Oxford is brimming with brilliant bookshops. For literary lovers, the City of Dreaming Spires is the perfect place to visit. As you stroll the atmospheric streets you’ll stumble upon small independent bookshops, big chain bookshops as well as plenty of second-hand bookshops too. Here are some of the best bookshops in Oxford that should be on every bookworm’s list.
The 7 Best Bookshops in Oxford
Established in 1879, Blackwell’s is one of Oxford’s, and the UK’s, most famous bookshops. It has occupied 50 Broad Street since Victorian times and is an iconic bookshop in Oxford. The fabulous Norrington Room has over three miles (4.8km) of shelving which houses 160,000 volumes. There is a terrific rare books department and great second-hand department too. Even though Blackwell’s of Oxford is steeped in history it sells all the lastest books too.
With a bright red shopfront nestled between old brick buildings, the Last Bookshop catches your eye and draws you in. You’ll find plenty of reasonably priced books in this Jerico neighbourhood bookshop which stocks both secondhand and remainder books. Staff are super friendly and knowledge and love helping customers find brilliant books. The Last Bookshop regularly hosts readings and book launches too, so keep an eye on its website for more details.
If you are looking for rare and secondhand books, pay a visit to St Philip’s Books at 82 St Aldates which is opposite Christ Church Gardens. This bookshop specialises in the humanities and in particular theology, history, literature, philosophy, art and the classics. This quaint bookshop is a perfect place to quench your thirst for knowledge. Once you have your book in hand, stroll over to the nearby gardens to read and relax.
The Oxford University Press is the world’s largest and most prolific university press. Since 1872 the OUP has had a shop front on Oxford’s High Street and today it is a treasure trove of books from across the Press’s global output. On the well-laid-out shelves, you’ll discover books on all manner of subjects including Oxford’s English Language Teaching materials and educational and general books for children.
Waterstones in Oxford has five floors filled with books, stationery and gifts. It is located in a beautiful Grade II listed building called William Blake House which stands resplendent on the corner of Cornmarket Street and The Broad. The eyecatching window displays do a great job of enticing you inside where you’ll find a huge selection of books, including a large Harry Potter collection. If you are looking for somewhere peaceful to work, grab a table in the bookshop cafe, although, you may be distracted by the great views.
Looking for a rare edition of a book or an antique print or map? Then make sure you pay a visit to Sanders on Oxford’s High Street. It is one of the last remaining, general antique print-sellers left in the world, and my word it has an exquisite collection. Its beautiful window displays stop you in your tracks and you feel like you are stepping back in time when you step through its door. You’ll find a lovely collection of works by UK based contemporary printmakers too.
Located in the area of Summertown, just 2 miles (3.2km) from Oxford centre, is Daunt Books, which is a branch of the famous Daunt bookshop in London. As you can image, it is jam-packed with all manner of books and is a haven for lovers of literature. From poetry to psychology, politics to photography, the shelves of Daunt Books are heaving.