Support your local bookshop.
We’re blessed with some wonderful bookshops in North Devon and here at Blue Poppy Publishing, our long term aim is for all books to be sold by retailers, while we only deal with wholesale. For now you can buy our books right here from our website, but if you want to support your local book shop we would love that too, even though we make less money on the deal.
If you want to find independent bookshops further afield, then you should definitely check out Indie Bookshops which has an interactive Google map of (almost) every bookshop in the UK. I say ‘almost’ because I think we all know that this is a nigh on impossible task, so if you know of a shop that is not listed, or you know that a shop has closed its door forever, then please let them know so they can continue to keep it up to date.
Here’s the lowdown on your local book shops in and around North Devon.
- “Ilfracombe Bookshop” – 99 High St, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9NH – 01271 864545
This is a wonderful book shop with shelves stacked high with stock and the owner Paul will cheerfully order books for you. As well as books, he stocks a superb range of artists materials, catering for the many amateur and professional artists in the town. There’s no website so if you’re in town pop in and say, ‘Hi’.
- “Tarka Books” – 5 Bear St, Barnstaple, Devon, EX32 7BU – 01271 267090
An unassuming frontage on the one way section of Bear Street in the centre of town opens into a large space crammed with books, although they have more second-hand books they do stock some new, particularly children’s books. Website.
- “Sol Books” – 2 Bridge Chambers, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1HB – 01271 327319
Although this shop is almost entirely second-hand and antiquarian books, they do specifically stock books by local authors, including Blue Poppy publications.
- “Waterstones” – 42 High St, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1BZ – 01271 374433
The national chain is a vital part of the overall book retail market. Think of it as a game of ‘rock-paper-scissors’ but instead it’s ‘Amazon-Waterstones-Indies’ The Barnstaple branch is large and open with a great range and, like all bookshops, they can order any book in print. Website
- “Walter Henry Books” – 12 High St, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2AA – 01237 425727
A beautiful spacious and well stocked bookshop in the centre of Bideford. hey don’t have a website, but there is a Facebook and Twitter account if you want to get in touch.
Beyond North Devon
Oakhampton – recently opened
“Dogberry & Finch” – 15 St James St, Okehampton, EX20 1DJ
Newly opened in August 2019 Kate McClosky and her partner Linus look forward to bringing a carefully curated selection of books to their hometown and becoming an important part of the Oakhampton shopping experience. Their plans include hosting special events as well as featuring local artists in the shop. For more information, check out their website.
“Liznojan Books” – 25 Gold Street, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6QB
Liznojan is one of the newer bookshops in Devon, opened in 2017 by mum and daughter team Jackie and Kayleigh. It’s not just a bookshop, it is a community hub with local art and craft, and independent magazines, as well as an organic cafe. It really is a gem of a shop and well worth a visit if you are in town. Website
“Crediton Community Bookshop” – 21 High Street, Crediton, Devon, EX17 3AH
Another lovely independent bookshop serving Crediton and the surrounding areas. Spacious and well stocked, offering a range of events throughout the year and working with local schools on things like author visits and book related events to promote reading. Website
“Archway Bookshop” – Church Street, Town Centre, Axminster, EX13 5AQ
You enter through the Gothic arch of this ancient stone building and find yourself in a large shop spread over two floors with a magnificent spiral staircase. As well as a huge range of stock there is, as you might expect, personal recommendations, and an ordering service which even includes local delivery. As usual, the shop is a community hub with things like a book club and they are a sales outlet for local ticketed events. The website is sparse but is a starting point.
“Paragon Books” – 38 High Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8EJ
Paragon books (not be be confused with Parragon books the publisher) has graced Sidmouth’s shopping scene for over twenty years. With a range of over 5,000 titles, as well as CDs and DVDs, you should find what you want, and if you can’t they can order for you. They also have greetings cards and paintings from local artists. They host author events and sell tickets for other local venues. Find out more on their website.
“Topsham Bookshop” -27 Fore Street, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, EX3 0HD
A large bookshop set over three floors, although mostly out of print and previously loved books, they do have some new books of local interest. Website.
“Waterstones” -7-9 Courtenay Street, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2QH
Set in the centre of historic Newton Abbot; like all Waterstones you’re sure of a professional service and a great range of books with an ordering service, and occasional author events. Website.
Waterstones – 15 Union Street, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 1
“Waterstones (High Street)” – 48-49 High Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3DJ
Another large bookshop over four floors. Book Group meets on the first Thursday of every month (excluding November and December) and there are regular author events. Website.
“Waterstones (Roman Gate)” – 252 High Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3PZ
Spread out over three floors with the children’s section on the ground floor, a cafe on the 1st floor and a quiet section on the 2nd floor (sensibly far away from the children. Website
Dartmouth Bookseller, 3 Foss St, Dartmouth, TQ6 7DW
Describes itself as “a busy little bookshop in the beautiful coastal town Dartmouth, Devon. We’re part of a family-run company, Mabecron Books Ltd. Friendly booksellers happy to recommend interesting reads for all ages and occasions.” Website
Harbour Bookshop, Mill Street Kingsbridge Devon TQ7 1ED
A friendly and well-stocked independent local bookshop in South Hams. Website
Bookstop 3 Market Street, Tavistock, PL19 0DA
Bookstop is a general book shop stocking all categories of books and audiobooks on two floors along with a wide range of music on vinyl and CD in a dedicated Music Room. website