So I want to start a new segment on my blog dedicated to travel. To my world adventures. Even when they’re just around the corner. Cos I think it’s fun to hear where other people have been. But also getting recommendations for sights and bars and food and pubs and bookshops (most importantly) is really handy. Also I just think it’s fun to be nosy sometimes. So here begins the world adventures. We’re starting small by just hopping over to Manchester (I’m from Liverpool for any of you nerds that don’t know).
In 2018 I challenged myself to buy only 12 books. Whether I did that or not is for a future post (I know, what a tease). But here I find myself in mid-December absolutely sure I shouldn’t be buying any more books yet wanting to explore all the excellent bookshops in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Enter my excellent boyfriend, Danny. This little gem treated me to five, read em, FIVE, new books on our weekend away and I guess that’s why he’s the best person ever. Basically all we did on this trip was eat, drink and browse bookshelves so I figured I’d start with the books!
Book Purchased: Devotion – Patti Smith
For the first couple of days of our trip we kept walking past this shop. Every time a different book caught our eye in their front display and we ended up stopping to look. Whoever curated that display, and indeed the entire shop’s catalogue, is a bloody genius. It’s quite a hipster little shop with a boutique feel. But as I say, could not fault the book choices. I wanted every book in there! From the Corbyn Annual to feminist non-fictions and from the illustrated Communist Manifesto to books on plants, it was bougie and spectacular!
Book Purchased: Dept. of Speculation – Jenny Offill
An oldy but a goodie. If you didn’t know that Oxfam stocks amazing books then literally where have you been? This one is no different, many secondhand gems. However the moment I saw this book I knew it would be mine. I read the Kindle edition when I was at uni in America and I loved it. This book is excellent. On further browsing there was about fifteen other books I would have had as well!
Books Purchased: Aminal Farm – George Orwell, The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte
This amazing secondhand shop is only open the later half of the week so beware. It’s open til late though and blasts excellent tunes onto the street all day long. It’s a Black Books type of shop were there is so much to look at and you don’t want to miss a thing yet it’s overwhelming. Also you don’t want to piss anyone off. There’s ‘no mobile phone’ signs everywhere (literally Bernard) but the atmosphere is friendly and the collection is vast. When we made our purchase the guy also offered us a piece of fruit from a bowl at the register. How boss! I also found a lovely edition of Animal Farm for like £4 so how could I not?
Book Purchased: Quiet Girl in a Noisy World – Debbie Tung
We happened to stumbled across this hidden treasure as we were walking to Chapter One Books. It’s literally next door. I’m not sure it’s a bookshop so much a geeky shop. I don’t know the technical term, but I mean no disrespect. I loved it! There was endless manga and board games and funko pops and merch. There was also I gigantic section of graphic novels and the like. I enjoy graphic novels but I don’t know much about them. Then I noticed this book by Debbie Tung and I was completely drawn to it! A quick flick through promised beautiful illustration. A shop I’ll definitely be adding to my favourites.
Chapter One Books
One little bonus was this wonderful cafe! We didn’t buy any books here although there are some on display that you can buy. We went there expecting more books to browse to be honest but we weren’t too disappointed. The staff were friendly, the coffee was good and the atmosphere was chill. Gave us time to admire all my new books! Would go again.
Pt.2 Coming Soon. (Featuring many ciders and vegan treats.)
You’re Not Alone – Astræa