Sunday, May 31, 2009

There's more to life than books, you know. But not much more.

Driving through Northumberland recently, I happened upon heaven disguised as a second-hand bookshop.  

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Barter Books in Alnwick has been described as "The British Library of secondhand books" though in my opinion it's even better than the BL because you can take the books home with you! The shop is housed in an old railway station that is filled to the rafters with every type of book under the sun, as well as a little café, a children's area, and tons of reading space. After much coveting of the huge selection of first editions and out-of-print paperbacks I finally settled on a lovely old copy of "The Wishing Chair Again" plus two biographies (Helene Hanff & JRR Tolkein) - only the realization that if I bought any more books they wouldn't let me back on the plane stopped me from taking home half the store. 


If you're a lover of second-hand bookshops and anywhere nearby the Scottish border (I passed through on my way from Edinburgh to York) it's definitely worth the detour. Alnwick itself is a pretty town, perfect for a lunch stop, and as a bonus it has the added drawcard of Alnwick castle (which - for Harry Potter nerds - happens to be the castle that Hogwarts is based on). 

Off to read a book, 

Alice x 

(P.S. Title quote is from The Smiths' song Handsome Devil. Hurrah for pop-culture references.) 


  1. did you happen to find armchair books in edinburgh? it's the best second handbook store in the UK xx

  2. Looks like the bookshop version of my tea blog - love it! Gorgeous shop.