Do you already have more craft books than you know what to do with? Do you need to clear out those you’ve finished with so that you don’t feel as guilty about buying the ever more tempting new books? Then I just might have a solution for you.
Set in a old Victorian railway station, easily found by car just off the A1 on the approach into Alnwick, (Northumberland), ‘Barter Books’ is one of this country’s largest second hand book shops. As the name suggests, this is where books can be exchanged. So take the ones you no longer need and see what you can find.
There is nothing better on a cold winter’s day, than walking in through the front door of Barter Books to the warmth and smell of freshly brewed coffee. The entrance room is full of book cases stacked with thrillers, romances, modern and historical novels, with a lovely open fire keeping the readers warm who sit in comfy chairs, drinking coffee and nibbling cookies, paid for in the ‘honesty box’ provided.
This room leads into a larger one that has an impressive mural of famous past writers on the wall above, but the fascination for all those little visitors is the model train that trundles past over head above the bookshelves. Children have their own room too, off to the side of here with toys to play with and cushions to sit on, where a world of children’s books just sit waiting to be discovered.
A further room that stretches the length of the station contains many more sections, including the craft and cookery books, with glass cases holding the older, rare books and first additions. It is easy to spend an hour or two here, especially as there is a cafe where you can grab something to eat. Then take your coffee and cake into one of the old waiting rooms and check out the books before you buy them.
With a limit of 1 box or 2 bags of books per customer, take your old ones and see what you can exchange them for. They may not exchange all of your books, but you will be given credit for those they take and if you don’t use all of your credit, they hold it for you until next time. It really isn’t a problem for any book lovers out there like me, to use up any credit.
The store is open every day of the year except Christmas Day, so bear it in mind this winter if you are wondering what to do and free up some space on your bookshelves for lots of new craft books.
Tel: 01665 604888