Nestled on Lever Street in Manchester’s trendy Northern Quarter, Chapter One Books opened in mid 2015 and has become popular with locals and visitors alike.
It might be difficult to spot if you’re not looking for it (but you should be given the low number of new independent bookstores and the number that have been forced to close in recent years), if you’re a book lover I implore you to shop local and, if you can, ditch the large corporate chains for your small, local store like this one (the books are the same price anyway!)
The interior is beautiful and it’s just the right balance of simple but quirky, it doesn’t feel try-hard and something about it just makes you feel calm.
Not just a book shop (in fact much, much more), there’s currently an exhibition on in the gallery to the back (you should check out Crystal Kershaw’s exhibition ’33 Magical Objects’ until 30 December 2015 which is free if you make a purchase, your receipt accepted as a ticket. That space has also been the venue for various book launches- if that’s your thing you should certainly keep an eye on the website and Twitter feed (follow @chapter1uk), I’m only sad that I don’t live closer, although I visit Manchester a lot, it’s difficult to get over midweek when a lot of these things take place.
Back to the books; there’s a wider range than I’d expected to find and some really beautiful options. If you’re not sure what you’re after you can take a seat and check out the ‘reading copy’ of many of the books and there are selections of ‘reading copy’ books at 20% off or second hand titles at bargain prices if you have that ‘week-before-payday’ feeling.
When you pop by you should definitely grab a cuppa (the organic loose leaf tea is served in a pot with china cups and saucers which I will always stand by makes it taste that much better) and a cake while you’re reading- you can’t miss the little cafe as you walk in.
There are even typewriters should the creative mood strike (although, being used to modern technology, these take a little getting used to). While I was there, I attended a creative writing group led by Susan Sollazzi which is due to continue in December and into the new year (find the details on Eventbrite) and there was a knitting group which meets bi-weekly. There were also people flicking through books and playing scrabble.
Chapter 1 – I’ll be seeing you again soon!