Independent Bookstore: Barter Books in Northumberland!

I love independent bookstores. I’ve talked about my favourite before on the blog; The Cut-Price Bookstore in Helmsley! But a close second is Barter Books in Northumberland. It’s slightly different as it’s a much larger, second hand bookstore in a building that used to be a railway station. Even if you’re on a book buying ban, if you’re near I recommend a visit just to have a look around and take in how booky and beautiful it is! … I did buy some books too though.

The outside of Barter Books with the opening times and bench

Toy train on track around top of bookshelves

There is a little train that goes over tracks around the top of bookshelves since it’s an old train station. It’s a lovely touch and it’s charming to be browsing, hear the train coming around and look up to see it pass.

Bookshelves with lines of poetry between them

Cafe inside of Barter Books bookstore with fire

There are two fires burning away that you can sit, read and relax in. And a little cafe in what used to be the waiting room where you can sit and get a cup of tea. 

Steel heart by Brandon Sanderson and Eleven by Mark Watson

Barter books is not the kind of store that you go in with a list. It’s a browsing store. But I thought I’d have a look for the second Mistbourne book by Brandon Sanderson and found Steelheart, the first book of the Reckoners series instead. I don’t think I’ll get around to reading it anytime soon but it was £2.20 and what’s another book on the TBR pile at this point? 

The other book I found was Eleven by Mark Watson. It was one of those free iBook of the week deals, probably about a year ago, and I read a chapter or two and loved it- it’s about a radio host and we all know I have a soft spot for radio host books- but I’m not a big fan of reading on my phone so I was glad to get a physical copy. Again, it was £2.20 and I’m thrilled to finally have this book. 

Barter Books mug with a stack of books, a cat and a train on it.

And a mug to join my collection. Cats and books are two of my favourite things so this was a given.

What do you think of Barter Books? Have you ever been?
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Independent Bookstore: The Cut-Price Bookstore in Helmsley!

My town doesn’t have an independent book store, in fact we only have one small chain store for 140,000 people. So to support independents I have to travel, and I took an hour detour while I visited family last weekend to call in on one of my favourites. Now I was stuck in a bit of a dilemma of wanting to support an independent book shop but not buy books ‘just because’. And I wanted to stick to my 2015 reading goal of only buying half as many books that I’ve read. And I know that I’m going to Barter Books in Northumberland over Easter so I want to be able to buy books and stick to my goal when I visit. Like I said dilemma, bit I think I did okay.

My independent book store of choice is The Cut-Price Bookstore in Helmsley, Yorkshire. So what books did I end up getting?

The first thing I picked up was Trouble in Mind by Jeffery Deaver. A collection of twelve short stories, including ones featuring characters Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance from his series. It may not reflect much on my blog over the past year but Deaver is one of my favourite authors; I have the vast majority of his books including his first two short story collections, I went to one of his signings and I read his work even when I wasn’t reading much of anything. I don’t have this one though as it was published last year, and it cost me £3.68 down from £18.99.

Next book to catch my eye was The Diviners by Libba Bray. I know next to nothing about this book but I’ve heard quite a bit about it on Booktube and it had a beautiful cover so I picked it up. Based in New York in the 1920’s, I see flappers and mystery in my future with this one. It has a lot of positive hype around it too so I have high hopes, and if I like it then the second book is out in Summer this year. At £3.60 from £12.99, who could say no?

And lastly, on my final scan of the shelves this little book caught my eye. Travel Writing by Peter Ferry isn’t a book I’ve heard of but the story sounds interesting and on the back it has a quote that described it as “-part mystery, par love story, partly a commentary on the art of writing fiction itself.” so as a Creative Writing student I felt compelled to pick it up. Again this was reduced from £12.99 to £3.60.

So that was my book haul! I think I was quite restrained and even though I didn’t get what I was after, I can’t find a copy of the second book in the Mistborn Trilogy in a bookstore for the life of me, I’m pleased with what I bought. Now to get reading so I can buy something when I go to Barter Books!

Have you read any of these books?

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