Independent Bookshop Week - CWIP's Witty FAVES 4 YOU!

Indie Bookshops are your best defence against unwanted conversation…

Life is short. Read quickly.

Ahhh, bookshops. The smell of freshly penned pages, smiling faces behind tills (and now masks), the odd slice of carrot cake and the gentle quietness that lures us in for hours...if we let them.

The 19th - 26th June is one of the CWIP team’s favourite weeks of the year, Independent Bookshop Week, a whole seven days to highlight those delightfully witty, magical places which help make the world a slightly better place, if even just for a brief moment.

To celebrate, we’ve taken a literary peek at just some edgy, witty independent bookshops across the country to celebrate bookish haunts in our hometowns as well as weekend hot spots.

Leigh Gallery Books

Located in the charming coastal town of Leigh on Sea, Leigh Gallery Books is a traditional bookshop that stocks both rare gems and modern gems. The perfect blend of old and new means you may enter with a specific book in mind and leave with something wholly unexpected. Visit Leigh Gallery Books on Facebook.

Book-ish storefront


Over in Wales, indie bookshop Book-ish is a staple of the Crickhowell community. As well as a stellar collection of titles, Book-ish also has an online shop, making them easy to support from afar. Head to the physical store, and you’ll be able to enjoy a cuppa in the onsite cafe, too. Visit book-ish.co.uk

Griffin Books

Griffin Books has its home in Penarth but is also another indie bookshop with a fab online shop. Offering pre-order offers, signed copies, and book subscriptions, the CWIP team love the variety and accessibility of Griffin Books. Visit griffinbooks.co.uk

Storyville Books

Roll up, roll up! There’s a new contender in town. Storyville Books in Pontypridd actually has its grand opening this weekend! Head to Mill Street for all your local bookish needs and keep an eye on their social media channels for any exciting updates. You have entered the comedy reading area. Visit Storyville Books on Bookshop UK

Mr B’s Emporium

When visiting Bath, a trip to Mr B’s Emporium is a must. Alongside a wide selection of reads across all genres, the bookshop also has a reading booth for rent and free hot drinks. Online, Mr B’s offer a monthly subscription service, too, and for friends and family there are digital vouchers available to gift. Don’t forget to tune into Mr B’s podcast as well! Visit mrbsemporium.com

Rye Books

Rye Books

Popular among local book fans, Rye Books in East Dulwich, London, is another independent bookshop with a fab cafe. The shop handpicks new books, ensuring that readers have the absolute best to choose from. Pop in if you’re around this area of the city. Showcased here with star canine in residency. Visit ryebooks.co.uk

The Book Hive

As a UNESCO City of Literature, Norwich is home to some fabulous independent bookshops. Perhaps the most iconic is The Book Hive, whose eye-catching window displays never fail to draw in even the most reluctant readers. In normal times, The Book Hive is home to some great author events, paying homage to the rich literary history of the area. Visit thebookhive.co.uk


Name a better combination than books and wine. We’ll wait… and in the meantime head to the recently opened BookBar in north London, a new bookshop and wine bar that aims to bring people together through the power of words. Look out for upcoming exciting literary events! Visit BookBar on Bookshop UK

Herne Hill Books

With barely enough room to swing a cat, there’s something so charming and endearing about the quaint Herne Hill Books. Despite the small size, the bookshop is well-stocked and incredibly friendly - expect to find all the bestsellers alongside some intriguing, unexpected titles too. Visit Herne Hill Books on Bookshop UK. Their sister shop, Clapham Books, is well worth a visit too. Visit claphambooks.com.

CWIP Founder laughing a lot at CWIP 2020 shortlist - in a good way
CWIP's Founder laughing a lot at the 2020 shortlist - in a good way

House of Books

For lovers of bookish bargains, House of Books is the place to be. The independent chain has three locations across London - Crouch End, Muswell Hill, and West Hampstead - and offers big-name titles as well as discounted reads. Give yourself a treat and go on a ‘blind date with a book’ - much easier than swiping right, that’s for sure. The House Of Books

And if YOU would like to suggest your edgy, sexy, literary places of unrest – DO tweet us, Instagram us, and Facebook us – we want to know. @CWIPprize on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook