Friday, 15 October 2010

Barter Books

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Barter Books in Northumberland is the best book shop I have ever been to. A bold statement perhaps, maybe I haven't visited enough book shops in my life. But this second hand bookstore has everything I could hope for in the perfect shop. It is one of those hidden gems you read about but never imagine could be right on your doorstep.

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It's housed in an old Victorian railway station in Alnwick, Northumberland in the North of England and retains many of the original features. The Old Waiting Room for example, where we enjoyed coffee and cake. With a nod to it's former rail roots, there is a darling little miniature train running along a track when you look up towards the ceiling.

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I have been looking for a long time to start up a collection of old Penguin classics but as hard as I look each time I go to the flea-market or charity shops, I never seem able to find them. Here, there were so many to choose from. Unfortunately, the £4.80 price tag put me off a little, so I ended up with a Penguin mini for 40p instead.

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There were many, many classic books with lots of children's books from around the 1940's locked away in glass cabinets selling for hundreds of pounds.

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There was some vintage music playing in the background and lots of comfortable velvet sofas and chairs around to encourage relaxation and pondering over the books. I liked also to see an array of quotations pinned up on the walls around the whole store.

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It was my first visit to the book shop, although not to Alnwick itself. Alnwick is mostly famous for it's Gardens and I have recently read that entry to the Gardens will be free over the Winter months to maintain the tourist trade in the area. So I definitely envisage another trip to the bookstore when I next visit the Gardens.

50 comments:

  1. I am in love with this place! You are beyond lucky to have that. There's NOTHING like that where I live.

    & I've been dying to have a Penguin Classics collection, I just never come across any.

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  2. I love all of these photos, they're beautiful! x

    http://pagesixxx.blogspot.com

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  3. The photos indeed show it's a great place to visit. How I wish I can be there in a blink of an eye :-)

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  4. This book shop is just lovely ! I'd like to go there. I love old books and these are just gorgeous !

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  5. I'm Bookish! I love reading good books or visiting lovely bookshops or librarys! But I've never seen a book shop as beautiful as this! It's a perfect dream and I coulnd't stop viewing these Pictures! Oh luck you.
    You're sooo lucky to have this fairyland a few steps from your doorstep. Thank you so much for sharing! xx, Alice :)

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  6. you take lovely pictures, it's like i'm there with how you take it. :D

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  7. It does seem like the perfect bookstore!

    Leia

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  8. omg!! I am in love with this bookshop!! I MUST go there... I collect old and antique books :)

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  9. A perfect, perfect, perfect bookshop. I love that you have so many photos of poetry shelves, and a quote from Li Bai (Li Po in the photo). I will email you with details of my own writing escapades.

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  10. wow it looks great there! :) i love your picutres

    <3

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  11. Wonderful place! Ur photos are incredible beautiful...

    Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ
    Janet

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  12. such a nice place, I want to go there:)

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  13. such a nice place, Iwant to go there

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  14. wow! i would love to be able to visit such a place imbued with history!
    xoxo

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  15. It looks absolutely divine! I will have to try and visit it sometime, if I'm ever in Northern England.

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  16. Oh wow this is my dream shop what a fabtastic place I'm in awe I really need to go here it's like book heaven xoxo

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  17. Bookstores are one of my favourite places! This has a wonderful retro decoration and the fact that it's placed in an ancient station gives it a special allure.

    Have a great weekend!

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  18. I simply loooove your pictures!!! I just discovered your Blog, via Dottis MadMen-Feature! I love it!!! <3

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  19. Gorgeous photographs, you've got a gift for spotting a beautiful scene.
    I love the iconic orange cover of the old Penguins and grouped together even the dullest title looks appealing. xxx

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  20. *faints* What an amazing place, and captured so wonderfully by your eye and camera! I would spend hours there...hours browsing, another hour snacking, and more hours (if they permitted it) trying to capture gorgeous photos as you have. Thank you for sharing this cave of wonders!

