Since I’ve moved home I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Bath- it’s the perfect literary haunt. In the nineteenth century Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Mary Shelley visited. Today book shops in Bath continue to sell their novels, alongside the work of hundreds of other authors. Here’s some of my favourite places to buy a book in the city.
This shop is run by five different book dealers who each take turns to run the shop. Each dealer has a different section in the shop, so if you’re looking for a specific book make sure you check all the sections for it. There are two levels with plenty of stock in the basement, mostly hardbacks. I’ve picked up some old Victorian copies of my favourite books for as cheap as £6.00. The shop is just round the corner from The Circus, it’s a lovely location and a brilliant place to browse.
George Bayntun is an up-market shop located in a listed building. They bind books for sale to collectors in-store and sell rare books to prestigious customers. If this sounds a little imposing, don’t be put off. They have a good selection of books at a lower price range in the basement. The shop, which opened in 1873, has stayed with the same family since then and has a fascinating history.
Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath, The Paragon.
This is probably one of the best places to buy new books in Bath. It’s the only place I’ve seen where the hardback copies are laminated, which makes them look extra smart. Topping & Company also holds regular author events so some of the books are signed as well. Everything is well arranged and advertised with handwritten signs. The shop’s next guest is Chris Cleave, the author of Gold, and after that it’s Levi Roots.
Oxfam Bookshop, 4-5 Lower Borough Walls.
Oxfam Bookshops are the bread and butter of the reading world, selling second-hand copies for charity. When I was an English student they were a goldmine, I could pick up cheap copies of the books on my syllabus instead of getting them on Amazon. Bath’s Oxfam Bookshop has a good selection- it’s often surprising what you can find there.
Where’s your favourite place to shop for books? Let me know by commenting on this post. If you’ve enjoyed reading it I’d love to hear from you.