Calling all bookworms! As well as the usual Waterstones and W H Smiths, Bath has a number of independent bookshops to explore when visiting the city. Here’s our favourites.

Toppings and Company Booksellers

Located at the Paragon, this one has to be our personal favourite – the one you could happily spend a few hours browsing in. Their staff are friendly, and there are places to sit and relax with a book and a coffee.

They also host literary events, among a few that are coming up include– An Evening with John Lanchester on the 24th of January, Children’s Galley Book Club on the 27th and Gerald Seymour in Bath on the 30th.

‘Novelist and journalist John Lanchester, widely famed for his novels The Debt to Pleasure and Capital, possess a rare ability to speak to speak to our society’s preoccupations with uncanny exactness; The Wall is a testament to this skill. This hypnotic new novel is about why the young are right to hate the old. It’s about a broken world you will recognise as your own—and about what might be found when all is lost.’

Mr B’s Reading Emporium

Found on John Street, this innovative bookshop is packed with quirky furniture, plus a reading booth for hot drinks. They offer personalised reading subscriptions with handpicked books delivered to your door!

Plus, a ‘reading spa’ –

‘We settled ourselves down in a couple of comfy chairs and had a really good natter about my recent reads. After the chat, Libby went away to collect some books and returned with a huge pile to talk through. This is my favourite part of the Reading Spa, when the bibliotherapist reappears with a towering stack of pure reading joy and I know I am about to find out about new worlds, lives and stories’

Helen F, serial Reading Spa recipent

‘…what a truly unique and soul restoring experience I had on my book spa. I left with a bag bursting with books. It was a balm to a weary mum of three small people to be able to talk about books I’ve read and loved and discuss favourite genres’


Claire M

Mr Bs offer tailored book recommendations, plus cake! Bursting with personality, this truly unique experience makes it a bookshop not to be missed for all literary lovers out there.

George Bayntun

On Manvers street, this booksellers stocks rare reads and fine bindings as well as original prints.

‘George Bayntun is located in an imposing listed building less than 50 yards from Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s train station in the centre of Bath. It features in the latest Pevsner Architectural Guide to Bath, written by Michael Forsyth: “Bayntun’s Bookshop and Bindery by F. W. Gardiner, 1901, originally the Post Office sorting office, and externally unaltered. It has big, arched ground-floor openings, first-floor mullioned and transformed windows, four gables and nice rainwater hoppers and original pairs of gates and railings – a bold and convinced statement, conceding nothing to the Georgian tradition. Mowbray Green & Hollier converted it in 1938”.

Little inside the shop has changed since 1938, at which time most of the furniture was already antique, and the binders still work at the benches originally used to sort the mail. Visitors are invited to browse through our stock of many thousands of books and prints, spread over three floors. Some are catalogued and listed online, whilst many more can only be found by searching our shelves.’

Good Buy Books

If you’re one for a bargain! This is a compact store but always has good books in stock. This booksellers is perfect for gifts, or for finding discounted classic novels and fiction. They offer a comprehensive range of bargain books from publisher and bookseller overstocks to excellently produced and reasonably priced reprints.