When you are working on a student budget, buying books may seem like it will break the bank. Highly priced new editions are the first image that springs to mind.
Canterbury, like most student towns in the United Kingdom, has a hidden supply of literature for next to nothing; you need only know where to find the best deals for the best books.
Oxfam Bookshop Canterbury
51 St Peter’s Street, CT1 2BE
Cantebury’s Oxfam Bookshop is so well stocked with university level texts that one would expect it suspect it supplies Templeman Library. The wealth of literature stored within this second hand book shop ranges from first edition fictions novels, historical texts and literature, all the way through to business, religion and architecture. Any and all subjects that the University supplies, or in fact exist, are available here.
The prices are normally below £5, but do not be surprised if you find something for a higher value due to its demand, age or edition.
Whether it is humanities, science, sports or a creative subject you study, or even if you are looking for a leisurely read, Oxfam Bookshop Canterbury is a first choice stop.
The Children’s Trust Shop
5a St Peter’s Street, CT1 2AT
The Children’s Trust Shop is a hidden gem for anyone looking for humanities academic texts, especially History, English and Drama. Situated on St Peter’s Street, between Houdini’s Bar and the Wildwood Restaurant, the charity shop is often overlooked when seen from the front. However, rest assured that once you enter and round the corner, there is a wide array of books for very cheap prices; usually between £1-5.
According to the volunteers, the books are supplied by an anonymous gentleman who brings them almost daily. So, take advantage each time you pass by as you are likely to find something that will add an edge to your essay.
Catching Lives (Crooked House) Bookshop
28 Palace Street, CT1 2DZ
The Catching Lives Bookshop, also known as the ‘Crooked House’ Bookshop, is famous not only for its wonky exterior (although though it is very memorable) but also for its endless supply of books.
All for around £3-7 per book, the Bookshop covers near all genres, both casual and academic, throughout its historic three floors. All the funds go towards the local Canterbury Catching Lives Charity which aids the local homeless population.
‘All genres’ really means all; they supply everything from birdwatching guides to aroma therapy kit list, alongside more general topics. They have also just recently opened a new room in the back of the ground floor which boasts an impressive selection of classics and sub-genres such as biography, dairies and essays.
For those looking to indulge in the variety, the shop also supplies a wrapped ‘lucky dip’ option, offering customers a book they cannot judge by its cover.
10B Burgate, CT1 2HG
Burgate Books Canterbury is definitely on the higher end of Canterbury’s Bookshop choices, and one to visit if you are looking for something more rare or unique. Prices do vary more than others on this list, but since all the funds go towards the charity Pilgrims Hospice, they remain low and for a good cause.
The one main draw back for University of Kent students is the distance. The majority of Kent students are situated on the north-west side of Canterbury, and Burgate Books is situated next-door to the Thomas Ingleby Wetherspoons.
However, if you are willing to make the trek it will definitely pay off. The shop caters for most subjects and interests, so you are bound to find something for a reasonable price.