Here's a selection of the Oxfordshire's independent bookshops for you to check out this winter.
Oxfordshire's independent bookshops are diverse and vibrant, and we are incredibly lucky to have them been able to visit many of them. And with so many many offering more than just books - think café, book clubs and author events, there are even more reasons to spend time in your local bookshop. Here's a selection of them for you to check out this winter. You'll find a growing list of Oxfordshire's independent bookshops in our directory here. Do be sure to let us know if we've missed out your local independent bookshop. You'll find our contact form here.
Coles Books, Bicester
Coles Books is an independent bookseller that has been a staple in the market town of Bicester for over 30 years and lays claim to being North Oxfordshire's oldest independent bookshop. Stocked with thousands of books and classic vinyl albums, and with a warm, friendly atmosphere, this is always a great place to browse, especially for signed and first editions. The ever so friendly staff are ready to help you choose the book or album you’ll remember forever.
Jaffé and Neale, Chipping Norton
Run by Patrick Neale and Polly Jaffé, Jaffé and Neale is a beautiful bookshop with a bustling café overlooking the Market Square in Chipping Norton that has been happily recommending books since 2001. The accompanying cafe is well-stocked with Aga-baked cakes from the classic Victoria Sponge to delicious gluten-free Clementine ones, and their epic Fifty Mile Fruit Cake. Visitors can fuel their bodies and minds, before heading on for a romantic walk in the Cotswolds.
Mostly Books, Abingdon
Mostly Books, a small, friendly, independent bookshop located in the heart of Abingdon, is Bertram’s 2019 Bookshop of the Year. The bookshop boasts an excellent range of books to purchase in person or via their website, phone, email, and social media, talented booksellers on hand, and free delivery within a five-mile radius.
The Bell Bookshop, Henley-on-Thames
Conveniently situated close to the river and the car park, The Bell Bookshop makes for an ideal stop on a family day out in the beautiful market town of Henley-on-Thames. The bookshop was opened in 1966, but the shop itself dates back to the 18th century. Whether you're looking for something new to read, or in search of a gift for a loved one, this indie bookshop stocks over 20,000 titles - from old childhood favourites to the latest obsession, including many books that the chain stores ignore.
The Book House, Thame
As you wander along Thame’s High Street, you will notice a rather lovely, chubby puffin, welcoming you into The Book House. Located in a charming listed building, this independent bookshop has been a central part of the thriving cultural community in this market town since 1973. Owner, Brian Pattinson, has been selling books for over forty years. Look out for the staff choice stickers that lead you to recommendations of great reads, new and old, and do take advantage of their rather generous customer loyalty scheme.
The Madhatter Bookshop, Burford
122 High Street, Burford, Oxfordshire has been an independent book shop for over 20 years. A visit to the The Madhatter Bookshop is so much more than buying a book. It's a place to discover and talk about books, new and old. For inside the black doors of this independent bookshop on Burford's High Street is a wonderland of your making; just add a little imagination and the wonders of the written word.
Wallingford Bookshop, Wallingford
First opened by Mary Ingrams in 1983 and now owned by Ali Jinks, Wallingford Bookshop is an integral part of the community in the historic market town of Wallingford in Oxfordshire. They love taking the time to find you that perfect book, whether it's for you, or a thank you for a friend, or something to soothe a poorly relative or a good read for a football-mad grandson. And, if for whatever reason you've ever wanted a bookshop all to yourself, you can pre-book for a private browsing session on a Sunday.
Editor's note: travel restrictions may be in place or opening hours may be affected during COVID-19. Always check ahead and follow government health advice.