On my recent walk along the Tyneside coast I overlooked a secondhand bookshop that’s tucked away in Whitley Bay. The town is an increasingly gentrified suburb outside Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, yet it’s a bit overshadowed by its increasingly blingy and expensive neighbour, Tynemouth. Furthermore, Olivers is one of those bookshops that can suffer a low passing trade simply through location. Nor does it show up in web searches for bookshops in Newcastle. Chancing upon it was therefore a nice surprise, and hopefully this post will help more visitors and locals to get acquainted with it.
The shop itself is very small, which encourages my one niggle, and that’s stacks of books on the floor (which I’ve written about previously in respect of Voltaire and Rousseau). However, this malady isn’t too obstructive here, and is made up for by worthwhile titles that are in good condition and upwards. The prices are very keen – a place to consider if you’ve got a literature or classics reading list.
Enter the postcode (NE26 2NF) into Google maps and you’ll see that the shop is just south of the beach. So a good route for a coastal walk is to start at the north end, near St Mary’s Lighthouse, head along the beach, perhaps taking a break at the excellent Rendezvous Cafe on the beachside, then continue south along the beach, or maybe the park overlooking it, and finally go inland on a detour to Olivers.
Final note: there will be a quarterly book fair in Tynemouth this coming Sunday 23rd August. See the gallery in my previous post for details. I believe that Olivers will be there, and I might be too!