12 Brilliant bookshops in Yorkshire

open book close up photo, blurred background

There's been a rise in the number of independent books stores opening up - seems we love the lure of a good browse in bookshop - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s Independent Bookshop Week so we’re delving in to Yorkshire’s best boltholes for bookworms

There’s so much more to bookshops than shopping for a best-selling paperback. Indies will champion local authors and books with local interest. They are staffed by book-lovers who know their stuff and love giving advice and recommendations. 

Book stores often serve as a one-stop shop for cards and gifts, a social and community space, and if you’re lucky, they bring a good cup of tea and coffee – and cakes to the literary party!  

At the end of 2020, the number of independent bookshops grew to 967 shops, up from 890 shops in 2019. During the celebration of Independent Bookshop Week (19-26 June), there are plenty worth visiting - many with author signing and events. Take a look... 

The cosy White Rose Book Cafe

The cosy White Rose Book Cafe in Thirsk - Credit: Sue Lake

White Rose Books in Thirsk is a welcoming bookshop that’s a favourite with Yorkshire Vet Julian Norton. They have a good café and this week author events include:  

Tues 22: Julia Chapman signing copies of Date with Deceit at 11.45am. She will also be at Imagined Things Bookshop in Harrogate on Tues 22 at  

Thurs 24: Rob and Dave of Cannon Hall Farm and Channel 5’s Summer on the Farm, will be signing copies of 'Living our Best Lives' at11am. 

In Ilkley, The Grove Bookshop in Ilkley is a dream of a place with a real period appeal - big windows just pull you in and you can browse for hours.  

In Farsley, Leeds, the new Truman Books has opened its doors, a definite labour of love for its owner and a welcome addition to the community  

Adorable little child, boy, sitting in a book store, reading books

Bookstores often have chill out areas for children to enjoy their own pick of books - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In Huddersfield, The Children’s Bookshop has organised a virtual event with Jessica Love, bestselling author-illustrator of the mesmerising picture books Julian Is a Mermaid and Julian at the Wedding. She will talk about her books and invite children to draw with her in a virtual event on Tuesday 22 June, 2pm. 

Kemps Books in Malton is a light, airy, book-loving and welcoming kind of place – with a great children’s browse area and good recommendations  

Drake The Bookshop in Stockton on Tees is a hidden gem where you’ll find excellent local history books as well as a lively community scene, friendly staff and coffee to go. Plenty of events and hearty recommendations. 

Photo of a sign on a bookstore

Independents can offer a personal touch and specialise in their locality - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Whitby Bookshop is a dream of a shop with loads of character – including a creaky, curvy staircase to still more books, cards and a bit of vinyl. A top place to find cool gifts from local artists and designers, including lovey Mini Moderns and Jessica Hogarth stuff. 

Saltburn-by-the-Sea has a row of colourful beach huts by the sand - is there a better place to hole up with a good book? Head to the town’s sweet Book Corner to find the perfect paperback to share with your picnic.  

Another Book Corner – this one in the lovely surroundings the historic Piece Hall in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Find a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles including a wide selection of children’s books. They support local authors and often have signed copies, exclusive editions and pre-order offers. 

Close view of book stack held by a young high school student girl in the library.

Grab your summer reading at an independent store - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Little Ripon Bookshop is a proper bookshop with plenty of choice – and little corners with interest sections. The family-run Independent works hard to balance new publications with classics and old favourites. They also beautiful cards and stationery as well as maps, literary DVDs and reading related gifts. 

The Book Case is an independent book shop in the heart of the picturesque mill-town of Hebden Bridge. Shortlisted in 2017 for Northern Bookshop of the Year, they stock a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and children friendly environment. 

Close to York Minster, The Little Apple Bookshop has a vast selection of books as well as bookish gifts and treats. The Little Apple Bookshop has been selling books in the heart of York since 1997.