Tucked away from Winchester’s bustling town centre, at 10A St. George’s Street, is The Winchester Bookshop, an absolute ‘treasure trove’ of second-hand books.

Notice the signs on the street summoning you in. Walk down the narrow passageway until you reach a large door, and push that door open to reveal the most wonderful array of yellow and orange leather-bound antiquarian and vintage books.

From here, climb the winding staircase to discover two more floors flooded with books that range all of the genres you could imagine, from Shakespearean plays to modern-day novelists. This is a store that truly caters to everyone, regardless of taste, age, and budget, with the average price of a paperback varying from £1-2.

This provides a much more affordable solution to any book-lover as opposed to buying new off the shelf. No one can deny the charm, the allure of a second-hand book, with its brown, curling pages full of character and aromatic smell waiting at the turn of every page. 

The store was opened in 1991 when Michael Green, who had owned a news agency opposite to where WHSmith is today, advocated the idea to three other local book dealers. Due to the separate interests of the four men, the store reflected their range of interests leading to the wide range of genres offered today.

Now, 32 years later, the store is still being run by one of these four, Douglas Barnes, alongside Anne-Louise Barton, the daughter of one of his former co-workers. Anne-Louise has worked at the store for 13 years, describing it as ‘charming and fascinating’ and reflecting on how she has grown up among second-hand books, saying that there is a ‘joy of anticipation; not knowing what books are going to turn up next and a sense of satisfaction in being able to ‘rehome’ them’.

The Winchester Bookshop is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4.30pm. If you have any books that you haven’t the slightest idea what to do with, give them a call. The way in which the store’s extensive collection is maintained is through the purchasing of unwanted books, giving these stories a second chance to be treasured and enjoyed.

Have any queries? Call 01962 855630 or email to winchesterbookshop@gmail.com.

  • This article was written by Madeleine Crabtree, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter Scheme.