I’m probably a walking cliché, but I love second hand bookstores. I love almost any kind of shop that sells things handmade or just a bit more unique than the stuff you can find in all the obvious shops. Sometimes it’s nice to feel like you’re stepping into a place where almost everyone shares an interest in the same niche market.
Today, I went shopping in town with one of my housemates and while looking for a place to buy tragus bars (we found the Kasbah, which has a lot of variety and the staff are super friendly), we found this really cute cluster of shops and the odd food place hidden away. And amongst which we found a really nice second hand bookstore with a vintage feel, which we then proceeded to spend… a long time in.
When I first came to Leicester as a wee Fresher, being used to finding it easy to find small independent shops in my little hometown Lincoln, I wasn’t really expecting to find loads in Leicester. But last year we managed to find two charity secondhand bookstores on Queen’s Road, which aren’t completely as ‘vintage-feeling’ as the one we found today, but they still filled up my bookshelves and there’s nothing wrong with a beautiful looking book that only cost a couple of quid. Rockaboom, unique to Leicester, as far as I’m aware, is also pretty renowned for being a great place for new and secondhand CDs and vinyls.
I’ve also found that the middle ground Leicester holds on being somewhere between a small and big city centre means it offers loads of cool shops, like Forbidden Planet, that can’t be found in small cities. Shops like that are awesome because prices tend to be a bit less than more commercial alternatives like HMV, staff always have a a genuine interest in what they’re selling and are really easy to have a chat with, and the shop is never packed so you can chiiill while you browse. The market in Leicester is also really cool, another housemate and I spent ages there on our first Leicester shopping trip in First Year, browsing secondhand records, books, CDs, comics and old collectibles.
I’ve been away on Study Abroad the last semester so don’t feel like I’ve had massive amounts of time to browse Leicester and find all the hidden potentials, but the rewards of my browsing so far have been pretty satisfying. Bit of a hipster post, but just wanted to share just a couple of the hidden gems Leicester has. 🙂