Bookshop Love

Bookshop Love

I have grown up loving bookshops. I have so many lovely memories of bookshops, bookstalls and even book sales in the old library. I always feel better for a visit to a bookstore. All those lovely books waiting to be read, all in one place! I tell myself I am only looking. That I do not need to buy another book. Who am I kidding?

I used to go with my dad to our old library to the Discarded book sale. Most books were hardbacks and were 10p or 5p. I would look through every stand and bring about 5 or 6 home with me, the word Discarded in pen across the first page. The summer fairs at various schools had fab book stalls too. 

I loved our town library and visited regularly with my parents as a child. I loved choosing the books and getting them stamped. It was such a lovely atmosphere, downstairs in the children's library, especially after school in winter, all cosy, curled up with a book.

I loved both my school libraries. Our secondary school library was a magical place and the librarian was so lovely. She used to let a few of us stamp our own books. We would dash in at lunch time, looking for the next book in the Sweet Valley High Series! Such fab memories.

I loved doing my work at the uni library too, especially on an Autumn afternoon with the leaves swirling around outside the window. The wind blowing outside whilst you were cosy indoors. This photo reminds me of those wonderful days. 

Growing up, we all frequented our local WHSmith, which isn't there anymore. It was stationery and cards downstairs then books and music upstairs. We spent hours browsing and I would happily go after my birthday and Christmas, clutching my £1.50 book token and pick out an Enid Blyton, then later a Sweet Valley High! I still think very fondly now of my great aunty who bought us these book tokens every year, feeding my love of books. 

I devoured books as a child. I was really adventurous and loved playing in the outdoors. But I also loved being inside reading and entering the worlds of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and others, firing my imagination and feeding my love of words. Like Matlida, always with my nose in a book. Or even, my favourite literary heroine, Anne of Green Gables.

If I wasn't reading a book, then I was writing in a notebook. Still am now! I have so many notebooks but I love collecting them too! I like to put down ides for stories and poems as I go about my everyday life!

As I became a student, our Barnsley Bookshop was brilliant for ordering books. They would arrive, wrapped up in an orange Penguin Classics bag and be waiting for you to collect. Such a lovely, friendly bookshop. 

I have always loved reading older, vintage hardbacks. I used to love wondering who had owned the books before, if they were second hand. My mum still has a few on her bookshelf. I used to love visiting two second hand bookshops in Holmfirth. One was where Fairtrader is now and was so quaint and full of character. The Tollbooth I think it was called. There were about four floors and I loved climbing the winding staircase to the top attic rooms, bursting wall to wall with classic hardbacks and paperbacks. This pinterest quote reminds me of these, lovely old books. 

The other shop was Daisy Lane Books and it is still there today. Another bookshop full of character, always a warm welcome with the cat sleeping on a pile of books as you walk in and a myriad of rooms full of a variety of old and second hand books.

You can actually buy candles that smell of old books! I am not so sure about that though!

I do still own some second hand hardbacks but also love collecting the newer versions of the classics. I love the ones you see on pinterest like these, especially the pastel coloured ones. 

And this one. So gorgeous! 

Holmfirth is lovely for book lovers as there is also the Oxfam bookshop where I always leave with about 5 books and 2 bars of yummy chocolate. The charity shops are really good and have bookshelves filled with fab reading material.

The newest bookshop is called Read and is such a wonderful place to visit. I could spend all morning browsing the shelves! The owners have links with local authors and schools and they held brill zoom lessons with the school I was in this year. The children were really inspired.

There have been a few local bookshops I have loved. Another was Barnsley Bookworm. I loved it here. I once went to order a book that was recommended in the Books section of a Big Issue. The man at the till was so helpful and very tactful when he realised we could not find the book as it was a word play joke, not an actual book!

I love to visit The Book Vault in Barnsley which has a great variety of books, especially local books and a lovely children's section. It is really important to have an exciting area for children to browse and feel comfy in. It reminds me of going to our local library with the fab children's section. I spent hours, snuggled up with a book, clutching my take home books then visiting their cafe for orange squash and a chocolate wafer! These children's books in this photo from pinterest bring back a lot of lovely memories with Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Joyce Lancaster Brisley who wrote Milly Molly Mandy.

