Monday, 12 March 2012

Barter Books

© Stephanie Forster

Hi everyone!

I thought I'd do something different today and post about my favourite bookshop.

The bookshop is called Barter Books and it's situated in Alnwick, Northumberland. It is quite a while away from me, but I don't mind the drive and so I go to the shop reasonably frequently. If any of you visit or live in the North East of England, I would highly recommend taking a journey there - it's certainly worth it and I know a lot of you would absolutely love it.

Barter Books is one of the largest secondhand book shops in Britain - it is actually a converted railway station which means it's very different, but that is why I adore it so much. As soon as you step through the door, there's a very homely atmosphere - there are seats around the fireplace as well as in other areas of the store as well as a buffet station, so you could definitely make yourself at home for a while. The decor is absolutely fantastic - it's nothing fancy, but it's gorgeous nonetheless. There is a huge painted writer's mural above the main room and there are painted wooden beams all throughout the station featuring pieces of writing from famous authors. Of course, being an ex-railway station, there is even a train inside - a small model train that goes around tracks above the tall bookcases, linking them in the main room. 

There is almost everything you could possibly want in this shop. There is everything you can imagine - from your modern teenage fiction, to specialist books on subjects such as engineering, religion and botany, to maps, to local books, to antique editions and rarities- a lot of these behind glass cabinets and costing thousands of pounds! There are a lot of more affordable old versions of books too, which are lovely to look at and search through - especially the children's books with their illustrations and fun covers!
As you may have figured from the name of it, customers can bring their old, read books in and exchange them for 'Barter' - money you can use in exchange for other books in the store, though this certainly isn't compulsory.

Another interesting fact is that Barter Books is the home of the original 'Keep Calm and Carry On' WWII poster - some of you may have seen it featured on the news recently.

I visited Barter Books yesterday and had my camera with me, so here are a few photographs that I hope you'll enjoy:

For more information, visit the official website @

Have you visited Barter Books before or do you plan on visiting in the future?
Please leave your comments below - I'd love to see what you think!


  1. OH MY GOD I wanna live there, just sit on those chairs forever, with all those books around me, with a nice cup of coffee, maybe with a mustache on it, pick a book and read until I fall asleep. And then whoever is in charge there would kick me out, but it'll be worth it.

  2. That does look like an amazing bookshop! The NE is a little bit far from me - but I would definitely seek it out if I was up that way, it looks like a treasure trove of books. :)

  3. If I ever come to England I will go to that store.

  4. That sounds like an awesome place to visit. If I'm ever in England I'll make sure to visit!!
    :) And I love that poster!

  5. Looks like great store! Oh and you are tagged at my blog: .

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your enthusiasm for Barter Books! I visited their website and now I want to hop across the pond and see it for myself!!!
    Beth :-)

  7. Wow..what a cool book shop..i cked out their website and hope to visit one day!

  8. What an amazing bookstore! I love hunting for treasures in stores like Barter Books! If I ever visit the Northeast of England I am sure I will find my way over.

  9. despite being from the North East I have never been to Alnwick... I live in the North West now but I am hoping to get there at some point and I'll put this bookshop on my to visit list for when I do!

  10. That looks like a bookshop for me. A store I'll walk in and won't come out for hours. Unfortunately, that's too far away for me, since I live in the Netherlands ;) But I'll remember it, so I can visit it some day!

  11. That's a gorgeous bookshop. <3 :)

  12. I think I just found my dream store. Can I live in there?


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