Barter Books

Hello again! What with running about like a yo-yo and a lovely camping trip Novel Insights has been off-grid for a little while. Last weekend I went up to the North East coast to enjoy some sea air and time away from everything. We stopped by Alnwick – an attractive little town with a historic castle that had a starring role in earlier Harry Potter films. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to stop into the wonderful Barter Books, one of the UK’s largest second-hand bookshops and a veritable emporium of loved books.

Set in an out of use railway station, it has shelves and shelves of treasures, well organised and lovingly laid out with a comfortable seating area for lingerers. As the name suggests you can bring in your old books for credit to spend on new ones. Echoing the theme of the station location, there is a train set running along the top of the shelves in the front area of the shop. The whole place has a homely feel to it.

Here are some pics from my brief but pleasurable visit…

I didn’t remember to bring any books to barter but I still couldn’t resist picking up a couple of penguin classics. Barter Books cleverly arranged these to be end of row and temptingly visible. I’ve never read any Collette but I liked the sound of The Vagabond, and I’ve always meant to get a copy of classic crime novel Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep. Here they are:

If you are ever in the area I definitely recommend that you stop by! Would love to hear of anyone’s recent used book discoveries – have you found any treasures lately?

12 responses to “Barter Books

  1. I lived in Alnwick for a few years and loved barter books was my book shop but always meant I was broke lol probably best bookshop in Britain all the best stu

  2. I adore Colette; I have The Vagabond, which is apparently one of her best, but not read it yet.

  3. Both The Vagabond and The Big Sleep are lots of fun. Barter Books looks like a wonderful way to lose and afternoon. I love a good bookstore with comfortable chairs.

  4. I love Barter Books, it’s a real treat to go there.

  5. I’d love to visit Barter Books although it sounds like a dangerous place for people who like books but have no willpower. I haven’t read anything by Colette yet but I remember enjoying The Big Sleep.

  6. What a wonderful looking shop – oh to while away time in there.

  7. Oh wow….those pictures got my mouth watering and my purse vibrating 😀 What a fantastic idea to use such a wonderful building. I approve of your selection – Colette is brilliant. I studied La Vagabonde at University but Chéri/The Last of Chéri are my absolute faves.

  8. This looks like a wonderful, wonderful shop. I am so jealous of you right now. And you were so restrained. I don’t think I could be in there.

    The last treasure I got were the ones that I saved from being locked in glass cabinets. One of which ended up with you 😉

  9. I have had this bookshop recommended to me before by another blogger but I haven’t made it up there yet. It looks wonderful. How did you manage to only come away with 2 books??????? 😉

  10. I absolutely love this place, especially in winter when you can spend the afternoon by the fire reading all of your newly acquired treasures. It’s in such a nice place as well…wish there were more places like this.

  11. Stumbling across a little bookstore that you’ve never been to is one of the great pleasures of life. I live in the U.S. so I’ve never been to Barter Books, but I know the joy of walking through those aisles!

  12. Pingback: Celebrate Our Great British Bookstores | I hug my books

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