Some of the best spots to bury your head in the pages
ChapterOne Books, Chatsworth House, Lever Street
This independent bookshop sits on the edge of the Northern Quarter and is the perfect place to find quirky reads in a relaxing environment. Thoughtfully selected and creatively presented books are dotted around all corners of the store, largely from non-mainstream authors and genres. You can enjoy a slice of cake or a cup of coffee, whilst you browse the eclectic collection of texts on offer — or channel your inner hipster and churn out a bestseller in one of the typewriting booths! ChapterOne Books is a refreshing addition to Manchester’s literature stockists, offering another welcome addition to the growing literary scene.
The Richmond Tea Rooms, The Village
This way to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party! Walk on over to Richmond Street for a spot of afternoon tea in the Alice in Wonderland themed Richmond Tea Rooms, where a seemingly endless spread of sugary fancies and loose-leaf teas are waiting to be enjoyed. The mismatched China and vibrant décor sprawled with Wonderland references are enough to make you feel like you have jumped down a rabbit hole into one of Carroll’s spectacular dreams.
Manchester Book Buyers, Church Street
Manchester Book Buyers, another independent bookseller in the Northern Quarter, is a haven for out-of-print gems, intriguing newspaper cuttings from various decades, early edition hardbacks, classic British Literature, and haphazardly stacked towers of dusty paperbacks, falling under genres ranging from Gothicism to Gastronomy. This humble market style store near Affleck’s Palace has a charmingly familiar Black Books vibe, with vast amounts of unpriced bargains to be found. It is perfect for an afternoon of perusing for literature lovers and also very useful if you have an expensive reading list!
The Portico Library and Gallery, Moseley Street
There is no doubt that September is a busy time for both new and seasoned Manchester students. To escape the Learning Commons and Main Library, it may be worth finding a place to recline and read in The Portico Library and Gallery, which is tucked away behind The Bank Pub on Moseley Street. The Grade II listed building is arguably one of Manchester’s most overlooked. The indoor hues of deep brown and blue compliment its erudite and grand atmosphere. After ascending a spiral staircase, you will soon find yourself among The Portico’s brilliantly unique collection which is rich in 19th-century texts that reflect the creativity, intellect, and literary interests of the founders of the library. Become a member of this exclusive fold and join the Pankhursts, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Robert Peel. The library was opened a few months after the abolition of slavery in 1806 and is currently holding an exhibition relating to slave ownership in Manchester during the 18th and 19th-centuries: Legacies of Slavery and Abolition, which runs from the 15th of September to the 14th of October 2017.
The Art of Tea, Didsbury
The Art of Tea is a cafe that is also home to the Didsbury Village Bookshop. The cafe regularly plays host to local artists, showcasing their work and also has interesting playlists — so it even caters for the less bookish amongst us! This is a rewarding small trek away from the city centre, due to the fine teas and high-quality coffee blends on offer. You will not leave empty handed as there are hundreds of texts that are stacked from the floor to the ceiling — you may need a couple of hours free to sift through them all! A selection of beers, wines and spirits is also available. Remember – write drunk, edit sober!