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

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

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

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

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

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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