A History of Literature in Leeds
The bookshops in Leeds are diverse and extensive, reflecting the fact that Leeds itself is home to a range of famous writers including Barbara Taylor Bradford and Tony Harrison.
J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, even lived in Leeds for a time whilst he worked at Leeds University as a professor of English Language.
More recently, friend of the blog, Stu Hennigan is set to release his debut book, Ghost Signs: Poverty and the Pandemic, exploring social inequality in the UK.
Must-Visit Leeds Bookshops
I first stumbled into OK Comics by accident during my first year at university and was taken aback by how impressive it is. The owner is really kind and welcoming, whether you’re new to comics and graphic novels or a seasoned veteran.
One awesome thing about Leeds’ OK Comics is their free regular order service. Even if you’re not a local, you can still get your hands on the latest issues of your favourite comic book series, with free delivery as standard. Pretty neat!
Next time you’re in Leeds, do pop by OK Comics. It’s a proper old-fashioned comic book store, cozy and inviting, and a memorable bookish spot.
In fact, The Little Bookshop is the only independent children’s bookshop in Leeds. Featuring regular author reading events, it’s perfect for families looking to find the next book they can read together.
Championing LGBTIQA+ authors, The Bookish Type’s mantra is to ensure that its readers feel seen in the books they read.
Stocking fiction, children’s books, YA, memoirs, poetry, short stories, zines, non-fiction, colouring books and graphic novels, The Bookish Type has a bit of everything!
They also some brilliant community outreach schemes such as a book club for older LGBTQIA+ people. A brilliant Leeds bookshop that’s conveniently located and well worth visiting.
4) Philip Howard Books
Featuring a wide range of books, they also offer an ordering service over the phone and via email, whilst students, reading groups, and teachers can benefit from generous discounts.
Roundhay also has some great bars and pubs nearby.
The bookshop also includes a not-for-profit art gallery, showcasing talent from Leeds and beyond.
Holding book launches and art exhibitions, Village is a really neat little place in the centre of Leeds, if you’re into your art & photography.
Arguably the most beautiful place on this list, The Grove Bookshop, based in Ilkley is one of the most popular independent bookshops in the UK.
It’s also the official bookseller of the annual Ilkley book festival!
A short train ride from Leeds, The Grove Bookshop has everything, ranging from brand-new bestsellers to quirky, less well-known titles.
Plus, if you’re looking for something particular, they can order it in for you in time for the next day! Efficient.
If you’re not local, you can browse their full stock online and either get your book delivered or stocked ahead of your visit.
Beginning as a small shop in Headingley, Travelling Man can now be found in Leeds City Centre proper, as with a small handful of additional stores around the UK.
Owners Simon & Nabil are knowledgeable about all things table-top gaming, and love to stock books and comics that explore the boundaries of what is possible, hence ‘Travelling Man’.
This is a must-visit indie bookshop.
One of the newer independent bookshops on this list, Truman Books opened its doors in early 2021 and has proven a hit success since.
It’s all about the community here. Truman Books wants you to stay, have a drink, and chat whilst browsing the shelves.
From storytime sessions for children to bookish chats with both emerging and established authors Truman offers something for everyone. It’s a beautiful place and well worth visiting.
How many of these Leeds bookshops have you visited? Let me know some of your favourites in the comments below!