Support local indies and avoid Amazon with our handy guide…

According to the Reading Agency, almost one in three people are reading more during lockdown. Relaxing, though-provoking, escapist or educational, books are a peerless pastime. Yet with libraries not due to reopen until July, and many bookshops closed, sourcing them isn’t so easy.

Enter Amazon, one of very few winners in a COVID-19 economy and a favourite for pretty much all shopping needs. With many turning to the online Goliath, which was already trouncing high street businesses long before lockdown, shares have skyrocketed and some predict Jeff Bezos will become the world’s first trillionaire. Even without all this, its questionable ethics (including employee treatment) have led many to seek alternative options, but the one-stop convenience can prove an irresistible lure…   

Back to books. While there’s library content galore available online - from audio and eBooks, magazines to newspapers - some prefer a physical object. That’s why, for those who like something to hold or simply want to support local businesses during the pandemic (and flick Amazon a virtual middle finger), we’ve rounded up the Greater Manchester bookshops and publishers delivering to your door.

2020 06 08 Sue And Andrew Of Simply Books
Sue and Andrew from Simply Books are offering collections, deliveries…and even brownies


With booksellers divided over reopening this month, it remains an uncertain time for bookshops: some have yet to announce a date while Chorlton is amongst those opening in mid-June. Even then, many customers will be discouraged by the ongoing virus threat and the restrictions it entails (Waterstones, for instance, will quarantine books for three days if they’re touched and not bought): making delivery a vital lifeline during what is, for many, a tenuous struggle for survival. From fiction to fact, here’s where to get your fill locally…

The Portico - Manchester

Sharston Books - Manchester

Chapter One - Manchester

Simply Books - Bramhall

Greenhouse Books - Cheadle

Chorlton Bookshop

Urmston Bookshop

170331 Chorlton Bookshop
Chorlton Bookshop is delivering. It plans to open on 16th June

Other reading material…

Magma - Manchester (books and magazines)

Rare Mags - Stockport (magazines)

Travelling Man - Manchester (comics and graphic novels)

2020 06 08 Rare Mags
Stockport’s Rare Mags sells an eclectic medley


Buying direct from small publishers is another way to support local businesses, especially considering that 'the majority' fear closure according to a Guardian survey. Fortunately Greater Manchester has a diverse bounty. Fancy some compelling new fiction? Founded by short story specialist Comma Press as an antidote to publishing’s London-centricity, the Northern Fiction Alliance is a collective of publishers spanning award-winning northern authors to translations and black British writing. Something else? You’ll find everything from visual arts to poetry, chapbooks to children’s…

Northern Fiction Alliance (fiction)

Cornerhouse (visual art)

iNostalgia (local life) 

Nightjar Press (short story chapbooks)

Manchester University Press (non-fiction)

Hic Dragones (supernatural/horror) 

Dostoyevsky Wannabe (experimental)

Cultureword (marginalised voices) 

Confingo (new fiction, poetry and art)

Flapjack Press (poetry and poetry theatre)

Fly on the Wall Press (poetry)

Carcanet Press (poetry)

Fine Press Poetry (poetry)

Dewi Lewis (photography)

Tiny Tree Books (children's)

170420 University Of Manchester
Manchester University Press is renowned globally for its humanities and social science books

Magazines and newspapers…

The Happy Newspaper (positive news)

Pen Fight (feminist and queer zines)

Starburst (sci-fi/horror/fantasy magazine) 

The Modernist (Modernist architecture and design magazine)

2020 06 08 Happy Newspaper
The Happy Newspaper was founded by illustrator Emily Coxhead as a positive news platform


Still can’t find what you’re after (really?) Valuable high street chains that deliver include Waterstones and Blackwell’s, which has already announced the permanent closure of five stores (Manchester's are safe for now). Online retailer Hive, meanwhile, donates a percentage of sales to independent bookshops. Talking of which, there are many in need of support, some of which will deliver countrywide: is a great source of info. Happy hunting.

Read more: How you can enjoy Manchester’s arts scene at home

Read more: Dystopian classics to modern crime: Nine must-read Manchester novels

Main image: 2020 Portico Prize longlist by Joe Fenn