National Bookshop Day

Words and Images by Aarthy Balaganesh

The annual campaign encourages consumers to shop at their local bookshop to support their high street.

Bookshop Day is an annual nationwide celebration aiming to honour all types of bookshops nationwide. From independent bookstores to chain stores such as Blackwells, Waterstones, and Foyles, this vibrant campaign is designed to underscore the cultural significance of books and bookshops while acknowledging the dedicated booksellers who make the experience of purchasing books unique. The Booksellers Association launched Bookshop Day in 2013 to encourage people to shop at local bookstores. Since 2016, Bookshop Day has occurred on a Saturday in October, an essential time for new book launches leading up to Christmas. This year, Bookshop Day is on the 14th of October.

This celebration allows book lovers to support local bookstores and appreciate their societal importance. By doing so, they contribute to promoting literacy and culture, which is vital for the development of any community. Bookshop Day is a reminder that books and bookshops are more than just products and stores. They play a crucial role in shaping our identities and enriching our lives. Therefore, it is essential to recognize and value the cultural significance of books and bookshops and support local businesses providing such enriching experiences.

To celebrate bookshop day in Cardiff, here are some second-hand independent bookshops in the Cardiff City Centre.

Troutmark Books

Whilst wandering through the arcades that envelop Cardiff Castle, one cannot help but feel transported to a bygone era. Noteworthy among the many establishments is Troutmark, a double-fronted second-hand bookshop sure to captivate passersby’s attention. The shop’s sole identifier, its name, is inscribed above the entrance, yet the vast collection of books visible through the glass windows leaves little doubt about its speciality.

Troutmark’s assortment of books is meticulously catalogued and listed, a rarity among second-hand bookshops. This thoughtful organization allows for effortless browsing and convenient location of sought-after titles, comparable to the ease of navigation of a chain store. From beloved classics to contemporary best-sellers, comics, rare first editions, and the highly approachable and amiable staff, Troutmark offers a comprehensive selection that will delight any bibliophile.

For those passionate about books planning a visit to Cardiff, a visit to the Castle Arcade and its crowning jewel, Troutmark, is a must.

Address: Castle Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1BW

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am – 5.15pm, Sun 11.15am-4pm


Bear Island Book Exchange

The market located in the heart of Cardiff City Centre, built in the Victorian era, is a magnificent architectural masterpiece that is well worth a visit. One of the central aisles within this impressive market is home to Bear Island Book Exchange, which has stood there for many years, nestled in front of a charming flower store. Despite its modest size, the interior of the store is filled with an impressive collection of floor-to-ceiling books, and features original Victorian paving slabs on the floor. Upon further inspection, one will find bookshelves, stacks of books on the floor and on the shelves, boxes around the counter, all brimming with books of all genres.

Bear Island Book Exchange offers an opportunity to sell, buy or trade used books at reasonable prices. Additionally, customers can exchange books purchased from the store and receive store credit. The market is a haven for bibliophiles, and while the book exchange may be small, the market is not. The upper floor features an array of cafes, and the entire market is filled with an abundance of little gems and treasures waiting to be discovered.

Address: Cardiff Market, St Mary St, Cardiff, CF10 2AU

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am – 5pm, Closed Sundays

The event is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign which is organised by the Booksellers Association.

Categories: Cardiff, Uncategorized

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