opens until 7pm on Wednesdays – Saturdays and until 4pm on Sundays. Situated at the heart of Digbeth, Birmingham, it stands near bars, pubs and restaurants, and is the perfect place to visit before a night out with your friends. As an independent bookshop, Voce Books focuses on uplifting independent publishers, stocking diverse titles on fiction, translations, poetry, culture and politics, magazines, art and zines. This bookshop is also situated next to a coffee shop and would be the perfect place to visit during the day.
BookBar – 166 Blackstock Road, London, N5 1HA
We know we have been recommending BookBar a lot, but we just have to for this list of late-night bookshops! This bookshop opens until 9pm on Wednesdays – Saturdays and until 6pm on Sundays and Tuesdays. Not just a regular bookshop, BookBar is mainly a social place where you can meet people and talk about your favourite books over a glass of wine (or coffee and tea). They host events in the bookshop, including book launches, wine tasting and even "Books and Bangers" (DJ night in the bookshop). This bookshop is truly unique and a must-visit if you are going bookshop hopping in London.
The Common Press – 118 Bethnal Grn Rd, London E2 6DG
The Common Press bookshop is the newest queer and intersectional bookshop located in the exciting, edgy and bustling streets of Shoreditch. It is open from 10am to 10pm every day of the week except on Monday. The interior of the shop is wonderful, and you will find the largest and greatest selection of diverse books in a wide variety of genres; from fiction by Black authors and essential climate activism books to LGBTQ+ books for both children and adults. Once you walk in, you will feel right at home and can explore all that they have to offer while drinking a nice hot cup of tea or coffee.
Foyles – 107 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DT
The iconic flagship on Charing Cross Road, Foyles is a huge, multi-genre bookstore spread over six different floors, offering a wide and versatile selection of books with thousands of different genres. It is a wonderful place for book lovers, and anyone who goes is sure to find something that catches their eye as “If Foyles don’t have it, no-one does.” There is a wonderful jazz cafe inside, where you can sit, eat, read and relax. You can sample their menu of seasonal, fresh food that is all made on-site. At the very top floor of the bookshop, the Auditorium, is where Foyles hosts its year-round programme of literary events and introduces new writers as well as hosting jazz gigs, workshops and more. Please check out their website here for more information. It is open from 9am to 9pm every day except on Sundays when it closes at 6pm.