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A Guide To The Best Bookshops In Oxford

Billie Manning

Oxford is known for being one of the UK's premier literary cities, inspiring writers from J.R.R. Tolkein to Philip Pullman. But where are the best places to go to pick up some literary inspiration of your own?

Oxfam
You can always trust Oxfam to be a treasure trove of hidden bargains, and if you’re on the hunt for some great cheap books, this Oxfam bookshop – the first in the world, set up in 1987 – is perfect. The shop is split into several sections on the ground floor – fiction, crime and history – while there are yet more stacks of novels and more waiting to be discovered in the basement. Staffed by friendly volunteers, it’s all for a good cause, so stock up now - you’ll be doing both your bookshelves and the world a favour.
 
56 St Giles Street, Oxford OX1 3LU

Arcadia
Though largely a store for purchasing cards and interior décor, Arcadia has a pretty fab selection of vintage books to be had – including a large selection of neat orange Penguin classics – largely stocked outside and perfect for browsing through in the sun. And if you’re hungry from all that browsing, sit down for lunch at the Nosebag next door, a particularly attractive dining option for veggies and vegans, who’ll find a host of delicious options waiting for them alongside meat dishes.

4 St Michael’s St, Oxford OX1 2DU
 
The Last Bookshop
Take a short walk away from the city centre up to Jericho to find this picturesque red-fronted shop with mint-coloured tables and chairs scattered about its front. Last Bookstore is an exceptional gem – selling surplus stock, it has lots of great-condition books going for cheap. Most of the books are a delightful £3-4, with two £3 books going for just a fiver, so you can pick up as many books as your heart desires without burning a hole in your pocket. Downstairs, you’ll find second-hand books organised with categories, with some gorgeously bound finds. You’re sure to keep coming back.

25 Walton St, Oxford OX1 2HQ
 
Blackwell’s Art Store
This specialist Blackwell’s store specialises in art and design books. Here you’ll find everything from big shiny coffee table books on feminist art in the 20thcentury to ambitious architectural design hardbacks. All the books are so good-looking it’s hard not to make off with half the shop in your bag. What’s more, they have a large section downstairs dedicated to comics and comic paraphernalia, as well as board games – nerdy heaven!

27 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BS
 
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