Brighton has always had a lot of bookshops.
Waterstones. With a four-storey store by the clocktower in Brighton and a smaller one in George St, Hove, this is the place to get your Peter James’ and other general fiction/non-fiction. The Brighton branch has a cafe and lots of comfy chairs while the Hove one is a lot more compact.
City Books is a lovely little indie bookshop on Western Road between Brighton and Hove. It is very compact and bijou with two floors and a nice window display. Does lots of author readings (usually at the Old Market) with big names like Nick Cave and PJ Harvey.
Kemptown Bookshop is right down the end of George St in Kemptown. Does that even count as Brighton? Another lovely little indie it sells books, prints, stationary and coffee. It has a varied selection of events as well.
CookBookBake is a bookshop dedicated to cookery books. It is situated on the Hove coast road just along the road from the King Alfred. I have only peered in through the window but they seem to have recipe books from all around the world and covering all sorts of cuisines.
Feminist Book Shop and Vegan Cafe probably couldn’t be more Brighton if it tried. That said, they have a great selection of female/LGBT fiction and nonfiction. They have events, run a subscription book club and do a nice line in gift boxes.
Afrori. Tucked away in a back street in the North Laine is this specialist black bookshop. Stocking books by black authors and around black matters, it has been around for about a year now. It is currently crowdfunding.
Daves Comics on Sydney Street has been around since the 90s. With its funky frontage, it specialises in comics, graphic novels, and that sort of thing.
Forbidden Planet. Just down from the clock tower, this is an offshoot of the big shop in London. The ground floor has lots of manga and anime while downstairs is comics, graphic novels and other merch.
Goldsboro Books. Based in Ship Street, this bookshop specialises in new and rare signed first editions. In that respect it is a bit of a collector’s place, not somewhere you browse around on the off chance. They also have a branch in London.
The Book Nook is an award-winning independent children’s bookshop on First Avenue in Hove. They do books for preschool to young adults and have regular events.
And then there are the second-hand book shops.
Ubu Books is tucked away in the far corner of Brighton’s Open Market but is well worth a visit. It specialises in old paperbacks, of most genres, from the last 70 years. If you like yellowing pages and outlandish covers then this is the place.
Other than that you have the Amnesty Bookshop on Sydney Street and the usual Oxfam bookshops in Kensington Gardens and Blatchingto Road.