We’re massive book lovers here at Utility. We understand why Kindles and other eReaders are so popular, but there’s just something magical about actually picking up a book, flipping through the pages, smelling it (yes, smelling it) and just generally holding it as you read.
There’s also something amazing about taking a trip to your local bookshop and spending a bit of time in there, scanning the shelves and browsing the range of books on offer.
To celebrate World Book Day (and just books in general), we’re taking a look at some of the best book shops Liverpool has to offer and finding out what books they’d recommend.
News From Nowhere
News From Nowhere is one of the most popular book stores in the city, and for good reason. As well as your general books, the shop has a penchant for activism and political thought, stocking books intended to inspire people to do good in the world, and not stocking anything considered oppressive.
Find News From Nowhere: 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY. 0151 708 7270. www.newsfromnowhere.org.uk
We featured News From Nowhere on our amazing guide to Bold Street.
Broadhursts of Southport
The self-proclaimed “oldest independent new bookshop in North of England”, Broadhursts of Southport has a wealth of titles available, including a new children’s section and two rare book rooms specialising in 19th and 20th century literature, modern first editions and more. They also have a bookbinding and restoration service, both of which are very much skills in their own right!
Find Broadhursts of Southport: 5-7 Market Street, Southport, PR8 1HD. 01704 532064. www.ckbroadhurst.co.uk
Bluecoat Books may be small but it’s perfectly formed, cramming over 40,000 titles onto its shelves. It stocks books that cover just about everything, but is particularly good for the arts, photography, music, film, etc. Open since 1988, the store prides itself on an unrivalled level of customer service and is well worth a visit.
Find Bluecoat Books: Gostins Building, 32 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 4LN. 0151 7095449. www.bluecoatbooks.co.uk
Reid of Liverpool
Reid of Liverpool has become somewhat of an institution in the city. It is the only surviving Georgian, purpose-built retail premises in Liverpool and is a real treasure trove. There are no categories or filing systems, so you can browse the shelves and see books on architecture sat next to children’s classics and historical reference books nestled against famous autobiographies. Somewhere you really can lose yourself for hours.
Find Reid of Liverpool: 105 Mount Pleasant, L3 5TB. 0151 709 2312. www.reidofliverpool.com
Kernaghan Books’ location is a selling point in itself, tucked away in one of the city’s most beautiful courtyards. And once you’re inside, it’s not too shabby either! They have a fantastic selection of books, including works more than 400 years old, as well as maps of the area and early colour prints. They also specialise in local directories and have some from the 1700s and 1800s that are very popular. A real favourite.
Find Kernaghan Books: The Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 3BX. 0151 703 9077. www.kernaghanbooks.com.
Henry Bohn Books
This is another one of those bookshops that you might go in and find that a few hours have passed before you know it. You really don’t know what you’re going to find at Henry Bohn’s Books - you might search for ages and find nothing you want but then stumble across an absolute gem. There is no reason or rhyme to how the books are arranged and that’s part of the fun; jump in and see what you find.
Find Henry Bohn Books: 2 London Rd, L3 5NF. 0151 709 4501. www.henrybohnbooks.co.uk
Whilst the Formby branch of Pritchards Bookshop sadly had to close in 2011, the Crosby branch is as popular as ever and a real local favourite. Run by Steve Pritchard, the store regularly holds events where authors come and visit, showing that it’s more than just your average bookshop.
Find Pritchards Bookshop: 3 Moor Lane, Crosby, Merseyside, L23 2SE. O151 931 1642. www.pritchards-crosby.co.uk
Utility Design’s Recommended Reads
We’ve heard from some of the best bookshops in Liverpool, but now we’re going to throw in our two cents and bring some of our recommended reads for World Book Day…
- The Hungoevr Cookbook - Milton Crawford (yes, that’s really how it’s spelt)
- Man Meets Woman - Yang Liu
- Lern Yerself Scouse - Frank Shaw
- The Ladybird Book of The Mum - Jason Hazeley & Joe Morris
- For the Love of Radio 4 - Caroline Hodgson
- The Best Book in the World - Rilla Alexander
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Cocktails - Alfred Tong
- Eames: Beautiful Details
- Fantastic Cities: A Colouring Book of Amazing Places - Steve McDonald
Whilst we’re having a plug, we might as well show off some of our amazing and stylish designer bookcases. After all, if you’ve got the books, you need somewhere to put them…
- Kartell Sundial Bookcase
- Cappellini Cloud Bookcase
- Cappellini Passepartout Bookcase
- Cassina Plurima Bookcase