Culture, Literature, News

Independent book and magazine shops for reading lovers to visit in Manchester

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Featured image: Anna Klekot

With Autumn in full swing, there’s no better time to explore the city’s book and magazine shops where you can find your next unique read. Manchester’s array of different bookshops ensures that there’s something for everyone to discover. (Bonus points if they also have a cosy café!) From lovers of the traditional classical literature to fanatics of visual arts and magazines, we round up the best book and magazine shops in Manchester.

House of Books and Friends, Kings Street

A new addition to the Manchester bookshop/café fusion scene, House of Books and Friends is in a Grade II-listed building on King Street. They’re on a mission to combat loneliness by connecting people through their love of books, and the shop frequently hosts book clubs, book signings, and launches. It’s perfect for book lovers who want to expand their knowledge and make some friends who share similar interests.

Anywhere Out of the World, Northern Quarter

This second-hand book shop is a haven for lovers of the classics and home to a stunning collection of curated poetry and philosophical books. Located on Tib Street and tucked away above a craft beer shop, it’s easy to miss the entrance to this hidden gem. This one is a must-visit in Autumn; with its beautiful gothic interior, exposed brick and cosy vintage furniture. You could spend hours browsing through their selection or taking in the atmosphere while enjoying a good read.

UNITOM, Northern Quarter

If you’re after art and photobooks, magazines and some overall hidden gems – head to UNITOM. The bookshop is easily one of the most popular in the Northern Quarter. Its vibrant interior instantly draws you in, welcomed by tables full of magazines and abstract paintings displayed on the walls. The shop has a huge collection of magazines and a book corner tucked away in the back too, particularly non-fiction and lifestyle books. And they’ll also stock your zine! UNITOM have recently begun stocking zines created by local writers and creatives. Speciality filter coffee is also on offer for £2 a cup, so you can browse their selection for hours on end and enjoy a good, cheap brew in their seating area.

UNITOM. Photography: Alexandra Kilpatrick

Village, Northern Quarter

With its original shop based in Leeds, Village is a fairly recent addition to the Northern Quarter book scene. If you love UNITOM then you’re going to love this shop too. Village offers a range of magazines and books, as well as zines. This shop is a bit smaller – so there is no seating area, but it does have an ever-changing, not-for-profit gallery space underneath the shop which is always worth paying a visit to.

Village Books. Photography: Anna Klekot

Queerlit, Ancoats

This award-winning bookshop and café has recently moved into a bigger space on Great Ancoats Street, just outside of the Northern Quarter. The bookshop specialises in queer literature, holding the largest collection of LGBTQ+ books in the UK, and they also have an online shop. It’s also worth popping into the bookshop as it now has a café, event space and a co-working space where you can read and get your assignments done.

Didsbury Village Book Shop (The Art of Tea), Didsbury

Located in the back of The Art of Tea, this second-hand bookshop is another must as the cold days roll in thanks to its cosy interiors. The café it resides in, provides a perfect excuse to spend hours drinking tea and reading a new book. They have a range of new and vintage second-hand books and the space has a very homely, eclectic living room vibe.

GET Book Store, Sale

GET bookstore is a free bookshop in the heart of Sale – need I say more? This shop is a must for every student who wants to grow their book collection without breaking the bank, as well as giving you an opportunity to donate some old books of your own. The shop has recently moved into a bigger unit in the shopping centre in Stanley Square so you can now find an even bigger selection to choose from, across a huge range of different genres and languages. The shop is run by volunteers who are always happy to look for you if you’re after a specific find.

Rare Mags, Stockport

If you ever find yourself in Stockport, Rare Mags needs to be on your list to visit if you’re after a good book and indie mag. They stock a wide range of magazines from all over the world, as well as books from independent publishers – you can find some good indie books here that you’ll have been trying to get your hands on for months. They also sell great cooking books, coffee and stationery. Bonus points for the great interior of this bookshop as you could easily spend hours browsing through books here!

Did your favourite make the list? Get in touch @aAh_mag and share your favourite indie shops and venues.

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Anna Klekot

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