This UNESCO City of Literature and birthplace of writers including Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Burgess and Carol Ann Duffy is a treasure trove for book worms. Whilst the Manchester Literature Festival is the annual highlight for the city’s book lovers; bookworms are well catered for all year round by the city’s amazing range of libraries and delightful bookshops. Read on for the best places to spark or re-kindle your love of reading in Manchester…

The Little Library | Spinningfields

Manchester’s newest literary venue is this self sustaining library nestled among the greenery of Hardman Square. At the Little Library you can exchange a novel you’ve enjoyed reading for a different book. New releases, bestsellers and classics are all featured at this unique Spinningfields literary spot.

The Little Library, Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB
Manchester Central Library | St Peter's Square

This Grade 2 listed building has graced St. Peters’ Square since 1934 but a major refurbishment has fused the latest digital technology into its historic features. Check out the beautifully domed formal reading room in the Great Hall on the first floor or make use of the media lounge with computers for public use and free WIFI for those who prefer to bring their own device. Central library boasts plenty of comfortable and informal reading spots and kids will love the magical Secret Garden-themed childrens’ area. With an exciting programme of events, a cafe and shop you could easily spend a day at Central Library.

Manchester Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD, Tel: 0161 234 1983
The John Rylands Library | Deansgate

Gorgeous gothic architecture has made this Manchester institution recognised as one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. This library is worth a visit just to wander along its dark corridors and discover the delightful reading alcoves. Take the spiral staircase up to the first floor galleried reading room and admire its impressive stained glass windows. The library’s impressive book collection includes a first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, a fragile copy of the Gutenberg Bible and early fragments of the New Testament.

The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH, Tel: 0161 306 0555
The Portico Library and Gallery | Mosley Street

This Grade 2 listed building dating back to 1806 is an independent Library and home of the Portico Prize for Literature. Back in the 1800s the Portico was the only place in Manchester boasting access to London newspapers. Members of the Portico are able to borrow from an incredible 25,000 collection of 19th century books and a temporary reader’s pass can be purchased for just £5 per week. Non members can enjoy strolling around the temporary exhibition space beneath its beautiful domed ceiling and enjoy coffee, cakes or lunch in the cafe.

The Portico Library, 57 Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3HY, Tel: 0161 236 6785
Paramount Books | Shudehill

If you love the smell of old books then you will be in heaven at this old fashioned family run second hand bookshop. Paramount Books has served Manchester’s book lovers since 1965 and has retained much of its original charm and character. With shelves brimming with all genres plus a collection of rare and out of print books coupled with an eclectic collection of comics and magazines; this really is the place to discover an exciting previously read book.

Paramount Books, 25-27 Shudehill, Manchester M4 2AF, Tel: 0161 834 9509
Chapter One Books | Lever Street

This delightfully quirky independent bookshop is also a spacious and comfortable coffee shop serving an awesome range of coffees, speciality teas and scrumptious cakes. Choose from the eclectic collection of books or sign up for one of the many quirky classes, author events and workshops which are hosted here. Ideal for night owls as Chapter One is open until midnight every day.

Chapter One Books, Chatsworth House, 19 Lever Street, Manchester M1 1BY
Julie Al-Zoubi
Published on:
Tue 12 Nov 2019