House of Books & Friends is a new purpose-led independent bookshop, cafe and events space opening up at the top of King Street, in Bruntwood’s Manchester Club building, home to the opulent Grand Pacific on the first floor.
The bookshop and community space will offer initiatives for customers and businesses to donate books through pay-it-forward schemes, as well as opportunities for people to make connections with their community.
Focusing on new titles alongside a collection of second-hand stock, the store will also run community projects, funded by book sales, including initiatives aiming to connect older people with friends, providing a place for new mums to meet, working alongside local charities and providing a learning environment for schools.
The building itself, Manchester Club, is an impressive Victorian Gothic Grade II-listed building steeped in history, originally opening back in 1871 as a members club, with members including Winston Churchill.
Darryl Cooke, one of the owners behind House of Books & Friends said: “Bookshops are the centre of communities and can provide a much-needed service that improves people’s lives, focusing on all the challenges that exist. Reading can connect us physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. When we read, we are not alone.
“Our bookshops will not only sell books but offer a space to create activities that will bond communities, from reading clubs to walking groups to wine societies. Our focus will be to connect all the charities we work with and, at the heart, to develop a culture of connection that will combat loneliness.
“We are searching for a bookseller who will bring necessary expertise and passion to our dream and who will work alongside us and the many charities that we work with to bring our dream to fruition.”