18 Gloucestershire independent bookshops to visit this World Book Day

Whether you're hunting for a first edition, second-hand paperback or children’s classic, SoGlos has rounded up 18 independent Gloucestershire bookshops to discover new reads and old favourites — for all your World Book Day inspiration!

By Dylan Robertson  |  Published
Hunt for great reads at one of Gloucestershire's independent booksellers.

From cosy cafes and second-hand havens to boutique booksellers and children’s treasure troves, you’re spoilt for choice when hunting for a good read at one of Gloucestershire’s independent bookshops.

SoGlos has selected 18 of our favourite independent bookshops in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, so you can pick up a great read and support a local business — all in time for World Book Day on Thursday 7 March 2024.

Cheltenham Rare Books

Specialising in rare, antique, signed and first edition books, Cheltenham Rare Books on Imperial Square is a bibliophile's dream. Its collection spans poetry, fiction, plays, crime, sci fi and fantasy, as well as private presses such as Cotswold Fine Press. 

Octavia's Bookshop in Cirencester

A winner of the ‘Best Children’s Independent Bookshop’ award, Octavia’s Bookshop in Cirencester specialises in children’s literature, with more than half of its stock dedicated to younger readers — in addition to a collection for adults, which includes bestsellers and reference books. 

The shop’s ‘Book Spa package’ is certain to attract readers, offering Octavia’s personal book recommendations alongside sweet treats and hot drinks, all for £10 — with visiting authors, children’s book groups, birthday parties and plenty of Moomins, too!

Bookworm in Tewkesbury

An independent charity bookshop which stocks an impressive array of second-hand and antiquarian books, the aptly named Bookworm in Tewkesbury spans two floors of fiction and non-fiction books.

There are also a number of rare items and first editions to be found — which, to date, has included a coveted first edition of The Da Vinci Code. And for those looking to relax after scouring the shelves, there's also a cosy tearoom, too. 

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop in Tetbury and Nailsworth

With two shops in the county, located in Nailsworth and Tetbury, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop boasts a diverse selection of literary genres, in addition to hosting special literary events.

Plus, the independent retailer also supports local schools by supplying books to classrooms, creating bespoke booklists for teachers, and organising book fairs.

Moss Books in Cheltenham

With a cornucopia of well-priced books, literally lining the walls from floor to ceiling — and often spilling out onto the pavement outside! — Moss Books is a haven for dusty pre-loved items and bargain hunters.

Avid readers will be in their element searching the shelves for their next literary fix, with specialist sections on transport, history, art, music and topography, in addition to an eclectic mix of fiction and non-fiction items.

R&R Books in Stroud

Dating back to 1988, R&R Books in Stroud is an Aladdin’s cave of literary goodies, stocking a huge collection of second-hand titles and original ephemera, ranging from children’s fiction and poetry, to history, psychology and horror.

If you’re looking to add a DC or Marvel to your collection, the range of comics is impressive, too, with vintage magazines and memorabilia also providing novel gift items galore for fans of retro treasures.

Madhatter Bookshop in Burford

Welcoming readers into Wonderland, Madhatter Books is a unique independent bookshop that also sells an impressive array of hats, made by some of the oldest milliners in the UK.

Book lovers can expect a fine selection of books, including many by local authors. The owners are keen to share their love of reading with others and will happily recommend books, should you need some guidance. 

Jaffé & Neale in Chipping Norton

Located just over the county border in Chipping Norton, Jaffé & Neale is a treat for literary savants searching for a new read – offering a wide range of titles over two floors, as well as a delicious café where you can delve straight into your new purchases.

The award-winning emporium offers a warm and welcoming environment for visitors to shop, read and relax. Plus, partnering with the annual Chipping Norton Literature Festival, the shop is also accustomed to welcoming acclaimed authors through its doors.

The Cleeve Bookshop in Bishop's Cleeve

The Cleeve Bookshop stocks a variety of bestselling books, as well as a selection of board games, jigsaw puzzles, greetings cards and gift wrap, ideal for picking up presents for the book lover in your life.

The charming shop also hosts author events, board game Saturdays, writing workshops and a poetry club, where budding authors and literary enthusiasts can get together and meet like-minded new friends. The shop is even accepting World Book Day vouchers, so head down soon to redeem them!

Codex Books in Cirencester

Specialising in sci fi and fantasy fiction, Codex Books is the place to pick up everything from DC, Marvel, Star Wars graphic novels and Manga, to series like Game of Thrones and The Witcher; as well as works by iconic authors like Ian M. Banks, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Terry Pratchett. 

It also offers a fantastic young adult collection, ideal for teen sci fi fans — and a collection of role-playing games. 

Rossiter Books in Cheltenham

Established in 2022, Rossiter Books on Cheltenham's Rotunda Terrace promises book lovers over 7,000 titles to browse and buy, as well as exciting author events throughout the year. 

The Cheltenham store is located near Montpellier Gardens, so you can dig into your new purchases in the park, while the independent bookseller also has stores in Ross-on-Wye, Monmouth and Leominster, across the Gloucestershire border. 

Alison's Bookshop in Tewkesbury

An independent Tewkesbury bookseller since 1999, Alison's Bookshop stocks a broad selection of books, alongside maps and local interest books, greetings cards, gift wrap, calendars, diaries, stationary and jigsaw puzzles — with the owner more than happy to provide recommendations based on what they've been reading recently. 

For the musically minded, Alison's also sells a variety of classical CDs and sheet music, including piano exam pieces and choral works. 

Borzoi Bookshop in Stow-on-the-Wold

Located in the centre of Stow-on-the-Wold, Borzoi Bookshop has been running for 40 years, with a team of avid readers in charge and a huge range of books to peruse. Named after the Borzoi dog breed, the bookshop welcomes readers' furry friends, too. 

It also helps readers source unusual and specialist titles from small publishers and presses that aren't usually stocked elsewhere. 

Books & Ink in Winchcombe

Open only by appointment, the exclusive Books & Ink specialises in old and antiquarian books, ephemera, maps and prints. It is also known for helping bookworms track down elusive and out-of-print titles, as well as ordering in new books for its customers.

With over 25,000 titles from fairytales and folklore to collectible Penguin classics, this quaint Cotswold bookshop is a collector's dream. 

Fireside Bookshop in Stroud

Family run since 1980, Fireside Bookshop is an independent, second-hand bookshop in Stroud town centre, just a short walk from the train station, with over 10,000 titles on offer in store and in its online collection.  

Offering fiction, non-fiction, academic and antiquarian books spanning a huge variety of subjects, it's a must-visit for students and curious minds. 

The Cotswold Book Room in Wotton-under-Edge

Having been open for more than 70 years, The Cotswold Book Room is a Wotton-under-Edge institution. The shop boasts a carefully curated selection of books, with owners Gideon and Cathy York more than happy to chat to customers to help them find the perfect book for themselves or as a gift.

There are new titles arriving all the time — and if you want more inspiration, there's a monthly book club, too, offering attendees 10 per cent off book club titles.

Cotswold Canals Trust Bookshops

In the last few years, the Cotswold Canals Trust has opened a pair of popular bookshops in Stroud and Stonehouse, offering a wide range of books, as well as vinyl records, jigsaws and DVDs.

With the money raised from sales funding the charity's operations, there's a worthy cause to be supported here, too.

Cornell Books in Tewkesbury

Located in a 500-year-old, Grade II listed building, this bookshop offers charm by the bucket-load. With over 10,000 titles to choose from, as well as a wide range of antique maps, there's sure to be something for everyone.

Cornell Books is located on Tewkesbury High Street, just a short walk from Alison's Bookshop.

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