Five of the best bookshops in Manchester

Five top Manchester book shops for World Book Day / CC BY 2.0

Where bookworms go to browse in Manchester

Whether it's the latest big name blockbuster or a one-off textbook your Grandpa once told you about, the independent bookshops of Manchester are sure to be able to help you find just what you need – or provide you with a cuppa (or a piece of fruit) while you search.

Chapter One

Our cosy little corner nook. Come have a tea and read a book! πŸ“šβ€οΈ #OpenTillMidnight

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A family affair that began, in their own words, with a combination of an 'off-with-the-fairies approach to interior design' mixed with 'positivi-day thinking and man-love for amazing mugs of coffee'. Chapter One opened in 2016, despite the fact that between 2013 and 2015, not a single new bookshop opened in the UK. This positive attitude is spread across the whole Chapter One endeavour; they're all about friends, books and coffee, in no particular order. They host quirky reads, intimate author events and low-key performances, too.
Unit 1, Chatsworth House, Lever Street, M1 1BY

Paramount Books

Mim's favourite things include books, and more books πŸ“šπŸ˜. So you can imagine her excitement when we stumbled across this pretty bookstore off Manchester's Northern Quarter. Unfortunately, we didn't buy anything, buuuuuut we did eat a lot of seriously good food.
New on the blog is our guide to the Northern Quarter's best food + drink. NOM. Link in bio.

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If it's that old book smell you're after, Paramount is the shop for you. One of the quirkiest in the city, Paramount Books deals in sci-fi, fantasy, classic novels and a huge selection of comics and graphic novels. You might get free fruit for spending a specific amount of money there, so when there's health of both the body and mind at stake, you're wise to check this one out.
25–27 Shudehill, M4 2AF

Chorlton Bookshop


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Established in '83, Chorlton Bookshop had been running for a good 31 years before it looked as though their time was up, when a new bar was due to open next to them. So beloved is Chorlton Bookshop, that a campaign run by residents meant the new bar got relocated and CB could live to sell books another day. Family-run, there's a welcoming environment, a wide range of contemporary and classic books, and even a shop cat, but good luck persuading the owners to let you buy her.
506 Wilbraham Road, M21 9AW

Empire Exchange

Manchester | Part 2/4
Next up is Empire Exchange. This place is a real emporium, packed full of assorted items, ranging from old fighting VHS tapes to a rather prominent adult section in the far end of the basement. Not quite the best or most varied selection of LPs, although they were fairly priced.

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Empire Exchange has shunted about Manchester since opening in the 80s, but based in their current location by Piccadilly Gardens makes it a great place for a browse after exploring the city. It may look like a record shop from the outside, but EE boasts a huge stock of books, comics, magazines, graphic novels and – because this is Manchester – football memorabilia.
1 Newton Street, M1 1HW

Didsbury Village Bookshop

I'm in love. Spent near on 2 hours in here. I think I've found my haunt for the next year or so.

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Located inside The Art of Tea, a cosy wee former record store-turned independent cafe bar, Didsbury Village Bookshop is in the perfect setting to curl up with a hot drink and lose yourself in a new book. Whether it's one-off titles or the latest blockbuster, the friendly owners are happy to chat you through what you fancy buying, or leave you alone to have a rummage: Manchester Evening News did describe it as a 'book palace' after all.
The Art of Tea, 47 Barlow Moor Road, M20 6TW

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