It's Bookie time! Our local literature festival is coming to town from May 5th - 7th and to tie in with the event we're proud to present a very special virtual Thanet bookshop crawl. Please use these maps and itinerary to visit the bookshops of Thanet while you're there for the festival.
If you've been around these parts for long then you probably know that bookshop crawls are kind of our thing, with an annual weekend event in London and summer crawls which roam, but this is the first time we've offered a purely virtual one (meaning that we are not leading any groups of this route or doing it ourselves). Maybe in future years we'll take it out into the real world - who knows?
Our bookshop crawl is divided into sections so you can base it around where you're staying during the weekend of the Bookie, or you can hop on the loop (local bus service in case you're not a Thanet resident) and do the whole lot!
Starting in Margate
The majority of the Bookie takes place in the Turner Contemporary gallery by Margate harbour arm, where the Bookie has its' own pop-up bookshop (The Margate Bookshop, currently in search of a permenant home). Start there, and once you've finished browsing and buying, you can head over the road to the Pilgrim's Hospice Old Bank Bookshop, a fairly standard charity bookshop with a wide range of titles across all genres. They have a lovely children's section with the ground floor dedicated to fiction and the upstairs and a side room housing non-fiction of various genres as well as DVDs.
(The Old Bank Bookshop, 17-18 The Parade, Margate, CT9 1EY. Opening hours: 9.30 - 4.30pm Mon - Sat, 10 - 4pm Sunday)
A short walk around the corner will bring you to the bottom end of Margate High Street and Hooked on Books, another treasure trove of second hand books from all genres, with fiction housed at the back and more eclectic non-fiction towards the front. You will also find new books often at low prices in the children's section.
(Hooked on Books, 21 High St, Margate, CT9 1DL. Opening hours: 10 - 5.30pm Mon - Sat, 11 - 4pm Sun)
If it is Sunday and the weather is nice you can have a walk along the sea front to Tiverton Books in Cliftonville. This hidden bookshop is down some steps in the basement of one of the seafront properties and is only open between 10am and 2pm on Sundays. It's a proper little rabbit warren with piles of books all over the place!
If it's not Sunday or sunny you can follow the map up the road and around the corner to get the bus to your next destination! Alternatively, go and do your next Bookie event!
Recommended places to eat & drink in Margate: Melt Gelato (ice cream, waffles & hot drinks), GB Pizza (pizza!With gluten & dairy free options), The Bus Cafe (inside The Old Kent Market, opposite The Turner Contemporary. Best breakfast in Margate).
By the Sea in Broadstairs
Broadstairs has two bookshops and they're both on the same road, which is adjacent to the sea and not far from seafront ice cream parlour Morelli's. First up, Broadstairs Bookshop is a small place tightly packed with all sorts of books from the only just second hand to the extremely second hand. We've previously bought lots of Beatrix Potter here, but you can get all sorts of things.
(Broadstairs Bookshop, 7 Albion Street, Broadstairs, CT10 1LU)
Just down the road is ex bookshop, now turned bookshop bar The Chapel. Stop in for a drink and browse the books, it's a pretty unique environment.
(The Chapel, 44/46 Albion Street, Broadstairs. Opening hours: Sun - Weds 12pm - 1am, Thurs - Sat 12pm - 2am)
Two options now - head down to the sea and towards an ice cream sundae at Morellis, or back up the high street to the bus stop and jump back on the loop to Ramsgate.
Recommended places to eat & drink in Broadstairs: Morellis (amazing ice cream sundaes, sandwiches, hot & cold drinks), Wyatt & Jones (not cheap but the food is incredible), Raindell's American Grill (hot dogs, burgers etc. Great food).
Get off the bus at the yacht marina/Ramsgate Travelodge and walk up the road to awesome tiny comic shop Geek Havok where you can chat to the friendly staff who'll give you all kinds of comic and graphic novel recommendations. They also sell board games, funko pops and other fan merchandise as well as sometimes having mystery grab bags if you're not sure where to start! They sell both new and pre-owned graphic novels and the prices are pretty much unbeatable.
(Geek Havok, 4 Turner Street, Margate. Opening hours: 9-6pm Mon - Sat, 10 - 5pm Sun)
Further up the road is Michael's, another of the labyrinthine second hand bookshops Thanet is so good at. It doesn't look particularly auspicious from the outside but have a wander around inside and you'll probably find something to buy among the shelves and shelves of books.
(Michaels Bookshop, 72 King Street, Ramsgate, CT11 8NY. Opening hours: 9.30-5.30pm Mon - Sat. Closed Thurs)
Recommended places to eat & drink in Ramsgate: Royal Victoria Pavillion (the biggest Wetherspoons in the country. Cheap, decent food and absolutely beautiful sea views), Sorbetto (brilliant ice cream parlour).
Get back on the loop in the opposite direction to get back to where you need to be!
You can do this as an all in one tour or in several sections over the course of the Bookie weekend, as you'll obviously have lots of other bookish events to attend! We'd love to hear about it if you do it, and of course have a nosy at what you buy - you can find us on twitter @NinjaBookBox/@ldnbkshopcrawl or on Facebook.
Happy book shopping!