If you’re in southwest England, there are some great bookshops you can visit. In this article, we’ve featured 10 of the best bookshops in Devon.
Mark Chapman opened Paragon Books in Sidmouth in the early 2000s. Since then, it has become THE independent bookshop to visit in East Devon. While many of their 5000+ titles for sale are made up of popular fiction and nonfiction books, many of the titles are written by local authors or are set in local areas. Paragon Books also sells CDs, DVDs, posters, stationary, and even paintings by local artist Susan Paradise. And if they don’t have it, they can do next day ordering on almost any title!
The following banner is an affiliate one. That means Writing Tips Oasis receive a small % of the sale if you purchase The Novel Factory, but at no extra cost to you:
In 2021, Meg and Will took over Arcturus Books in Totnes to provide Devon with a bookshop catering towards the more spiritual and introspective genres, including books focused on psychology, self-improvement, health, nutrition, and even the more occult teachings of Wicca, Paganism, and alternative lifestyles. You can see what they have in stock through their online catalogue; if you can’t find what you’re looking for, they may be able to order for next day delivery.
To find out about future events or stay up to date on what’s next in Arcturus Books, you can visit Meg’s and Will’s blog or sign up for their newsletter. To find out more about the bookshop or see how you can host an event there, contact them using their online message form.
When the Harbour Bookshop in Dartmouth closed in 2011, the community of Dartmouth filled the void it left with a community-operated, not-for-profit bookstore referred to simply as the Dartmouth Community Bookshop. Their shelves are stocked with adult and children fiction and nonfiction spanning a variety of topics, such as history, biography, hobbies and science. They even sell Winnie-the-Pooh books and items in memory of Harbour Bookshop’s founder Christopher Robin Milne. They also offer online ordering and delivery.
While Dartmouth Community Bookshop does not advertise many events, they do accept World Book Day tokens and National Book Trust tokens to encourage young people to keep reading. You can find out more about the bookshop and what they offer by contacting them.
Opened in 1998 in Bideford, Walter Henry’s Bookshop prides themselves on being the go-to independent bookshop of North Devon. They offer a wide collection of titles including out-of-print and first edition texts, as well as new releases and bestsellers. If you can’t make it into their shop, you can order from their full catalogue online.
Walter Henry’s Bookshop hosts some events such as author signings and book talks. To find out more about what events they have on or for any other questions, contact them by phone or email.
Also in Totnes, East Gate Bookshop opened on Fore Street in 2020 and have become the area’s premier bookshop stocking titles all about the natural world, as well as popular fiction and nonfiction. They also stock local authors and books about the local area, as well as a large selection of children’s books and authors. You can view their online catalogue here.
East Gate Bookshop hosts a number of different events, including an annual literary festival, their Wild Book Talk series and a monthly “Books and Beer” book group at the local New Lion brewery. Contact them to find out more about these events or even how to schedule your own.
6. Book Stop
The Book Stop bookshop in Tavistock houses two floors stocked with titles from all the popular UK genres, as well as music, films and even American titles not normally in print in the UK. They are particularly proud of their range of children’s books and books by local authors.
While the Book Stop does host author and book events, the best way to find out is to sign up for their newsletter here. You can also contact them directly for any other information about their stock or upcoming events.
Located in Axminster, Archway Bookshop has been one of Devon’s premier independent bookshops since 1966. They carry all the popular and contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, and while they encourage visitors to come to their shop to bask in its history, you can order from their online catalogue here. There’s even a loyalty scheme for repeat visitors.
Archway Bookshop hosts two monthly book clubs, one at the Archway Bookshop itself and one at the Colyton Garden Shop. To find out how to join these book shops, start your own, or for any other questions, contact them by email or their social media sites.
In Okehampton, the Dogberry & Finch offers a space for local authors and painters to showcase their work to the community. Besides local authors, they also carry a range of genres and titles, including graphic novels, children’s books, maps, and bestselling fiction and nonfiction.
Events at the Dogberry & Finch are just as varied; from comedy nights to author talks to writing workshops, there is something for everyone. To find out if they have a particular book or just ask any other questions, contact them by email or phone.
9. The Bookery
The Bookery in Crediton has been a community-owned and -operated bookshop since 2013. They carry all the current and bestselling fiction, nonfiction and children’s books. They also have a selection of signed copies for sale, as well as a selection of non-book items, such as stationary, calendars, and other small gifts.
What’s most important at The Bookery is their ethos of promoting and encouraging literacy throughout the community. Besides the author talk events hosted at the bookshop itself, The Bookery also reaches out to local schools and colleges to provide them with author workshops, book fairs, book clubs and even support for oral history and reading projects. For any other questions, contact The Bookery using their online contact form or by email.
Derek Dawkes opened Westcountry Books in Newton Abbot in the late 2010s. As their name suggests, their stock focuses on books about the West Country and by West Country authors. They also stock popular fiction, nonfiction and children’s books, as well as books about the railway, history, craft and military topics.
You can see some of the new local titles here, as well as follow any of the important or new events happening at Westcountry Books. Contact them for more information or if you’re looking for a particular title in stock.