Shop among best in the world

A BOOK shop has been labelled one of the most beautiful in the world.

Barter Books in Alnwick was given the accolade by American culture website Flavorpill.

Produced in New York, the website listed its top 20 most beautiful stores worldwide, with Barter Books featuring at number 16.

Bosses at the shop were humbled by the global recognition.

Co-owner Mary Manley said: “I am thrilled, I love our book shop and I take a lot of pride in it.

“I am a bit overwhelmed as some of the other book shops are just superb. If you look at the others I think there are only about three we can compete with as the rest of them are absolutely stunning.”

“I would like to go and visit all 20 of them if I can.”

Barter Books is the only book shop in the list from the UK, featuring alongside shops in Italy, China, Argentina and Holland.

David Champion, shop director at Barter Books, said: “It is a bit of an honour and is very humbling. “It’s nice to have someone from America ranking us with other fabulous book shops all over the world. I also think it’s good for Northumberland.”

Barter Books was opened by Mary and her husband Stuart Manley in 1991.

One of the largest second-hand book shops in the UK, it contains a model railway which runs round the store just below the ceiling as well as a giant mural featuring 43 writers.

Mary said: “I didn’t want Barter Books to be just stacks of shelves, so I introduced the columns but felt I needed something to tie them together. My husband used to work for a factory selling model trains inside the old station and so I decided to add the model train and it turned out to be one of the most popular things in the shop.”