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11 Most Charming Second-Hand Book Shops in Manchester

11 Most Charming Second-Hand Book Shops in Manchester 

Manchester’s charm isn’t just in its bustling streets and musical heritage; it’s also hidden in the corners of its beloved second-hand book shops. Each store is a portal to past worlds and forgotten tales, waiting to be rediscovered by new generations of readers.

These treasure troves offer more than just books—they provide a glimpse into the literary soul of the city, with every shelf and stack telling its own story.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the nooks and crannies of Manchester’s most charming second-hand book shops, where the love for literature continues to thrive.

Paramount Books

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Website: Paramount Books

Address: 25 Shudehill, Manchester M4 2AF, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 834 9509

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Sat 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sun 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Paramount Books isn’t just another bookshop; it’s a cultural crossroad, bringing a piece of Pakistan to Manchester since 1965. Nestled near Shudehill, this spot is famed for its eclectic mix of vintage comics, rare magazines, and classic vinyl. 

But there’s more – it also showcases a vast array of publications from Paramount Publications, a leading Pakistani publisher since 1948. Whether you’re a professional, an academic, or just a curious mind, you’ll find books covering everything from medical sciences to children’s tales. 

And if you’re tech-savvy, check out their e-books and educational software, bridging traditional reading with digital innovation.

Pro tip:
Dig into their collection of autobiographies and non-fiction; it’s a great way to explore diverse lives and stories.

Anywhere Out of The World

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Website: Anywhere Out of The World

Address: 111 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2HY, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Fri 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sat 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

This cosy nook, Anywhere Out of The World, is your gateway to distant lands and adventures untold. Located in the bustling area of Piccadilly, it specialises in travel narratives and maps, perfect for planning your next escape or just dreaming about it.

It’s a small shop, but every inch is packed with potential journeys. Here, travel buffs can immerse themselves in a world of exploration and discovery without ever leaving the city.

The shop occasionally hosts author readings and signings, providing a platform for travellers to connect and share experiences. Knowledgeable staff are always on hand to offer advice on the best reads for your next destination or to help track down rare and elusive titles. 

Pro tip:
Grab a travel guide and a map, and start plotting your next holiday right in the shop!

Chorlton Bookshop

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Website: Chorlton Bookshop

Address: 506 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester M21 9AW, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 881 6374

Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM

Stepping into Chorlton Bookshop is like visiting a mate’s house – if your mate had a fantastic collection of books and a knack for making you feel right at home. 

Established in 1983 in the heart of Chorlton, this family-owned gem offers a thoughtfully selected range of new and classic reads, not to mention an ever-changing array of greetings cards, Jellycat toys, stamps, and book tokens. 

It’s the kind of place where both kids and grown-ups can find their next favourite book, all with a friendly chat and a personal touch from the knowledgeable staff.

Pro tip:
Pop in for the latest bestseller and snag a quirky greeting card or a cuddly Jellycat toy while you’re at it.

Didsbury Village Bookshop

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Website: Didsbury Village Bookshop

Address: 719 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 6WF, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 445 7629

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Sat 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sun 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Nestled inside the Art of Tea café, Didsbury Village Bookshop offers a unique experience where you can sip a cuppa while browsing through stacks of second-hand books. 

This good-sized bookshop in the heart of Didsbury is a local favourite, boasting an eclectic mix of literature that spans all genres. From classic novels to contemporary thrillers, it’s a place where stories old and new beckon you to explore. 

It’s easy to while away an afternoon here, tea in hand, uncovering tales as rich as the brews they serve.

Pro tip:
Grab a brew from the café and settle in for an afternoon of reading; it’s the best way to enjoy this charming little bookshop.


Media from blackwellbooks

Website: Blackwell’s

Address: University Green, 146 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9GP, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 274 3331

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Sat 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sun 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Blackwell’s University Bookshop is a cornerstone of Manchester’s university district, positioned right on Oxford Road. 

It’s not just for the academically inclined; this leading academic bookshop packs its shelves with the newest bestsellers, a hefty selection of textbooks, and an array of fiction and popular non-fiction. 

The shop is a bustling hub for book lovers, frequently hosting a thriving events programme featuring author talks and signings. Whether you’re a student, scholar, or just a lover of good books, Blackwell’s is your go-to for intellectual nourishment.

Pro tip:
Keep an eye on their events calendar; the author events are fantastic opportunities to dive deeper into the literary world.

