If there’s one thing Manchester does well, it’s books and places to buy them (just check out the pretty incredible line-up coming to the Manchester literature festival for a start). To keep things simple, this time around we’ve stuck with bookshops selling new books only. Here’s our guide to some of the best.

Queer Lit | 39 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LX

It’s new, so it gets to go first (also, pictured here). The owners of Queer Lit we were finding it tough going to discover great Queer literature. With a lack of shops stocking it and websites bothering to dedicate areas towards it, they felt it was time for a change. Head to Tib Street to browse over 1500 titles. Their website has a great LGBTQ+-matters blog too.

Rare Mags | 5 Lower Hillgate, Stockport, SK1 1JQ

Rare Mags is an absolute gem of a shop, in Stockport’s old town. They would probably hate us to say this, but if you liked Magma (sob!), then you will love this place too. ‘Rare Mags and books’ would have been way too long a title, but in fact that’s exactly what you’ll find inside this recently expanded shop. Put simply, they sell the best independent magazines out there, a cracking selection of books and some fine stationery.

Blackwells | University Green 146 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9GP

Blackwell’s has had a makeover. The new shop is bright and airy, with an on-site cafe. Specialising as ever in academic reading, the shop also stocks most other books. It has some great author events too, so keep an eye out for those.


HOME | 2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN

Small but perfectly formed, the bookshop in the foyer at HOME sells carefully-curated books, magazines and gifts, appealing firmly to the arts crowd.

Deansgate Waterstones |  91 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester M3 2BW 

Open since 1987, Waterstones Manchester Deansgate has become an integral part of the cultural tapestry of Manchester City Centre. Opposite the Grade II listed Art-Deco building that now houses House of Fraser, and within a Victorian-built store open since 1873, you’ll find all the expected big hits in here plus a large range of carefully-curated titles.

Travelling Man | 4 Dale St, Manchester M1 1JW

Travelling Man has a huge choice of visual books, comics and graphic novels and is considered by many in the know to be THE go-to place for all of the above. The staff are nice too: none of the intimidating snootiness you may worry about in such a specialist shop.

Paramount Books | 25-27 Shudehill, Manchester, M4 2AF

Packed with tumbling stacks of classic books, vintage magazines, action comics and picture posts, Paramount Books is Manchester’s beloved literary time capsule. Follow the curling trail of jazz and opera music drifting through the streets behind Printworks to find their speakers in the doorway.


, Tel: 0161 834 9509
B is for Butterfly`| Emporium M33, 3-7 Tatton Rd, Sale, M33 7EB

Established with the ethos that books enjoyed in childhood are profoundly formative, Sale’s B is for Butterfly is a specialist independent children’s bookshop whose founder, Michelle, selects and stocks titles which have the potential to leave a lasting impression on their readers.

, Tel: 07920 194879
Chorlton Bookshop | 506 Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9AW

Community cornerstone of nearly forty years, family-run Chorlton Bookshop is the village’s most popular literary haven, so beloved for its serene environment that hundreds of Chorltonians showed up to successfully protest its planned closure in 2014.

Didsbury Village Bookshop | Inside The Art of Tea, 47 Barlow Moor Rd, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6TW

Boasting an incredible inventory of second-hand titles, Didsbury Village Bookshop is a traditional sanctuary which forms part of The Art of Tea, a popular cafe, bar and art space at the heart of Didsbury’s creative community since 2009.

Sat 18 Sep
Suzy Prince
Published on:
Fri 24 Jun 2022