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The Norrington Room, Blackwell's | © Juan J. Martinez/WikiCommons
The Norrington Room, Blackwell's | © Juan J. Martinez/WikiCommons
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The Best Bookshops in Oxford, UK

Picture of Sarah Dawson
Updated: 12 June 2017
With its unbeatable literary history and the best selection of independent bookshops around, Oxford is heaven for book lovers. Of course you can expect to find the usual big chain bookshops in the city, but it’s the unique, indie stores run by people with a passion for reading that are the true gems here.
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No round up of Oxford bookshops would be complete without Blackwell’s. Arguably one of the most famous bookshops in the UK, Blackwell’s is an Oxford institution and home to over 250,000 books – yes, really! The Norrington Room has even earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest single room selling books in the world and at 10,000 square feet with three miles of shelving it’s not hard to see why. There are now nine branches of Blackwell’s in the city, but the original Broad Street shop is hands down the one to check out.

48-51 Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BQ +44 01865 792792

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Oxfam Bookshop

This two-storey shop situated in the heart of the city was the very first Oxfam bookshop to open back in 1987. It’s the place to go for second-hand books on all sorts of topics, expect to find everything from well-thumbed cookery books (perfect for Uni students who’ve just moved away from home) to hefty, academic tomes. Although buying second hand is usually a good way to save some money, don’t be surprised to find the odd pricey literary gem on the shelves. The shop is famous for selling a very rare, donated Graham Greene novel for £15,000 in 2008.

56 St Giles Street, Oxford OX1 3LU +44 01865 310145

Trawling charity shops in the sun 😎

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Albion Beatnik Bookstore

The Albion Beatnik Bookstore is as far away from a chain bookshop as you can get, which is precisely its charm. Situated in the cool neighbourhood of Jericho, it’s a quirky bookshop with a difference. Serving tea, coffee and cake, this wi-fi free zone is the ultimate place to spend an afternoon or evening (it’s open until 11pm most of the time) browsing the eclectic collection of titles on offer.

34 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AA +44 07737 876213

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The Book House

Just north of the city you’ll find The Book House, a light and airy independent bookshop offering a fantastic selection of books for adults and children. The three co-managers between them have a wealth of experience in the world of books and a great passion for reading, which is reflected in the wide range of hand-picked titles on sale. Here you can expect a friendly welcome and a relaxed environment, where you can browse the shelves to your heart’s content.

Prama House, 267 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7HT +44 01865 510887

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Last Bookshop

Not your typical discount bookshop, Last Bookshop stocks books covering a big range of topics from art and music, to fiction and philosophy, all at amazing bargain prices. It’s hugely popular with students and with good reason. There’s even a café here for you to sit down with a hot a drink while you make a start on your new purchases.

25 Walton Street, Oxford OX1 2HQ +44 01865 554488