The best local bookshops

By Kira Orchard |

Reading is a hobby that has been enjoyed for centuries, meaning there is certainly no shortage of new books to discover. When it comes to deciding what to read or where to buy books from however, it can be a hard decision.

Buying from local booksellers is always an interesting venture and has many benefits, including lowering carbon footprints, supporting communities, and helping smaller businesses stay afloat during economically challenging times.

From their personalised stock — that more often than not includes books by local authors — to their wonderful commitment to their community, there is just something magical about indie bookshops. Covid-19 has put so many independent businesses on the line, so here is a list of four independent booksellers local to Cornwall, that you can support:

‘there is just something magical about indie bookshops’ | Joyce McCown / Unsplash

The Idler

‘The Idler’ in Redruth is a bookshop that specialises in antique books and comic books; you can get your books appraised for free or even sell your old American comics and antique books. Personally, I have found many gems within the jam-packed shelves, ranging from poetry books to plays to autobiographies. The books are reasonably priced and range across many genres. From bargain finds to collectable books and comics, there is surely something for everyone within this quaint market-way shop. The shop also has an eBay page where you can browse and purchase books online!

Just Books

Looking for a huge array of discounted and pre-loved books? ‘Just Books’ is the perfect place to find some new favourites. Nestled away in the heart of Truro, they stock “a wide range of pre-loved and specialist books.” Unfortunately, due to the small size of their shop, they have made the decision to remain closed for the time being. But, be sure to stay up to date with their Facebook to find out when they reopen. They specialise in children’s literature, books about Cornwall, and everything arty from poetry to painting.

‘the historical fishing town of Penzance is a beautifully unique place to visit | SARA LIGHTS / Unsplash

The Edge of the World

If you’re wanting to explore a little further away from Falmouth and Penryn, the historical fishing town of Penzance is a beautifully unique place to visit. It is home to many independent shops such as ‘Restless Native’, ‘Sessions Surf Shop’, and bookshop ‘The Edge of the World.’ Within Central Market Jew street, this independent bookshop usually hosts author related events, and describes their shop as home of an “eclectic cornucopia of books.” Whilst their website is expanding, the best place to find them is through Facebook and Twitter, and they have even taken to posting YouTube videos to promote books they are selling.

Beerwolf Books

Beerwolf Books | Ian S

A little closer to campus, a firm favourite in Falmouth is bookshop-come-pub, ‘Beerwolf Books.’ A wonderful place to sit with your work or chill with friends, you can buy yourself a book and a drink to go with it! Its cosy interior makes it the perfect place to unwind with either a hot drink or alcoholic beverage. Take a look through their collection of books and you are bound to find something that appeals. They sell books for most ages, so whether you’re looking for a gift, a new read or something for inspiration, then there is a high chance you will find it hidden amongst their shelves.

‘it is especially important to support our local independent businesses’ | hannah grace/Unsplash

During this uncertain time, it is especially important to support our local, independent businesses. The people who own and run these shops are our neighbours. If the local shops that you want to support aren’t yet open, offer support by leaving good reviews and spreading their name, so that they may have a wider customer base once they reopen. These shops are particularly economically vulnerable compared to their larger competitors. This means the pandemic could have severely damaging effects on our Cornish high streets if we don’t attempt to help and support our independent shops.

Each one of these bookshops are accessible through the Kernow First bus routes from Falmouth Moor and the Penryn Campus.