Right in the heart of Studentsville, Headingley, the Oxfam bookstore offers a surprisingly comprehensive alternative for those of us who like a bargain and don’t mind tomes being stained and covered in stains – the origin of which is best not to think about. Unlike other charity shops that happen to sell books, the Oxfam shop is dedicated exclusively to the bookstore genre, and the volumes are sorted by category in the same way, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. Personally, I find the prices a bit steep considering the books are all second-hand and freely donated (you can easily pay over £ 4.99), but the selection is excellent considering, and may suit your leanings. philanthropic without a great deal of effort, it has to be a good thing.
Blackwells University Bookstore
Blackwells is a complete, spacious and airy bookstore just opposite the University of Leeds and has all the needs of its students. You can buy stationery, cards and wrapping paper, as well as books, for those times when you cross over to get something off your reading list and you suddenly remember (that is, you get a text from a more responsible brother) than yesterday. It was your grandmother’s 83rd birthday. The books are arranged by subject (need to find something pertaining to Architecture and Built Environment? No problem, just head to the second floor) and there are piles of more popular course literature with helpful placards stating ‘this book is on your reading list: English’. Of course, with all this space being used for study-specific literature, the normal fiction section is pretty limited, but if you’re a student, I’d advise you make Blackwells your first port of call for an established text.
Water stones and borders
The two main bookstores in the city center, naturally, are Waterstones and Borders, and there seems to be little separating them. Borders is larger and has a wider selection of CDs and DVDs to complement its literature, but Waterstones is more intimate, more welcoming, and has a more Olde Worlde Booke Store feel. They both sell stationery, cards, and board games. They both have in-store coffee shops, Starbucks for Borders and Costa for Waterstones, perfect for taking a book break and watching the busy world go by. Waterstones is a bit off the beaten path (though still very much in the center of Leeds), so it tends to be quieter, which I prefer, while Borders is a bit more convenient and is right across from two of my shoe stores. favorites.
Bottom line then: I love to read, I love to buy books, and I especially love when I can follow that immediately with a hit of caffeine. I think it’s a shame there aren’t more small independent bookstores in town (or not that I’ve discovered yet, at least), but if I come back from any outings with a new novel under my arm, ‘I’m all smiles.