Devon’s best bookstores to get lost in, according to Google reviews

Independent bookstores are an important part of a healthy high street. They offer bibliophiles a shopping experience that simply cannot be achieved when shopping online.

Bookstores are a delight for the senses, from the wide range of colorful covers to the unmistakable smell of new books, the musty smell of old ones and the satisfying texture of the pages.

Websites may show us a handful of different titles at once, but being surrounded by countless books gives us a chance to happily lose ourselves in the other worlds at hand and feel inspired by imagination or research. authors.

Read more:Souvenir from Devon’s Winnie the Pooh Bookshop

We can easily tell if a book is what we expect it to be before purchasing. We can also easily discover other books that we are likely to enjoy, that we might have otherwise missed – not only through their physical presence, but through interaction with knowledgeable staff.

Bookstores are often hotspots where like-minded people can meet, get personal recommendations, discuss their interests and the local community, attend events – and maybe even enjoy a visit from the authors of the books they have read. Some have a cafe attached, allowing you to browse the travel or cooking sections while you finish a cake.

Here are some of Devon’s top-rated independent bookstores, based on Google reviews – although there were several that were very close behind. We also took a look to see what reviewers love most about them.

The Harbor Bookshop, Kingsbridge

This bookstore has a rating of 5.0 based on 39 reviews. It opened its doors in 1984 and is linked to the Original Harbor Bookstore in Dartmouthwhich belonged to Christopher Robin Milne, son of Winnie the Pooh creator, AA Milne.

Each month, staff read stacks of books, then carefully select a book of the month for adults and children that particularly appealed to them in the hopes that customers would also like it. The store also offers a range of signed editions to collect.

One reviewer described it as the “best bookstore I’ve come across”, while another said it had “the friendliest bookstore owner I’ve ever met”.

The Bookstore, Crediton

This non-profit store and social enterprise, formerly known as Crediton Community Bookshop, has a 5.0 rating and 28 Google reviews. It offers a wide range of books, events and community activities. Book sales fund literacy support, community well-being, and access to cultural opportunities.

Last week he triumphed at the 2022 British Book Awards South West Regional Finalwhich means it’s now on the shortlist to be crowned Independent Bookstore of the Year.

Bookseller Editor Tom Tivnan said it was “without a doubt the most competitive year we’ve ever had for Independent Bookstore of the Year and these nine stores should be justly proud of ‘to have claimed their regional and national crowns while their fellow Indians have also prospered’. The big winner will be announced in May.

Reviewers have described the staff as “friendly” and “helpful.” One praised the “great selection of books, regular events and book signings”.

Curious Otter Bookshop, Ottery St Mary

This shop also gets a rating of 5.0, with 10 reviews. Ottery St Mary isn’t just famous for its flaming tar barrels every Bonfire Night – it’s also the birthplace of early 19th century poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

“So lucky to have a good bookstore in town,” wrote one reviewer. “I saved my bacon for the kids’ party bag giveaways!” writes another.

East Gate Bookshop, Totnes

Although this bookstore has a 5.0 rating, it only has four Google reviews. However, it was one of Devon’s three bookshops to be in the running for the title of South West Independent Bookstore of the Year.

In addition to a range of fiction and non-fiction titles of all genres, the bookstore offers a comprehensive selection of children’s books and books about the natural world. He runs a book group and loyalty card program and is planning even more author events and a spring festival this year.

Reviewers loved that it’s open seven days a week. One review said, “Well stocked, but will order specific titles for you very quickly if needed.”

Liznojan, Tiverton

This bookstore, café, therapy room and event space was opened in November 2017 by a mother-daughter team. It has an impressive 4.9 rating on 110 Google reviews.

He offers curated listings offering ideas and inspiration from his online store, which allows him to offer many more books than he would have in his physical store. It also runs a loyalty program.

Liznojan Books in Tiverton on World Book Day 2022

One reviewer called it “the best independent bookstore around and probably one of the best I’ve been to.” Other reviewers loved the “great atmosphere”, “wonderful selection of books” and “awesome staff”.

Archway Bookshop, Axminster

This store scores 4.9 out of 31 Google reviews. It was one of three Devon retailers shortlisted for this year’s Independent Bookshop of the Year award. It prides itself on offering “all the best in an independent bookstore – a wide range of books, friendly customer service and advice if you need it”.

Grade II listed Archway Bookshop, Church Street, Axminster
Grade II listed Archway Bookshop, Church Street, Axminster

This was reflected in the reviews, with the staff being described as “very helpful” and “very friendly and knowledgeable”. One review said, “Superb service and prompt delivery.”

Schoolbag, Exeter

Bookbag has a 4.9 rating and 17 Google reviews. It sells new books, fiction, non-fiction, art books, children’s books, and teen books.

Bookbag’s Charlie Richards in McCoys Arcade, Exeter

One review highlighted the “interesting selection” while another adored the “excellent prices”. One reviewer said, “Communication, choice of book, overall service is top notch.”

Paragon Books, Sidmouth

Sidmouth’s oldest independent bookshop has a rating of 4.9 out of 14 reviews. It runs a “book of the week”, stocks over 5,000 book titles and also sells CDs, DVDs, book tokens, posters, cards and paintings.

One reviewer wrote, “Great traditional bookstore with old fashioned service.” Several praised the “good range” of stock and the “friendly and helpful” staff.

The Ivybridge Bookshop, Ivybridge

This store scores 4.9 out of 13 Google reviews. It is called “a bookstore for the whole family”.

One reviewer called it a “great little store with super helpful staff.” Another wrote: “Can’t wait to come back.”

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