Bookshops in Manchester

Ben Williams

More than set-dressing for your brand new vintage shelves, books are there to learn from and lose yourself in — and are the perfect gift for just about anybody. From best-selling new releases to well-thumbed hand-me-downs, via comics, cookery, and the downright kooky, here’s our guide to the best bookshops in Manchester.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Waterstones Manchester Deansgate

    Waterstones Manchester Deansgate, 91 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 2BW - Visit now

    Waterstones are the reigning champions of high street bookshops, but don’t let that put you off. Filled to the brim with all the titles you would expect, the Deansgate branch of Waterstones frequently appears in our Literature Guide for hosting regular signings and in-store events.

  • 2. Magma Books

    Image of Magma bookshop in Manchester

    Magma Books, 22 Oldham Street, Manchester, Manchester, M1 1JN - Visit now

    If you need a book on which to rest that Leica camera you’ve never got around to using, head straight to Magma. Lots of beautiful books and a great choice of magazines alongside some excellent stocking fillers. No need to panic on the 24th December.

  • 3. Chorlton Bookshop

    Chorlton Bookshop

    Chorlton Bookshop, 506 Wilbraham Road, Manchester, M21 9AW - Visit now

    If you have ever dreamed of owning a bookshop, it probably looked like this one. Pleasingly petite, family-owned with a good selection of books, and even pet-friendly. Perfect.

  • 4. Chapter 1 Books

    Photo of a new releases bookshelf

    Chapter 1 Books, 19 Lever Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 1BY - Visit now

    Chapter 1 Books is an independent bookshop and coffee shop on Lever Street. The coffee is good, the cakes are excellent, and the books are beautifully displayed. They also have a fountain, naturally.

  • 5. HOME Manchester

    Paul Karalius

    HOME Manchester, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4FN - Visit now

    As well as having the most unrivaled cinema screens in Manchester, some of the city’s best theatre, exhibition and even dining spaces, HOME also has a bookshop. They stock books and magazines which complement their artistic programme as well as local independently-produced publications and journals alongside a cracking choice geetings cards.

  • 6. Paramount Books

    Paramount Books book shop in Manchester
    Per Gosche via Flickr

    Paramount Books, 25-27 Shudehill, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 2AF - Visit now

    The award for the bookshop with the most personality goes to…  Paramount books. They buy and sell books and comics — a paradise for those looking for something a little unusual.

  • 7. Travelling Man

    Creative Tourist

    Travelling Man, 4 Dale St, Manchester, M1 1JW - Visit now

    If you like your comic books with some role playing games on the side, look no further than Travelling Man. The choice of books and comics is arguably the best in Manchester. Plus the staff friendly and knowledgeable.

  • 8. Blackwell’s Manchester

    Blackwell, University of Manchester - Mikey

    Blackwell’s Manchester, University Green 146 Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9GP - Visit now

    Currently living in a temporary home as the universities continue their endless game of knocking down old buildings and putting up new ones. Blackwell’s are the specialists in specialist and academic reading.

  • 9. Forbidden Planet International

    Creative Tourist

    Forbidden Planet International, 65 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JR - Visit now

    If you’re still wondering how C3PO got that red arm (and I mean, who isn’t?), then you’ll probably want to start your shopping here. The Waterstones of the geek world, Forbidden Planet have books, comics and some undeniably cool pop culture merch to boot. Hulk Hands anyone?