Visit the 6 Best Bookshops in York: Autumnal Reading

Visit the 6 Best Bookshops in York: Autumnal Reading

Do you love cosying up on a crisp autumn evening and delving into the depths of a gripping book? 


There’s something comforting and magical about curling up in front of a roaring fire with fluffy socks, blankets and hot chocolate, and allowing your imagination to run wild as you get lost in your latest read.


There’s nothing quite like the search for a new book; the seemingly endless shelves creaking under the weight of hundreds of stories, each one waiting to be devoured. 


We understand the love of finding new bookshops to meander through; that’s why we’ve put together this guide to the 6 best bookshops in York:


  1. Visit The Little Apple Bookshop

The Little Apple Bookshop is a quaint and quirky, independently run shop in the heart of York. Hundreds of books line the shelves, whilst posters of books adorn the walls.


The shop opened in 1997 and has been a familiar sight on High Petergate ever since. During the Coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns, The Little Apple Bookshop opened an online store in order to continue trading - which proved to be a success. The store is now up and running, but is continuing its postal service too.


As well as books, the little shop also sells a small range of other items, such as bookmarks, toys and canvas bags, making it the perfect place to hunt down special gifts.


  1. Visit Janette Ray Booksellers

A traditionally wonky York bookshop, Janette Ray Booksellers is a medieval, timber-framed building, located just minutes from York Minster.


Local craftsmen worked to restore the ruinous building and recover its original features, bringing it back to life. It boasts low ceilings, wooden beams, a large fireplace and stone walls, as well as some more contemporary features to bring it into the 21st century.


The shop buys and sells rare and out-of-print books, ranging from design and architecture to fine art, mostly published between 1800 and 1950 - with some of the works being original pieces.

  1. Best Bookshops in York: Ken Spelman Books

Ken Spelman Books was established in York in 1948 and is every book collector’s dream.


The staff provide professional and confidential advice on rare and secondhand books, manuscripts and documents. With over 70 years of experience, Ken Spelman Books is adept at dealing with experienced collectors and first-time buyers/sellers alike. 


So, whether you’re buying or selling, or would simply just like to peruse its offerings and marvel at the dated books and rare finds, a wander through the store will certainly pique your interest.

  1. The Minster Gate Bookshop

The Minster Gate Bookshop is a treasure trove full of antiquarian and second-hand books. Minster Gate has been associated with books and bookselling since 1580 and was formerly known as Bookland Lane. Its affiliation with literature long continues with the presence of this beautiful bookshop.


The five-storey Georgian townhouse is abundant with books covering a wide range of subjects and themes, its rich history adding to the grandeur of the books that line its bowing shelves.


Minster Gate Bookshop specialises in children's and illustrated books, folklore and Arthurian literature. They also sell a range of old maps and prints and other delicate, rare pieces that will fascinate and captivate you as you delve into the wondrous history of York.

  1. Best Bookshops in York: The Grimoire Bookshop

The Grimoire Bookshop is overflowing with books and trinkets; everywhere you look is another corner dripping with treasures.


The shop has a magical, quirky feel to it, further enhanced by its floor dedicated to sci-fi and fantasy.


There are many other unusual features to this bookshop, which make it unlike any other in York. There are wooden masks hanging from the walls, and mirrors reflect the walls lined with books, enhancing the store's comforting feeling of abundance.

  1. Meander Through Fossgate Books

Named after the street it sits on, Fossgate Books looks as though it’s been pulled straight from a storybook itself. The large front window is outlined in a picturesque green frame and displays floor-to-ceiling stacks of beautiful books that entice passers-by to ‘just nip in.’


With two floors to explore, you’ll spend hours sifting through the thousands of titles on offer, marvelling at the beautiful covers of old and forgotten books, waiting to be read again. 


Adventure upon adventure waits on every shelf; you’d be hard-pressed not to find your next read here.


If this blog has tapped into your inner bookworm, why not book a room with us here at Galtres Lodge? We’re perfectly situated in the heart of York so you can walk to each bookshop with ease. If your loved one is the bookworm of the family, why not treat them to a weekend away and purchase a Galtres Lodge gift card?


If you’d like more ideas for things to do during your stay, check out our previous blog on the best ways to spend your luxury weekend break in York.