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  21. I went here a couple of years ago and I really loved it too =) I'm planning another visit sometime very soon hopefully, I could spend all day in there I think!

    http://xrebelangelx.blogspot.com/

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  22. OH MY GOODNESS!
    i am in love.
    and full of jealousy.
    this place looks absolutely amazing.
    i would be in heaven if i could go there... ahhh.
    have a lovely weekend.
    xoox

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  23. Lovely photos - it looks positively sumptuous.

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  24. I love these old british libraries !

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  25. What a gorgeous place! I love that they stayed true to the railway setting and made the space so comfortable (I was sold when I saw the fireplace). And the collection looks magnificent as well. I've always had a soft spot for bookstores, especially the more traditional ones.

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  26. Wow, this looks like the most gorgeous place! I am in love with bookshops of all sorts, shapes and sizes. One of my favourite fantasies is owning my own bookshop but alas I tihnk I'd spend more time reading the stock than selling it!

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  27. This is a book store? I'm in love! I would love to visit, I've not seen anything like it. Amazing!

    B:)nnie

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  28. WOW. I would want to work there if I lived near it. It's beautiful!!

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  29. thıs ıs an absolutely lovely lookıng lıttle place...ha allıteratıon ın theme wıth lıterature! wasnt ıntended...
    margief
    x
    www.margieheartsclothes.blogspot.com

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  30. this place looks incredible, i didn't even know places like this existed. i'm used to regular non-descript shuffy libraries but this is another level.

    one to put in the address book! great post

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  31. Wow! my kind of heaven!!
    i think it would be worth a visit to Alnwick to just to visit the bookstore
    x

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  32. That's good to know about Alnwick Gardens, I love the Treehouse.

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  33. Very nice photos. I love Breakfast at Tiffany´s :)

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  34. Looks beautiful - love that fireplace!

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  35. I've heard of this book shop before and really want to visit. Your phots look great

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  36. Really love all of those photos, you are so lucky to have visited such a place- really beautiful and old-fashioned!

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  37. Such a beautiful post P, thank you for showing us around this rare gem of a place. I went once or twice when I was little but of course didnt take in the same things you do as an adult. It just seemed like dusty old books to me then!
    I heard that part of Alnwick gardens may be being closed down. I didn't catch the whole news item though so unsure of details.
    Love to you, kx

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  38. wow you make even non-fashion objects like artichecture and books look like they're straight from the pages of vogue! =)

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  39. Isn't it just amazing?! I adore Barter Books, enough to have £65 worth of credit on my account :p I'm forever taking old books up to exchange.

    Their lemon drizzle cake is truly delicious too.

    Katie xox

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  40. Oh I love these pictures. There is a curiosity-antique shop that I accidentally ended up in and it was full of amazing hard bound books like the Dickens set and random things like 60s sunglasses. I want to find a place like that in Birmingham!

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  41. This place is a must see, I love how old it looks, this place has a great history..
    Thanks for sharing :)

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  42. How sweetly English! I would love a little fall fleet over there right now. You seem to glow in this season. Is it your favorite?

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  43. I must travel especially to visit this...

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  44. it looks lovely.
    the photos are great and make you really feel the charme of this old bookshop.

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  45. What a gorgeous bookstore. My favourite 2nd hand one in Glasgow is Voltaire and Rousseau, everything's stacked up higgeldy-piggeldy but I always find something I want to read. xx
    http://www.weshopthereforeweare.co.uk/

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  46. This my be my favorite post that you've ever done. (: I love books, and I love old bookshops - and I love that this one is in an old train station! Completely perfect. It was so fun to take a trip there through your marvelous pictures. I was so excited to see the book about the Pre-Raphaelites, too. I have such an interest in them after seeing the miniseries Desperate Romantics last year. (I also share a birthday with Dante Gabriel Rosetti, yay!)

    Thank you for such a beautiful post, dear!

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  47. aww i want that book of old love poems & the wonderful pink velvet couch mm :)

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  48. WHOA! I wish we had more places like this near me :(.If I keep reading your blog, I'm going to convince myself to move!!

    Ripped Nylon

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  49. So pleased that you got there. Your pictures were great. We have a tradition at the Stencil Library where we take a day off in May, go to Barter books then on to Howick Hall for a good stroll around the gardens. We finish with tea and cakes at the Earl Grey rooms.

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