Cogito ergo sum - I think, therefore I am Descartes

Cogito Books is at the heart of Hexham's vibrant and independent community. We use our enthusiasm and expertise to make book buying in Cogito personal, pleasurable and interesting.

Since opening in 2001, we have dedicated our energies to the values we believe in: discovering reading gems, delivering the best customer service, and creating a place of inspiration. We know that when people shop for books they are not just paying for a commodity, they are buying something that touches their lives and that is what drives us. In an increasingly homogenous world, people know that Cogito will welcome them in, have exciting things going on, remember their tastes and recognise their faces; a haven of peace in a busy world.

Cogito Books is a place people return to, whether they are locals or visitors to Northumberland. Our comfy sofas, thoughtful displays, engaging children’s area and even spare specs if you’ve forgotten your own, all promote a happy browsing experience and serendipitous discovery.

We carefully select our books on a daily basis, searching out thought provoking, beautiful and entertaining titles, tailoring our choices to our customers. We love to make informed recommendations and to take the time to listen and match books to the right person. With many years of bookselling experience and our shelves laden with 10,000 titles, we have the knowledge and breadth of books to enable us to satisfy a huge range of reading requirements and tastes for people of all ages.

Cogito Books - Independent Bookselling for Independent Minds


I love books and people and so being a bookseller who connects the two is a terrific job. Since my family opened Cogito in 2001, bookselling has become a way life, with the bookshop an extension of my home and where many customers and books have become good friends.

Some of my favourite reads include A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, The Priory by Dorothy Whipple, Max Porter's Grief is the Thing with Feathers, and anything by Maggie O'Farrell and Sarah Moss. 

Away from the bookshop, I love travel, exploring and a good day's walking in the hills!


I've loved books for as long as I can remember - I am constantly reading and if I'm not it feels as though there's something not quite right with the world. I worked in book production before becoming a bookseller so I have great admiration for beautifully produced books.

My favourite genre would have to be crime fiction from the Golden Age of Dorothy L Sayers and Josephine Tey to more modern favourites like Nicola Upson and J K Rowling - writing as Robert Galbraith. It goes without saying of course that I'm also a huge Harry Potter fan!


I love words – and the journeys they take us on. You can take a book anywhere and be transported; whether you are curled up by the fire, snatching a break or taking a long ride home on a London night bus! I don’t know where I’d be without a book to dive into.

Books have shaped my life: as an English teacher, in publishing and now as a bookseller. Reading Skellig by David Almond with a class of 11-year-olds was a highlight; other favourites are On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin and The Bell by Iris Murdoch.

I enjoy discovering new books with my two children, as well as revisiting favourites. I also love to get out for a run or a walk somewhere wild with friends; preferably ending in a pub!


The first book I saved up to buy for myself was Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson. I’ve re-read it many times since and I’m still a sucker for a beautifully illustrated book.

Even though I always have a book ‘on the go’ it’s a rare thing to find one that leaves me bereft when finished. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor was one, Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell was the most recent. I eagerly await new fiction by Anne Tyler, Barbara Kingsolver and Kate Atkinson and nature writing by Robert McFarlane.

It’s a joy to spend a working day surrounded by books and people who love them as much as I do and who inspire me to find new authors to love. When not at work I enjoy cycling, gardening and all sorts of fibre fettling like knitting, crochet and needle felting.

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