Borders was one of my favourite places as a kid. Does anyone remember it? The place was always crammed with both books and people, and their children’s area was like a colourful playground for nerdy kids. I was genuinely devastated when it closed down; where was I going to find my Horrid Henry and Harry Potter books now?!
Years later and I’ve been suckered into the world of e-books, my kindle being the thing I keep with me all the time or else I’ll feel utterly lost. I do, however, still relish the feel and smell of physical books and so I thought it a good idea to write a post on some of the best bookshops in my home town of Brighton that are still firmly standing on their feet.
The new open market in Brighton is a fairly new thing. What used to be a quiet place hosting fishmongers and fruit stalls is now a buzzing, albeit typically ‘indie’ market hosting all sorts, from a Sussex honey shop to a shop selling what is describes as items that are ‘obscure and unusual’. Amidst this spread of fashionable stalls sits Ubu Books. This is a second-hand bookshop that is teeming with dog-eared copies of the both rare and popular. I fell upon this shop when I was searching for the books on my University reading list. I spoke to the bookseller who took a copy of my list and promised to order in any that weren’t currently stocked in his shop. A week later I came back and he’d found me about fifteen books which he offered at discounted price; I was certainly a happy customer!
Amnesty International describe themselves as “Ordinary people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights.” Awesome. And they have a bookshop? Even better. Brighton’s Books for Amnesty is a bright pink little shop that sits in the North Laine, so it really is hard to miss. Although it may be a little hard to move inside, they stock a wide variety books from literature reading lists to Brighton history. There is an array of Vinyl and t-shirts as well if you’re feeling adventurous!
I admit, I love pretty much every Oxfam bookshop that I go in. Prices are cheap and the books are arranged in such a way that I find what I’m looking for within minutes of walking into the shop (if they have it in stock). The Brighton Oxfam bookshop sits further along the North Laine passed the Amnesty bookshop, next to the Caramella sweet shop – yummy!
Sitting along Western Road is a lively, independent bookshop that hosts an eclectic choice of books that have been carefully selected along with tons of local books. Aside from the daily business, City books put on ‘literary events’ which allows authors to present their books and gives readers opportunity to ask questions and to pick up signed copies! A great chance to discover new authors and exchange tips and advice!
Do you love graphic novels and comic books? Well, Dave’s comics is packed with illustrated books and magazines that are an absolute joy to lose yourself in. They are totally up-to-date with new comic releases and even have a large collection of old comics at the back for all those nostalgic comic lovers. This also sits in the North Laine and can’t be missed as it’s canopy encompasses a huge batman logo and its walls are covered in illustrations. Once inside, you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful artwork and even for me, who has never been a reader of graphic novels, it makes me want to sit all day and get lost in the gorgeously illustrated worlds.
These are just a few of Brighton’s bookshops! I feel it is important to support these shops, although, despite the increasing popularity of e-books; physical books will never lose their charm.