Chapter One Books

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Website: Chapter One Books

Address: Chatsworth House, 19 Lever St, Manchester M1 1BY, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 839 8341

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sat – Sun 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Born from a family’s love for great books, amazing cakes, and good coffee, Chapter One Books is more than just a bookstore; it’s a community gathering spot in the Northern Quarter. 

This independent bookstore and café charms with its eclectic mix of reads, from indie gems to mainstream blockbusters, and a café that buzzes with the chatter of friends and bookworms alike. 

All coffees and specialty drinks cost just £3, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a quality brew while you dive into your latest purchase. The cosy ambiance and friendly faces make every visit a pleasure.

Pro tip:
Make sure to try one of their homemade cakes while you’re there; they’re as delightful as the books!

Oxfam Books

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Website: Oxfam Books

Address: 330 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9NG, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 273 1834

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Sat 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Sun 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Oxfam Books on Oxford Road is your local gateway to a world of books with a cause. As part of a massive network that feeds into Oxfam’s global humanitarian efforts, this shop boasts a vast collection that’s always expanding. 

From the latest bestsellers and fireside fiction to specialty books in travel and history, there’s always something new to discover. The shop is run by expert volunteers who are as passionate about books as they are about the charity’s mission.

If you’re looking for a rare first edition or need advice on the must-reads of the season, they’ve got you covered.

Pro tip:
Don’t miss their extensive collection of classic children’s books—perfect for rekindling those nostalgic childhood memories.

Forbidden Planet

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Website: Forbidden Planet

Address: 65 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JR, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 839 4777

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Sat 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Sun 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Forbidden Planet isn’t just a store; it’s an institution in the world of sci-fi, fantasy, and cult entertainment. Touted as the world’s largest retailer in its niche, this shop on Oldham Street is a mecca for fans of all stripes. 

Whether you’re into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, or Doctor Who, Forbidden Planet has you sorted with an array of comics, graphic novels, action figures, and collectibles. 

Their shelves are regularly updated with the latest manga releases, keeping true to the original right-to-left format. It’s a place where all your favourite heroes and villains come alive, right in the heart of Manchester.

Pro tip:
Check out their extensive range of graphic novels and comics, especially the latest arrivals—they’re perfect for staying on top of your favourite series.

Clampdown Records

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Website: Clampdown Records

Address: 9-11 Paton St, Manchester M1 2BA, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 237 5932

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Fri 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sat 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sun Closed

Clampdown Records, just a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Gardens, is not just about music—though, of course, it’s a paradise for vinyl lovers. 

This indie gem also boasts a curated selection of music-related books and biographies that delve into the lives of music legends and the rich history of rock and pop. 

With its laid-back vibe and shelves filled with both classic and contemporary tunes, it’s the perfect place for music aficionados to explore. Whether you’re a seasoned collector looking for a rare vinyl or a newbie eager to start your musical journey, Clampdown is your go-to spot.

Pro tip:
Chat with the staff—they’re not just knowledgeable; they’re passionate music fans and can guide you to some real record treasures.


Media from waterstones

Website: Waterstones

Address: 91 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 161 837 3000

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Fri 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sat 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Sun 11:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Nestled in the bustling Deansgate area, Waterstones is more than just a bookshop—it’s a vibrant cultural hub where literature meets leisure. 

As one of Waterstones’ Games Flagships, the shop has significantly expanded its games section, offering everything from board games and card games to strategy challenges and puzzles. 

Whether you pop in for a bestseller or get drawn into the aisles by their extensive game collection, you’re bound to leave with more than you came for. The enthusiastic staff are always on hand to recommend your next page-turner or the perfect game for your next get-together.

Pro tip:
Explore their board games section; the range is fantastic, and you might just find the perfect addition to your game night lineup.


Media from cex

Website: CeX

Address: 34 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JN, United Kingdom

Contact Details: +44 844 318 0312

Opening Hours: 

  • Mon – Sat 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Sun 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

CeX on Oldham Street is a bustling hub for thrifty tech enthusiasts and bookworms alike. Known primarily for its trade-in and resale of electronics, CeX also offers a treasure trove of used books at bargain prices. 

This is the place to hunt for that out-of-print novel or to catch up on a series without denting your wallet. 

The shop’s lively atmosphere and constantly changing inventory make each visit a new adventure—whether you’re looking to swap your old games and DVDs for something new or you’re on the hunt for a budget-friendly read!

Pro tip:
Take advantage of their trade-in policy to refresh your bookshelf or tech collection without splurging.

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