Sunday, 27 June 2010

A bibliophile's guide to Bristol (and beyond)

The Bristol area is pretty ripe for anyone interested in second hand books and the like, so here's a list of my favourite places to browse:

The Book Barn

Located in Hallatrow just outside of Bristol is the UK's biggest second hand bookstore, a massive warehouse, with another warehouse purely for storage! You could literally get lost amongst the shelves as it houses books on almost every subject imaginable, some great rare and vintage finds, a small humour section, and a whole host of orange penguins. At the moment they are having a sale in which EVERYTHING in the warehouse is going for a pound. I'm already salivating. Check out the website here.


Up at the top of Christmas Steps is this cosy little bookshop which barely has enough room in it to swing a cat but the shelves are packed to the rafters full of great second hand books and a pretty extensive section of Penguin Specials, Penguin Crime, plays, and poetry.

The Mighty Miniature

What used to be a regular feature of the more artsy market on Wine Street/Corn Street on a Friday and a Saturday is now confined to the market in the Woolworths Market on Whiteladies Road, Clifton most days of the week. Two ex English Literature students who've built up a mass of second hand books and also specialise in some pretty fantastic collectibles and first editions. I myself have picked up a lot of my orange penguins amongst other things. Highlights of my continuous visits to this stall include The Silent World by ( ), The London Nobody Knows by, and three volume Brothers Grimm collection amongst other things. Friendly and informative and well worth a visit.

Books for Amnesty

At the top of Glouster Road is this fantastic charity shop which has just started selling some comic books and graphic novels as well as housing a massive fiction section and a reasonable section of philosphy/feminism from which I've found a couple of interesting sociologial studies on abortion and girls education and attitudes in the seventies. Very friendly staff and nice quiet atmosphere.

Visit their website here.

The Here Gallery

On the corner opposite The Croft in Stokes Croft is a shop that specialises mainly in illustration, zines, comics and graphic novels, and literary journals like McSweeny's. Also sells handmade
plush toys, expensive wallpaper, cards, and other twee novelties. It houses a gallery in the basement which showcases local and national talent and the shop has been known to stock reprints and originals of such great comic magazines as Weirdo and Arcade.

Visit the website here.

(Warning: Can be a tad pricey!)

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