Go support an independent book shop today, World Book Day, and keep print (and authors, for that matter) alive. Here are some of our favourites scattered throughout Merseyside, with more books – and bookselling experience – between them than you could ever get on your Kindle.
Run by ex Trinity scribe, and Wirral Globe columnist Peter Grant, and his Liverpool author/partner, Cathy Roberts, this is a treasure trove of books old and new, some collectibles and lots of locally made art amid the driftwood. It’s an animated place, with lots of goings on, readings, talks and story clubs. A real gem.
6 Atherton Street
REIDS OF LIVERPOOL
A bit of a Liverpool literary institution, the Mount Pleasant store looks like something straight out of Diagon Alley, its walls groaning under the teetering towers of old Penguins, reference books, biographies and histories. The shop’s the city’s only surviving Georgian, purpose built retail premises incorporating living accommodation in Liverpool erected circa 1785 (main pic).
Reid of Liverpool
Southport’s trim Victorian arcade, Market Street, is still home to some independent gems. Broadhurst’s Bookshop Southport is home to a comprehensive range of books for everyone, with an extensive new children’s book department. Two rare book rooms specialising in 19th and 20th century literature, modern first editions, private press books and a wide selection of antiquarian titles.
Crammed with cut-price new books – and specialising in art books – Gostin’s Arcade’s Bluecoat Books finds space for novels, travel, military history, cookery, kids, memoir and biography: the whole nine yards. It’s a warren of over 50,000 books, and is (for our money) the best-stocked shop in the city.
The Bluecoat itself is home to this wonderfully atmospheric, clubby little bookshop, complete with leather Chesterfields and row after row of titles spanning everything from archeology and aviation to science and transport. ‘A selected range’ they say, ‘from over 400 years of publishing.’ Lose yourself for an hour or two.
Our favourite city centre bookstore, the indefatigable News From Nowhere is like a love letter to independence, free speech and community engagement. Everything we hold dear, basically. From magical kids books to magical thinking, well being to women, environment to eduction, and lots of fun, fascinating detours between them all. Essential.
News From Nowhere
HENRY BOHN BOOKS
Occupying the former Browns the Jeweller’s site on London Road, Henry Bohn’s dizzying selection of reference books, novels, jazz and classical CDs and textbooks makes this a popular shopping spot for students intent on grabbing their course books for a bargain. But regular hauls (including complete libraries) make a visit here essential for any book lover.
Henry Bohn Books
Wirral’s excellent Linghams is a real joy – exactly what an independent bookshop should be. Shame there’s not many of its ilk left. Stocking new releases, classics, a solid children’s selection and local titles, the shop excels in its customer service (if they’ve not got it, they’ll do their best to get it for you tomorrow). It’s a real community hub, too – with lots of literary events throughout the year.
Crosby’s venerable Pritchard’s has been serving the good people of north Liverpool for decades – and with its online catalogue, its schools and universities ordering service, its keen-eyed promotion of titles currently in the media glare, and its support of local authors, it’s set to keep the candle burning for many years to come.
Busy little shop specialising in new, local and children’s titles, with a calendar of readings, talks and literary events – busier since Pritchards shut up shop a few years ago, and now the last man standing in this northern outpost of Merseyside.