The best bookshops in Sheffield
Who doesn’t want to have shelves stacked full of books?
At some point in their degree most students will find themselves looking for any way to avoid doing their work. However procrastination doesn’t always have to mean lying in front of the TV or napping, and Sheffield has enough bookstores to provide you with a lifetime of something interesting to read. Or you may just be one of those people who spends all their time (and money) collecting books and not actually reading them. Let’s face it, we’ve all bought a load of books we’ve convinced ourselves we need and cannot leave the shop without, despite knowing we definitely won’t read them anytime soon.
Whatever your reason for buying more books, here is a guide to Sheffield’s bookshops for anyone looking books both old and new.
Rare and Racy
Location: Devonshire St
Established in 1969, Rare and Racy is perhaps Sheffield’s most known and certainly most loved bookshop. The store’s front and back are decorated with iconic ‘Phlegm murals’ giving the shop a unique character.
With multiple rooms spread over two floors packed with cheap books and a faint smell of incense in the air easily makes this one of Sheffield’s most cherished independent gems. Choices range from classic literature, philosophy and history to politics, music and occult. You can also expect to find a variety of records, art prints and paintings for sale. Perfect to find a unusual gift for a friend.
Location: Various locations across Sheffield (including West Street, Ecclesall Road and the City Centre)
Oxfam is the wild card of second hand book shopping. Walking in with no idea what you’ll find, but knowing it could be anything from a set of leather bound history volumes to the biographies of Tony Blair and Katie Price is all part of the fun. Plus, if you don’t manage to actually find any nice books you can always pick up some fair trade chocolate or a birthday card for your grandma.
Books on the Park
Location: 749 Ecclesall Road
At the top end of Ecclesall Road is Books on the park, stocked with a large variety of secondhand hand books, ranging from history and politics to art and design alongside local guides. Despite being second hand bookshop, the owners make sure all books sold are in an excellent condition, making this place a must visit for someone who wants cheap books but without the cracked spines and stained pages. The shop also has a large range of CDs and Vinyl to choose from.
The Porter Bookshop
Location: 227 Sharrow Vale road
Tucked away on Sharrow Vale Road, about half an hour from the Student’s Union is the Porter Bookshop. While the store itself is quite small (think local corner-shop size) it doesn’t stop the owners from having the walls packed full of books from floor to ceiling. With a large selection of literature, poetry, history and some politics and philosophy books, the Porter bookshop has a good range to choose from. All of the books are second hand and are priced on average at about £2-£5, although the leather volumes at the back of the shop will probably cost you upwards of £20.
A nice find for those willing to walk a little further, they also have an online amazon store.
Next Chapter Books
Location: 7 Rustlings Rd
Looking directly over onto Endcliffe park, Next Chapter Books is a small shop selling both secondhand books and new releases from local authors. Formally known as The Last Chapter, there is a fair range of books to choose from and all are in either good or excellent condition. You can also sell any old books here.
Location: 24-26 Orchard Square
Located in Sheffield’s city centre is Waterstones. While it may seem odd to include a chain store alongside independent shops, Waterstones has its benefits. Even the most hard line thrift shopper can’t always resist wandering through to browse. With all sorts of different covers and the smell of new books in your nose, you’ll find yourself buying books purely for the fact that they’re pretty. Also there’s a cafe in there and who doesn’t love cake?