Bookshops in Dorset

Following my tour of independent bookshops a few years ago, I thought it was time for an update.  I’ve honoured each bookshop with a ‘best of’ category, hoping this might tempt you to visit.

Best of bookshops for atmosphere: Serendip, Lyme Regis

Situated in the seaside town, this bookshop is a must for all visitors.  Once inside, the atmosphere tempts you to linger, with great lighting and eclectic background music.  Step further into the shop and you’ll find seating for comfortable book-browsing.

Best of bookshops for location: The Book Shop, Bridport

Directly opposite Buckey Doo Square, where the weekly market sprawls across the pavement, you’ll find Book Shop. Right at the heart of the town, Book Shop does what it says on the sign, sells books to customers in a knowledgable, straightforward and efficient manner.

Best of bookshops with a bonus: Winstone’s, Sherborne

This is one of the largest bookshops I’ve come across, double fronted with a generous children’s section. The shop is easy to navigate and has staff on hand to answer queries. As a bonus, Winstone’s also sells  delicious coffee.

Best of bookshops with friendly staff: Gullivers, Wimborne Minster

Close to the Minster, Gullivers is a family run business, committed to community involvement. The staff are enthusiastic about their role in promoting reading with families and children and organise book-related events such as the Wimborne Literary Festival.

Best of bookshops for quirky stock: Black Pug Books, Wimborne Minster

This bookshop sells ‘loved and used books’ and is well worth a visit.  Occupying the front room of Victoria Sturgess’s house, you’ll soon feel at home there, poring over the shelves.

Best of Bookshop I’m planning to visit: Westbourne Book Shop, Bournemouth

Owned by the Angel family who also run Gullivers in Wimborne, this shop provides a good excuse to visit Bournemouth (as if you need one). There’s also the Westbourne Book Binge to look forward to in 2018.

Best of Dorchester: Waterstones

Staff at Waterstones in Dorchester are amazingly helpful and the manager, Jan Jaggard, is generous in supporting workshops delivered by the Dorset Writers’ Network.  There will be a flash fiction workshop hosted at Waterstones on 13 May 2018. Click here for more details.

With all these shops selling a range of high quality literature, it’s no wonder the county is full of people interested in books, reading and writing.

Gail Aldwin