There is a new bookshop in Barnsley and I absolutely adore it. Fosters little bookshop is a cosy haven for book lovers. You are stepping into a very special place when you visit here. It is full of old and new books and the lady who owns it is so lovely. We always chat about what books we have recently read and I always go away with a smile on my face. I never leave the shop empty handed either! This purchase was posted on my facebook book club.

This artwork from pinterest reminds me of us customers who walk around, at least 5 times, adding more books to buy as we do!

Bookshops are magical to the child reader and continue to work their magic on grown ups too. If books are magic portals to wonderful worlds, then the bookshops and the booksellers must hold some of that magic too! When I need to feed my soul, I know a bookshop will do just the trick!


It is lovely to just look at all the books, waiting to he bought, or loaned if in a library. So many possible stories waiting to be enjoyed, plots waiting to be found out and twisted around. Which one do I choose today? Which books are going to he added to my bookshelves? I can sit in my own home then, looking at my own shelves and look forward to the pages that will reveal their secrets to me.

Wherever I go, when we visit new places, my radar finds the quirky, independent bookshops. Like the one in Cornwall, the one in Whitby and the one in Glossop. I still need to visit Barter Books too. And, of course, Hay on Wye! I have a lovely Emma Bridgewater mug celebrating the Hay on Wye literary festival and I would love to go there.

I love going to the different Waterstones too and I love the one in York with its cafe on the top floor. I used to love visiting Foyles bookshop in London also.

One of my favourite bookstores ever is one in Denver. It is called The Tattered Bookstore and it was so lovely to go inside. It has a few floors and many setees to get comfy! I would love to go back there! 

My lovely friend posted a photo of a bookshop he found in Venice, complete with gondola!

I do love reading books about bookshops. I have always wanted to own a bookshop and chat to folk about books, offering a brew and a cosy chair for them.  I maybe have a romanticised view of running a bookshop and it is hard work, not just sitting on a chair and reading all day! 

As well as bookshops, I love visiting book stalls. My favourite one is Mike's Famous Bookstall in Barnsley Market. The owners are so helpful and I love their range of older and newer books. I remember a second hand book stall on Barnsley market many years ago and I collected many of my Miss Read books from there. I gave them to charity a few years ago and would love to read them all again.

I have found this fab book showing all the bookshops to visit. Around the bookshops in 30 days! A month of, visiting them all, especially the ones with cafes!

I also love sitting in cafes and reading books whilst sipping a cuppa. This stems from my student days, especially in Headingly, Leeds. Or even on the train, when I went to Huddersfield uni! There is something special in sitting amongst people, looking up from your book and having a sip of your brew!

Now, I love to sit in Locke park cafe and get lost in my book whilst folk are chatting around me and children are playing on the swings. This really is escapism into your own little world! 

It is also lovely reading at home. When you get a quiet time! I have always wanted a book nook or a window seat to read in, or just daydream, staring at my bookshelf filled walls as the sunsets! Or a spare room made into a library. There are so many on pinterest and book pages to look at wistfully. 

When you love books, you need to surround yourself with them! Part of the love of books is the collecting, the browsing of the books, the buying, the swapping, the choosing of a new book and the knowing one of your favourite authors is releasing a new book. My house is filled with books already read and loved and books waiting to be enjoyed. I love this quote though. It kind of justifies all the books piling high!

Another love is the talking of books and that is one of the many reasons I love my Suzy's Books and Brews book club, on facebook and in person. A lovely collection of book lovers who talk with passion and humour about the books they bring to our book swap. Or post a pic recommending their books and brews.  It is lovely appreciating a book and its characters but even better when you can have a shared bond with fellow readers who have enjoyed the books too.


  1. Yes nothing like a good book!!!

  2. I grew up in Barnsley too and your childhood sounds like mine.In the school library and 2 public libraries,Cudworth and Central.I used to spend my pocket money in Woolies book department and our local post office sold some hardback Enid Blyton .Used to go to the Bookshop on Pitt Street. Now I live in Sheffield try to get to Foster's Bookshop about once a month. Barter Books is a must for all book lovers.

  3. Brilliant...who doesn't love a bookshop? The discard sale was brilliant x


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