9 of the best independent bookshops in Sussex

The best independent book shops in Sussex 

The best independent book shops in Sussex - Credit: dusanpetkovic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Whether you want to support local independent booksellers or love the mysterious history of a second-hand book, these bookshops in Sussex are a must-visit.

Much Ado Books

Quirky and very much a haven for Bookworms, Much Ado Books stock new, second-hand and antiquarian books.

The interior is cosy and feels just like the kind of place you could spend hours at; it is also evocative of The Bloomsbury Group's bohemian hangouts of Monk's House and Charleston Farmhouse (read all about the Bloomsbury Group's Sussex connections here). And perhaps this is very much deliberate as the charming bookshop stocks many books by and about the group such as Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant.

Where: 8 West Street, Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5UX

Opening times: Most days from 11 am to 5 pm, closed on some Wednesdays


Badger's Books

With a stocklist of over 20,000 used and new books, it could be suggested that Badger's Books is a veritable Aladdin's Cave of literature. Step inside and prepare to be blown away by the collection and be sure to talk to the booksellers who have an extensive, varied and fascinating knowledge of books. 

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Where: 8-10 Gratwicke Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 4BH

Opening times: Mondays to Saturdays (excluding Bank Holidays) from 9 am to 5.30 pm


Afrori Books 

Founded by Carolynn Bain, Afrori Books is one of the most exciting and important bookshops to open in Brighton in recent years and houses the largest selection of books by black authors in England.

Starting life online, Afrori Books' physical store opened its doors for the first time in October 2021. It is a bookshop that solely stocks books of black origin with the aim of decolonising bookshelves and showcasing the best black authors from around the world.

You can find it all in this wonderful bookshop, from children's books to recipe books and from new voices on the literature scene such as Caleb Azumah Nelson to legends like Chinua Achebe, James Baldwin, and Octavia E. Butler.

Where: 28 Kensington Street, Brighton, West Sussex BN1 4AJ

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday between 10 am and 5.30 pm 


The Hastings Bookshop

This trendy indie bookshop opened in the America Ground district of Hastings in 2020 and has since gained a loyal following. You can expect to discover a new book you may never have heard of on the curated Staff Picks shelf and, if you're lucky, a signed copy or two!

The Hasting Bookshop also hosts author events, and right next door is Stooge Coffee, an independent coffee shop, so once you're done browsing and have found your next great read, simply slip next door and get reading.

Where: 5 Trinity St, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 1HG

Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm


Kim's Bookshops

With two locations, one in Arundel and another in Chichester, there's double the opportunity to browse the eclectic shelves of Kim's Bookshops. The book stores carry new, used and antiquarian books on all different subjects - the usual can sit side by side with the completely unusual, making for an enchanting place to browse. 

Where: Arundel (BN18 9AB) and Chichester (PO19 1EL)

Opening times: Monday to Sunday between 10.30 am to 4 pm


City Books

Founded and run by Paul and Inge Sweetman, City Books has a loyal customer base and was voted by the local community to be the 'The Best Shop in Brunswick'. This utterly charming book shop has also been shortlisted twice for the coveted national 'Independent Bookshop of the Year Award'.

Step inside and browse the shelves to find books of local interest and books that tell tales of faraway lands. You'll also be able to attend literary events with some past speakers, including Jo Brand, Ranulph Fiennes, Nick Cave, Iain M Banks, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Caitlin Moran, and many more. 

Where: 23 Western Rd, Hove BN3 1AF

Opening times: Monday to Saturday between 9.30 am, and 5.30 pm and Sundays from 11 am to 4.30 pm


The Steyning Bookshop

This small family-run bookshop in the pretty town of Steyning is a great place to get your fiction fix. Especially for the little ones as they specialise in Children's books and have a rather exciting bright red train planted in the middle of the shop for intrepid bookworms to clamber aboard.

Where: 106 High St, Steyning BN44 3RD

Opening times: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm


Camilla's Bookshop

Stacks and stacks of second-hand and antiquarian books can be found in Camilla's Bookshop, as can a vocal parrot called Archie. This is a magical place, and perhaps time could feel like it stops as soon as you enter. No doubt, you'll get sucked into the depths of this bookshop's shelves, and hours will likely pass before you leave, but what better way to while away the day than discovering exciting books and soaking up the cosy eclectic atmosphere.

Where: 57 Grove Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex. BN21 4TX

Opening times: Monday to Saturday between 10 am and 5 pm



Taking its name from the fact that this bookstore is housed in a previous Blockbuster site, Bookbuster is another Hastings-based haven for bibliophiles. Specialising in second-hand and remainder books and new releases at great prices, it's no wonder that Bookbuster is a popular destination. They often advertise new and exciting new additions to the store on their Facebook page, so keep an eye out!

Where: 39 Queens Rd, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 1RE

Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm


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