swan books

"When I moved to Upminster some 40 years ago I was delighted to find Swan Books, an independent bookshop in the town centre. Whilst not such a rarity in the 70s it was still a lovely change from the large chains that were in abundance.


I was a regular customer immediately, as although I was also a library user, for me there is a real pleasure to be had from owning books. An extra incentive, if one were needed, was that Swan Books specialized in areas not covered by all bookshops. Transport (trains, buses, tractors), military history, local history, historical maps as well as Ordnance Survey maps and walking books were among the gems, which provided many gifts for my husband.


Read the rest of Val's article.

The Watermill & Homer, Aberfeldy Bookshop


UK Independent Bookshop of the Year


Situated in the heart of Aberfeldy, Perthshire, The Watermill is a unique combination of award-winning bookshop, gallery and cafè, on three floors of a converted oatmeal mill. 

The Watermill was opened in 2005 by Michael Palin, less than two years after owners Kevin and Jayne Ramage first viewed the derelict but enchanting listed mill building with the idea of creating a place to pursue a passion for books, music, art and coffee. 

'You could while away several hours' Lonely Planet 

'All-round life enhancer' Scotland the Best

The bookshop has the largest range of titles in the Scottish highlands.  We were awarded UK Independent Bookshop of the Year on the merit of our variety, customer service and events we host to promote reading. In the café you can enjoy fine teas and coffee with something sweet or savoury from our menu whilst you browse the books or ponder a purchase. Our music section stocks CDs and sheet music.

Slightly Foxed Bookshop


Slightly Foxed Bookshop, previously the Gloucester Road bookshop.

For several decades this second-hand bookshop – previously owned and run by Graham Greene’s nephew and in a great position within a hundred yards or so of Gloucester Road tube station – has been a popular stopping-off point for booklovers.

The shop stocks an eclectic but carefully chosen range of old books, a selection of new books and classic reprints from interesting small publishers, and a range of unusual artists’ cards. It also provides a showcase for Slightly Foxed: The Real Reader’s Quarterly and for its successful limited-edition pocket hardback series Slightly Foxed Editions.



Topping and Company of Bath & Ely

Topping & Company Bookselling have shops in Ely and in Bath. The shops are vibrantly independent havens for real bibliophiles, each with over 43,000 titles. With a year-round programme of events readers and authors have the opportunity to meet and chat within the convivial surroundings of the hand-crafted bookcases.


 "They have brilliant author events and I just love spending time in there when I get the chance to go into town. A lovely shop, free tea and coffee served on little tables in amongst the shelves, what more could a book addict wish for!"  Karen Sykes - newbooks reader

The Persephone Bookshop


The Persephone Bookshop is in Lamb's Conduit Street, London.  The Grade II Listed building  was built in 1702-3 and for some years was on the northern edge of London. 


All the Persephone books are available in the shop which is also the centre for the publisher's mail order business.


[Image: David Gentleman]


One Tree Books

One Tree Books in Petersfield, Hampshire, is an independent bookshop established in 1994. Staffed by experienced booksellers who love books, they aim to offer the highest quality of service.  Whether you want to visit their newly opened first floor for classical music, travel and reference, relax with a cappucino in the One Tree cafe on the ground floor or just browse their comprehensive range of fiction, we're sure you'll enjoy your visit.


City Books

City Books

City Books in Hove is an independent bookshop founded and run by Paul and Inge Sweetman. They pride themselves in promoting old fashion values, whilst using the best of modern technology. City Books run a regular programme of literary events providing a fantastic opportunity to hear authors present their new books.

The Little Ripon Bookshop

The Little Ripon Bookshop which opened in July 2009 is Ripon's only independent bookshop.

Run by Simon and Gill Edwards the bookshop is a lively place and has an equally active website.

P&G Wells

P & G Wells in Winchester is an essential stopover for any booklover. Behind the much-photographed shop front (state of the art 1890s) the shop is renowned for its interesting and wide selection of books.

"With windows full of enticing titles Wells Bookshop is one of the most attractive shops in the city" Hampshire Chronicle

Local Bookshops website - really useful for searching out independent booksellers.