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Posted by Tom, April 12, 2021

Nosy Crow staff recommend their favourite independent bookshops

With many bookshops around the country re-opening their doors for the first time in months today, we wanted to share some recommendations for our favourite independent bookshops, from the staff at Nosy Crow. Here are just a few of the bookshops we’re looking forward to returning too soon…

Camilla Reid, Nosy Crow’s Editorial Director, recommends Mostly Books in Abingdon, Hungerford Bookshop in Hungerford, and The Mainstreet Trading Company in St Boswells:

“My bookshop recommendations are Mostly Books in Abingdon and Hungerford Bookshop in Hungerford – and if I have one ambition this year it is to make it to The Mainstreet Trading Company in St Boswells because I’ve never been there!”

Catherine Stokes, Nosy Crow’s Head of Sales and Marketing, recommends The Old Hall Bookshop in Brackley:

“There is a definite buzz in Northamptonshire /Oxfordshire – the Old Hall Bookshop, Brackley is open again next week.  Our conversation has been duller in the absence of the brilliant recommendations of Chris and her team (always winners, they know us so well) and we are counting the days to return to this beautiful bookshop that feels like home.  Pick up plants on the way in through the front garden, browse the specialist children’s and antiquarian book rooms, choose cards and gorgeous stationery and take a cuppa and a book into the newly landscaped back garden for a few minutes (or hours) sheer indulgence.  Race you…”

Elizabeth Jenner, Nosy Crow’s Editor at Large, recommends Linghams in Heswall, Wirral:

“My favourite independent bookshop is Linghams in Heswall, Wirral, which was my local bookshop when I was growing up. As a child, I used to love browsing the bright, busy shelves and choosing my very first books here. As I grew older, the shop was always a wonderful treasure trove of new recommendations and exciting discoveries. It has been great to see Linghams continue to go from strength to strength, and be involved in so many amazing initiatives and events. I’ve moved back to my hometown during lockdown, and – over 30 years later – I’m still really looking forward to the day I can pop in and explore those beautiful shelves of children’s books again!”

Frances Moloney, Nosy Crow’s Operations Manager, recommends Pages of Hackney:

“Pages of Hackney have been a lockdown godsend. From click and collect, to bike courier, to post – they have made sure everyone in the local area and further afield have all the books they need for #stayathome. Can’t wait to visit in person soon!”

Halimah Manan, Nosy Crow’s Assistant Editor (Fiction), recommends Round Table Books in Brixton:

“Round Table Books is a cosy bookshop in Brixton which I can’t wait to visit when bookshops re-open. They have a fantastic selection of inclusive books for children and lovely staff who are always happy to chat and provide you with some great recommendations.”

Kate Wilson, Nosy Crow’s Managing Director, recommends Booths in Hay on Wye:

“Richard Booth’s Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye acts on me like a magnet. Its seductive big window, always beautifully dressed, gives only the smallest indication of the gorgeousness and plenty inside. It’s a kind of cathedral of books, with vaulted ceilings and a splendid wide wooden staircase. Oh, and it smells of wood and books and sometimes a tiny bit of wet dog. It’s mainly a second hand bookshop and I have bought local interest titles and books about poodles (don’t ask) from its superbly navigable second-hand shelves. But at the front of the shop there’s an expertly curated range of new books, including children’s books: I always feel properly flattered when I find Nosy Crow books in there, and crestfallen when a Nosy Crow book I would have hoped would catch their eye isn’t on display. I never fail to buy a book when I go in there, which is part of my definition of a great bookshop. There’s a café serving excellent Welsh rarebit and you can even sit outside when it’s sunny. I buy really lovely birthday cards there, too. As I write this, I realise how much I am looking forward to visiting it in mid-April.”

Kirsty Stansfield, Nosy Crow’s Head of Fiction, recommends Winstones in Sidmouth:

“I’m looking forward to heading into Winstones in Sidmouth, Devon, as soon as I can. It’s always bright and cheerful and well-stocked, and I’ll buy something hefty to take to the beach and keep the seagulls away from my ice-cream.”

Leila Mauger, Nosy Crow’s Production Manager, also recommends Linghams in Heswall, Wirral:

“I would like to recommend my fave local from home, which is Linghams, Heswall. As a teen I went to a couple of book launches there and they always went all out. It was buzzing. The shop itself is nice and cosy, no glaring lights. They provide a good balance of choice of books without bursting at the seams. They have a lovely Children’s corner which is a perfect nook for story time. It has a bit of a library feel as well as that of a bookshop, which adds to its coziness for me.”

Rebecca Mason, Nosy Crow’s Publicity Manager, recommends Pritchards in Crosby, Liverpool:

“I can’t wait to walk back through the doors of Pritchards when they can FINALLY open again. It’s a lovely bookshop based in Crosby in Liverpool, the bookshop that was there for a Teenage Me after school, and for a Slightly More Grown Up Me who found herself back at her family home in a pandemic and turning to their Click and Collect service… Their shelves are like a treasure trove – I have always managed to find something exciting and unexpected, every time I go in, and I can’t wait to visit for a wander, a chat, and to uncover something entirely new again.”

Tom Bonnick, Nosy Crow’s Senior Commissioning Editor, recommends Phlox Books in Leyton and Storytellers Inc in St Annes-on-Sea:

“I can’t wait to visit Phlox Books in Leyton, East London again. They have a fantastically well-curated selection, and I always discovers something new there and invariably end up buying it, even if I’ve absolutely sworn to myself that I’m only going in for a browse. And they serve great coffee and have an excellent wine list – I’m enormously looking forward to sitting outside with a v cold glass of Picpoul and some crisps. Throughout lockdown I’ve also been buying books over Twitter from Storytellers Inc, whose recommendations and online hand-selling have been amazing – and I very much hope to be able to visit one day soon.”

And we’d love to hear about your favourite independent bookshops too – do share your recommendations with us on Twitter.