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01228 529067

About is the online home of three independent Cumbrian bookshops,owned and run by the Matthews family who have lived and worked here since 1978. Today, Steve Matthews runs Bookcase, the antiquarian and secondhand books arm of the business. His wife, Gwenda works behind the scenes on the website and on social media, having retired from full-time shop duties a few years ago. Their daughter Lucy looks after the two new bookshops  in Carlisle and Keswick, organises events in their cafe Cakes and Ale in Carlisle (The cafe is managed by John Watts of Carlisle), oversees the website and does a little bit or a great deal of everything! The shops and cafe have  a great team of staff members. This locally owned family business employs about 30 staff
Find out more by visiting our links page  here


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..Bookends is the official festival bookseller for Borderlines Book Festival, held annually in October.

We have an exceptionally comprehensive range of Cumbrian books with well over 1700 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

New Bookcase CarlisleBookcase 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 on the website. Search  ‘Bookcase’ for a full listing of our own publications, many of which have also won prizes at the Lakeland Book of the Year awards.
About Bookcase Carlisle

If you’re looking for that elusive book on Cumberland or Westmorland, and can’t find it on this website, please email us at [email protected]

Cakes and Ale Café

Tel: 01228 529067

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 became the start of the multi-venue State Management Scheme Museum and now features 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. The cafe is run and managed by John Watts of Carlisle.

Weather permitting, the garden area is a delightful area to relax with a cuppa or a glass of wine!

Bookends of Keswick

Tel: 017687 75277

New Bookends Keswick
Our Keswick branch is smaller but jam-packed with the same range of full-price and remainder books, an impressive selection of Lake District and Cumbrian 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 we have small outlets in the Keswick Museum and the Theatre by the Lake.. We’re an active shop with links to schools, regular events and activities and a monthly reading group.