I recently took a quick two day trip to see the sights in York. Obviously, whenever i visit a new place, i have to check out the bookshops in the nearby area. Luckily, York is packed with independent bookshops and really cool places to buy books, such as little indie charities!
One that i had on my list at a little bit of a whim was The Portal Book Shop. I hadn’t really looked in to it too much, and just added it to the list because it was a book shop in the centre of the city!
As i came up to the small, and very unassuming bookshop down a side street, i noticed it was full of LGBTQ+ titles in the window. Yes, that’s right, i’d not realised it was an actual LGBTQ+ book shop until i was stood right outside the place.
I excitedly went in and asked the lovely (LOVELY) staff if i could take photos of the shop for the blog and our social medias. They said of course and let me continue on my way.
The shop itself is a really cool mix of hand made items, new books and second hand books. All the second hand books are in the middle shelves of the room, and everything new is on the outside. It was nice to have that difference and to be able to buy both from the same place to be honest. There is also such a great variety there. There are graphic novels, non-fiction, a lot of sci-fi and fantasy and also teens and kids shelves. I thought it was lovely that so much effort had been put in to this little place.
They also sold stickers, flags, cards, hand made knitted goods and loads of other little bits to support the shop. It was decorated in loads of welcoming LGBTQ+ flags and messages and was the most bright and inviting environment.
I picked out a few of their new books, a middle-grade by Ashley Herring-Blake and also a couple of graphic novels that i’d had my eye on for a while. I definitely found it hard to leave this lovely place without anything in my hands.
I was told as the till that there is also a community space upstairs. I didn’t check it out for myself as a group was up there, but i think it’s so lovely to have a community space with such a positive message. It truly felt like a little safe haven in there, and somewhere i would be more than comfortable visiting again and again.
Hopefully, i get to return to this adorable little find at some point in the near future. The staff were lovely, there was a great selection of books and everything was just so pleasant and happy in there! It’s a pretty small shop all together, that will probably only comfortably fit around five or six people, but without a doubt is worth checking out if you’re in the area!