New Aeon Books is a small book shop in Manchester, England. Long before Waterstone's began offering coffee with their books, New Aeon was there; combining new and used books of a pagan, occult or supernatural nature, a café and a meeting room. It is found at 110 Tib Street, M4 1LR; just a couple of minutes' walk out of town from Afflecks Palace.

At the end of October 1993, Golden Dawn Books closed its doors in Manchester's Corn Exchange, and the void was rapidly filled by New Aeon Books; they had scraped together the first week's rent before securing any other funding or suppliers. Thanks to good suppliers, a lot of hard work, and the luck of finding well-known premises, they were fully in business and beginning to turn a working profit after only a couple of months; although still not earning wages for themselves.

All was well until June 15, 1996. The IRA detonated a bomb in central Manchester, which directly affected the Corn Exchange and all the businesses in it. One of the shop staff, Adrian was eye-witness to the explosion.

Around the end of October 1996, after salvaging what they could from the original shop; and living with it for several months, a new location was found. It was large enough to house not only the books, tarot cards and jewellery; but also the Kallisti Café, serving vegan and vegetarian snacks, and a meeting room upstairs.

They pride themselves on providing a comfortable environment for browsing; and I must say on our visit we found the staff helpful, the huge variety of books well classified, and it really was a pleasurable experience.

Unfortunately, we had just breakfasted, so we didn't sample their delicious-looking food.

The Big Issue has this to say:

"... the handy combination of books and food means that those looking for nourishment for the mind, body and soul can find everything they're looking for in one place.

After browsing through shelves bulging with books on shamanism, reincarnation, wicca and Aleister Crowley, we order from the counter. The emphasis is on snacks to nibble while browsing rather than full meals, but the food is delicious."

The staff have great knowledge, and contacts; and even if they can't provide something, they know where to get it.

Update: They have now (correct in April 2002) moved to 95 Oldham Street, and the café is no more. Books and other items are still going strong, though.