The best bookshops of Norwich

Norwich (a certified UNESCO City of Literature) is full to the brim with bookshops, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed on where to get your literary fix, here’s a handy guide.

My personal favourite Norwich bookshop is City Bookshop on Davey Street, as it contains an abundance of bargains. Most of their brand-new classics will only set you back £4 – I rarely buy new books for environmental reasons, but sometimes it’s nice to inhale that brand-new book smell.

Frequenting The Book Hive is a rite of passage for any LDC student at UEA, and a popular choice among Norwich-abiding bibliophiles, and it is easy to see why. One of Norwich’s many independent bookstores, it’s packed with obscure finds and adored classics. They also have an adorable children’s section, and you are never too old for the occasional kid’s book.

I feel apprehensive about including a chain, considering Norwich is packed full of independents, but Waterstones in Castle Meadow is one of my favourite places ever. The Cafe inside is so spacious that it’s the perfect space for both studying and wasting away a few hours by engrossing yourself in a good novel. Even though I usually buy second-hand, Waterstone’s is ideal for a rare treat.

An option for used books is The Amnesty Bookshop on Unthank Road. The books are cheap, the staff are friendly, and sales go to Amnesty International – what’s not to love? They also sell a range of environmentally friendly gifts – from candles to chocolates to socks, which I adore.

Tombland Bookshop is one of Norwich’s hidden gems. It feels as if you have stumbled into an immensely old library. I rarely buy anything in there because the books are quite old, usually collector’s editions, and a tad pricey, but I get enough satisfaction just by looking.

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Anastasia Christodoulou

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September 2021
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