Spotlight on Independents: Yorkshire Quality Paperbacks, Pickering

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to spend my book money.

There are so many worthy avenues to wander down. I want to make sure I support my local library so Government bods can’t justify closing it in favour of a Tesco Metro. Charity bookshops are always good for a rummage, with the added bonus of knowing that some of my money has gone to a good cause. But if I’m honest, my heart lies with the independents. The most fun I have when book rummaging is when I find the holy book trinity of non-chain, quirky building and chatty, well-informed, friendly owner.

Whenever my husband and I go somewhere new, I’ll seek out the bookshops. Fortunately, he’s a great enabler, in that he’s accepting of this, quite happy to browse a few shelves on his own and has very rarely said “do you think we ought to be making a move soon?”. The perfect companion.

Today’s spotlight is from Pickering and our early November holiday in the North Yorkshire Moors. There was a woodburner and we were losing the light by about half past four, so there was a lot of snuggling up back at the cottage and reading. This little secondhand bookshop is not much to shout about from the outside, but inside it’s a treasure trove.


I came away with Mary Stewart, Rumer Godden, Elizabeth von Arnim, Radclyffe Hall, Angela Thirkell and it’s where I picked up my first Georgette Heyer, Cousin Kate (reviewed here). I also found an absolutely mint copy of Robert McFarlane’s beautiful book The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, which I’m thinking might be a ‘soon to read’ having recently finished Sinclair McKay’s Ramble On and not quite having had my fill of books about walking. Perhaps it’s the hankering after springtime that always kicks in about now.

Anyway. If you’re a book lover who finds themselves in or near Pickering, do pay ‘Yorkshire Quality Paperbacks’ a visit. You’ll find them almost exactly opposite the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway terminal in Pickering. And the owner is as chatty, friendly and well-informed as you could hope for.



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