The Best Independent Book Shops in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Lifestyle

Head to one of these indies for your next read.

The Little Bookshop, Chapel Allerton

Books, books and more books! These nine independent book shops in Leeds will help you fill up your shelves with loads of great reads.

There’s nothing quite like visiting your local independent bookshop to find your next must-read. It might feel like an activity from days gone by, but these little stores are the lifeblood of the literary world, where you can pick up that book you’ve long been looking for or discover something you never would have found elsewhere. From kid-friendly stores to comic book shops and everything in between, here’s where to go when you’re shopping for your next book.

Colours May Vary

Colours May Vary

One of the coolest independents in Leeds, Colours May Vary isn’t your usual book store. Instead of novels, they sell a brilliant collection of art and design publications that you won’t find elsewhere on the high street. They have coffee tables and shelves full of books on everything from architecture to photography, typography to illustration, alongside publications from around the world. Looking for something completely special? Flick through their selection of hard-to-find zines amidst prints, stationery and more.

Colours May Vary, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.

Chevin Books

Best Independent Book Shops

With over 10,000 books in stock at any one time, it’s no wonder Chevin Books in Otley has become one of the best book shops in Yorkshire. This is the place to go if you’re looking for something extra special – their shelves are full of rare books you won’t find online or in other bookstores. They have a host of specialist areas, from military and history to art, sport and the topography of Great Britain, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, their expert staff can always help you.

Chevin Books, 1 Bay Horse Court, Otley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS21 1SB.

OK Comics

OK Comics

If you like comic books and graphic novels, OK Comics is the book shop in Leeds you have to visit. It’s an internationally renowned store that has been nominated for the prestigious Comic Con awards. They have every genre you can imagine on their shelves, from superheroes to fantasy, anime and even rare editions you’ll struggle to find elsewhere. Can’t afford to buy? They run a graphic novel lending library, which allows you to take your pick of classics like Avengers Vs X-Men or Fables: Legends in Exile to read for two weeks, then give back, all for free.

OK Comics, 19 Thornton’s Arcade, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.

The Little Bookshop

The Little Bookshop, Chapel Allerton

Credit: Tom Joy

The Little Bookshop is the only independent children’s book shop in Leeds. The team are experts in children’s literature and everything they do here is focussed on encouraging young people to read. Their collection is vast, with everything from picture books to short stories and young adult novels. There’s a healthy mix of big name authors and lesser-known writers who your kids might fall in love with. Not sure where to start? They can help you find the perfect book, whether you’re shopping for toddlers or teens.

The Little Bookshop, 47 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3PD.

The Bookish Type

The Bookish Type Book Shop

The Bookish Type is an independent queer bookshop tucked away upstairs in Merrion Centre. It’s run by Nicola Hargrave and Ray Larman, who are passionate about championing queer stories, characters and voices. You’ll find a diverse range of novels, memoirs, poetry, plays and children’s books on the shelves, with established authors like Oscar Wilde and Jackie Kay rubbing shoulders with up-and-coming writers like Zaina Arafat. Don’t miss their cool collection of zines too, covering everything from mental health to trans history.

The Bookish Type, 58 Merrion Centre (upstairs), Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.

Phillip Howard Books

Books

This family-run independent bookshop in the heart of Roundhay has been a must-visit for over 20 years. It’s only small, but the shelves are packed – you can find the latest titles in hardback and paperback, as well as a host of newly-printed versions of the classics. They have a handful of specialist areas too, from Northern English culture to sport, travel and children’s literature. Their passion runs through everything they do, and if they don’t have what you’re looking for, you can take advantage of their speedy ordering service.

Philip Howard Books, 47 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1AP.

Village

Village Bookshop Leeds

Village is one of the few independent bookshops in Leeds where you can browse a collection of self-published zines and books from local and international artists. You can also choose from their extensive and carefully curated selection of art, fashion and design books. Prefer a good novel? They stock special edition hard and paperback versions of classic fiction titles. The shop, above Welcome Skate Store, also has a non-profit gallery space, which often showcases the work of emerging artists.

Village, 10-12 Thornton’s Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.

The Grove

The Grove Book Shop

The Grove is one of the best-known independent bookshops in the country, a reputation that has grown over the 40 years since it opened. They take great pride in tailoring their stock to their customers, so while you can certainly get all the big releases on hardback and classic novels in paperback, there’s much more on offer here. They hand-pick new, exciting and unusual titles to champion up-and-coming writers, as well as stocking up specialist areas like politics, current affairs, the environment and local history.

The Grove, 10 The Grove, Ilkley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS29 9EG.

Truman Books

Truman Books

A lovely bookshop-cum-cafe, Truman Books was opened by former travel executive Amanda Truman in 2021, the culmination of a lifelong dream. Truman’s stocks around 3000 books for both adults and children, and you can browse the stock before pausing for a coffee and a slice of homemade cake. There are cards and wrapping paper too, making it a great place to pick up a gift for the bookworm in your life. The diverse stock carries everything from graphic novels to indies, with support for local writers too.

Truman Books, 95 Town Street, Farsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 5HX.