The Best Independent Bookshops in Leeds

Bookshops | © Free Photos / Pixabay
Emma Lavelle

It’s become increasingly hard to track down quality independent bookshops with more and more people going straight to Amazon rather than seeking out traditional shops. This move towards purchasing books online has seen much-loved shops such as The Bookshop Kirkstall unfortunately close their doors, but there are still several flourishing independent stores in and around Leeds, offering a wide range of print publications to their niche audiences. Here are four local book stores offering something a little bit different.

Colours May Vary, Leeds City Centre


Going strong since opening its doors in 2012, Colours May Vary was the first design-focused book store in Leeds. Offering a variety of beautifully presented books and magazines, mainly focused around the design industries, a trip to this beautifully laid-out store is sure to inspire. Stocking stylish stationery, unique prints, greeting cards and gifts alongside their main offering of print publications, it’s impossible to leave without making a purchase. Head here to discover coffee table and informative books themed around typography, illustration, product design and art, alongside a collection of popular independent magazines such as Flow, Apartmentoand Cereal.

The Grove Bookshop, Ilkley

Shop, Store

A short trip away from Leeds, you’ll discover one of the most important independent bookstores in the north of England. The Grove is the official bookseller for the Ilkley Literature Festival, providing signed copies of books by authors attending the annual event. The ground floor of the shop is laid out as a traditional book store, selling both fiction and non-fiction titles spanning a diverse range of genres. If you’re interested in local history, walking guides or beautifully presented photo books depicting Yorkshire landscapes, their local travel section is particularly comprehensive. There’s also Grove Music in the basement where you’ll find an impressive collection of CDs, records and sheet music.

Village Books, Leeds City Centre

Store, Bookstore

Located in the beautiful Victorian surroundings of the Thornton Arcade in Leeds city centre, Village is a pioneering book store offering a diverse range of independently published books and magazines focused around art and design, fashion and photography. Run by Benjamin Holmes and Joe Torr, the two friends thrive on discovering interesting publications that can’t be found elsewhere in the area. Locally published zines and unusual tomes sit alongside niche magazines focusing on everything from typography to cycling, food and architecture.

Ok Comics, Leeds City Centre

Ok Comics, Leeds City Centre

Also located in Thornton’s Arcade, OK Comics is a mecca for locals with an interest in classic comics and graphic novels. Devoted comic book fans will find a diverse range of genres to browse with a comprehensive collection of collectable comics as well as new titles to try. For those wishing to dip their toes into graphic novels for the first time or seeking a gift for a comic book lover, the well-informed staff are more than happy to offer recommendations and advice.

OK Comics, 19, Thornton’s Arcade, 14 Briggate, Leeds +44 113 246 9366

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