Simple pleasures: Second hand books

There is something about the smell and feel of old books that is really special. The fact that they have already been read and are a little bit tatty and worn, adds to their sense of history and provenance.

Barter Books in Northumberland is one of the largest bookshops in Britain and worth a visit, if you are in the area. Set in Alnwick's old railway station which was built in 1887, it contains over 350,000 second hand books. The shop offers the chance to step back in time, browse the many rare and antique books and relax in one of the seating areas dotted around the huge old station. The charming wating area at the front of the shop features a coal fire when it's cold and we loved the literary quotes displayed over the book shelves.


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