I wanted to start a new series on here, an on going one that allows me to talk about wonderful bookshops that i’ve had the pleasure of visiting. I talk about them regularly anyway, so i might as well make it a thing. A few weeks ago now i took a trip to see my friend in Newcastle for a few days. This tends to happen every year now, in summer i visit her so we can have a beach day, wander around the city and do plenty of charity shop shopping. I absolutely adore this time away every year and it honestly feels like a holiday every time i go. This year i wanted to do a few different things.
One of those things being to visit Alnwick castle. I’ve never been before and it felt like blasphemy to be so close to a Harry Potter filming location once again and never visit it. So we took a little two hour trip and headed to Alnwick for the day. I had already been told that i’d love it, and more so that there was a book shop nearby that i’d adore. Obviously this was first protocol.
As soon as we saw the sign for Barter Books we jumped off the bus and headed straight there. Tucked up on a little hill with a path leading towards it, Barter Books is an unused railway station that has been filled top to bottom, front to back with second hand books. I’m always a little dubious of second hand book shops, they tend to never have anything that i particularly want. But i was excited to see what this one offered.
The first thing you notice as you walk in to this place is the sheer size of it. Once you get past the first door and realise there’s so much more than you think, you spend the next half an hour trying to process what you’ve actually walked in to. Obviously after marveling for a few minutes, i made my way to the YA section first.
First of all, it was far larger than i ever expected. About five shelves all pushed together of YA books covered half of the children’s room. There were so many to choose from, and not only that but great titles too. I always imagine these types of places to just have classic YA titles or ones that i already own, however there were quite a few books that are on my wish-list, and i coul have left that shop with far more than i did. In the end i settled for just two knowing i’d have to walk around the rest of the day with them!
I spent the rest of my time there wandering around the library type back room that was filled with organised books. Everything had it’s place and was categorised and it felt like a book lovers dream. I could have wandered the fiction sections for hours, looking at all the different titles and finding ones that i recognised.
This shop had every kind of book you could have wished for. From very old to incredibly recent, it had everything. I’m still slightly disappointed i didn’t get to spend a great deal of time there – the hour i was in there probably wasn’t enough! At the same time i did get to experience this wonderful shop and think everyone else should too.
It was truly an amazing place, with a lot of love and care put in to it. I cannot wait to return with a lot more time and much more bag space!
Let me know in the comments some of your favourite bookshops!