My favourite bookshop – Salts Mill

A few weeks ago, my online friend, author Christina Lorenzen, mentioned that she had visited the Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland. Owned by Nora Roberts’ husband, it must surely be a pilgrimage for all romance authors and readers, and it got me thinking about my own favourite bookshop.

Don’t get me wrong – any bookshop feels like home to me, especially if coffee is available! But I do have a favourite – and it’s a pretty unusual one.

Salts Mill #1
Salts Mill was built in the mid-19th century in the village of Saltaire (now a designated World Heritage Site) in West Yorkshire. Both the village and the mill have a very interesting history – so much so that both my kids studied it as part of their GCSE History course.

Salts Mill #2

I couldn’t begin to go into that history here, but for a little background context – Saltaire is named after Sir Titus Salt who, at a time of huge industrial growth and squalid conditions for textile workers, believed in providing decent housing for his mill workers, along with a hospital, school, library, shops, park, church, bath and wash houses (although he wouldn’t allow pubs!)

Salts Mill art floor

Renovated in the late 1980s, nowadays Salts Mill is best known for its connection with Bradford-born artist David Hockney, and its galleries display many of his works – but it also has a diner and restaurant, and sells art supplies, homeware, artisan jewellery, outdoor clothing, antiques … and, of course, BOOKS.

Salts Mill books #1
I can’t tell you how much I love visiting this place. A rainy weekend … coffee first, of course … and then wandering the stone-flagged floors, gazing in awe at the original structure of the mill around you … peaceful classical music in the background … browsing an eclectic variety of books, so beautifully displayed.

Salts Mill books #2

On another floor there are a wide selection of art books and supplies which I don’t pay quite as much attention to … and beautiful notebooks and stationery, which I pay a great deal of attention to!

Salts Mill art supplies

For me, this is book shop heaven. It is so unique – a haven of relaxation – and I only last a few weeks before I’m desperate for my next fix 🙂

How about you? Do you have a favourite bookstore you just can’t resist?

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11 thoughts on “My favourite bookshop – Salts Mill

  1. rosgemmell says:

    What a wonderful place to browse in! I love unusual bookshops but we don’t have any near us. It’s the first place I look out for when visiting other towns and cities.

  2. Margaret Cullingford says:

    You’ve sold the whole shebang to me, Helen. There are so many reasons for wanting to visit West Yorkshire and this is one more.Have to say, any bookshop I happen to be in at the time has to be the favourite, especially if coffee’s provided. And from time to time, my poor husband still gets a bit of flak from hustling me out of Shakespear & Co on Paris’s Left Bank before I could have a really good browse.

    • Helen Pollard says:

      Hi Margaret – glad to give you another reason to head this way sometime! Paris? I’ve only been there once on a day visit, but I expect it’s a fantastic place to browse …

  3. April Munday says:

    I hope it’s a new addition. I should hate to think I missed it on my only visit there five years ago. I was there to visit the amazing Early Music Shop, which is also on the premises.

    • Helen Pollard says:

      Hi April – I’ve walked past the Early Music Shop but never been in. Although some of the other outlets have changed on and off, the bookshop and art floor have been there since it was renovated (sorry!!) You’ll just have to visit again sometime … 🙂

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