BooksCumbria.com is the online home of three independent Cumbrian bookshops and 'Cakes and Ale' café, all owned and run by the Matthews family who have lived and worked here for almost 40 years.
Bookends of Carlisle
Tel: 01228 529067
Bookends Carlisle is an independent bookshop with about 20,000 new titles across all subjects, and access to a further 5 million titles with a next-day delivery ordering system. We have a busy events programme with visiting authors, regular poetry and reading groups and a weekly storytime (events link). Bookends owner Gwenda Matthews is the chair of Borderlines Book Festival , an annual literature festival held in Carlisle in October, and Bookends is the official festival bookseller. Bookends recently joined Bookcase and Cakes and Ale café at 19 Castle Street and we now have new books, old books, music, cds and vinyl, and delicious cakes and coffee all under one roof!
We have an exceptionally comprehensive range of Cumbrian books with well over 1500 different titles covering all aspects of Cumbrian literature, from history to fiction to walking guides. Although this website features only books, maps and DVDs of Cumbrian interest we can order any British book in print and also regularly place orders for American publications.
If you're looking for a specific new book, just email us with the details at
Bookcase of Carlisle
Tel: 01228 544560
Bookcase in Castle Street, Carlisle is in a listed Georgian townhouse which was once the headquarters of the Carlisle State Management Scheme which ran the only nationalised brewery in the country.
Established in 1978, Bookcase is the sprawling home of secondhand, rare and antiquarian books as well as classical CDs, classical and pop vinyl and sheet music. The selection of out-of-print and rare Cumbrian books is second to none. Bookcase also publishes books of local interest, all of which you'll find listed here. Click here and search for 'Bookcase' for a full listing of our own publications, many of which have also won prizes at the Lakeland Book of the Year awards.
If you're looking for that elusive book on Cumberland or Westmorland, and can't find it on this website, please email us at
Cakes and Ale Café
Tel: 01228 544560
Established in November 2015, 'Cakes and Ale' café serves a range of hot, cold and alcoholic drinks, delicious homemade cakes and light lunches in a spacious vintage tearoom with a large garden. In late 2016 the café will be the start of the multi-venue State Management Scheme Museum and will feature a permanent exhibition on the nationalisation of breweries and public houses in the twentieth century in Carlisle. The café is used for author events, book launches and is also available for private hire in the evenings.
Bookends of Keswick
Tel: 017687 75277
Our Keswick branch is smaller but jam-packed with the same range of full-price and remainder books, an impressive range of Lake District and Cumbria titles and an efficient ordering system. We serve both the local community and the thousands of visitors Keswick welcomes every year in our shop and small outlets in the Keswick Museum and the Theatre by the Lake. Bookends of Keswick is also the official bookseller for the ten-day 'Words by the Water' Literary Festival held annually in March. We're an active shop with links to schools, regular events and activities and a monthly reading group led by Ellen Mattinson.