Newcastle's bookshops: a tale of quality over quantity

Ellen Dunn takes us around her favourite North East bookshops

Ellen Dunn
1st November 2020
Blackwell's – A paperback playground

Location: 141 Percy St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RS

From bestsellers to academic books, art supplies and funky gifts, Blackwell's is truly a playground of hobbies. Even better for students, Blackwell's caters to an impressive array of subject areas. (In my first year, I was especially thankful for the stationary section!)

Pricing varies, and although Blackwell's tips over to the more expensive side, there is the student price match and bundle scheme.

Tip: If you inspect the shelves close enough, you might find a green label on the book you’re looking for. That usually means it’s been discounted!

Waterstones – Culture, Cosiness, and Coffee

Location: Emerson Chambers, Blackett Street, Newcastle, NE1 7JF


Architecturally, the building is beautiful, but once you step inside, it’s a whole other story! (Pun intended) The Newcastle Waterstones has an inspiring collection of books and other fun things. The store has four levels, Lower Ground, Ground, First Floor, and Second Floor, and each covers a myriad of categories.

Tip: On the First Floor, you’ll find a window seat that looks onto Grey’s Monument. (It's a perfect place to enjoy a coffee and a gripping novel in the winter!)

Pricing wise, Waterstones can be pretty expensive. Still, if you register for a Waterstones Plus card, you can earn stamps and spend the balance. (Students that register also receive an additional 5% discount on all Plus rewards!)

Books for Amnesty – Second-hand books at a first-rate organisation

Location: 92 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4AF

I came across Amnesty when I was taking a walk through the city in August. (I’d recommend getting a map out if you’re not familiar with that side of town!) When you get there, what you will find is a charming little shop filled with really cool stuff! They have a fantastic range of books, from classics, biographies, poetry and well-being. And the best thing? Second-hand books have so much character!

Tip: You probably won't find multiple copies of the same book, so if you're looking for something unique, Amnesty is the place to go!

As expected, pricing is remarkable and can vary between £1.50 - £6.00.

I highly encourage taking a walk to Amnesty because what’s better than browsing for books and donating to an awesome cause?

Other places to browse for books: The Oxfam in Jesmond has a good assortment of books, and if you're willing to travel a bit further, there's also Barter Books in Alnwick!

Newcastle has a great selection of bookshops, and you’ll not struggle to find what you’re looking for, whether that’s a new release or an obscure one-off. Sure, a city can never have too many bookshops, but when it comes to the Bookshops of Newcastle, it’s always quality over quantity.

Happy reading, folks!

Featured Image: Flickr | Barter Books

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