I’m Planning A Bookshop Crawl in London…

…Next week with Gavin of Gav Reads and An Unreliable Reader when we are both in London. Gavin and I haven’t seen each other in aaaaaaages, though we talk all the time, but we thought a fun way to spend a day would be to wander the streets of London book hunting, and possibly book hauling. What could be better? The question though now is which bookshops do we go to?

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Now while I lived in London for 12 years the first few were spent in a barren period of book buying as I only regained my love of books and bookshops in the last few years that I was there and then I generally spent times in the ones in central or the ones in and around Tooting. So I was wondering if you lovely lot could tell me about your favourite bookshops (be they chains, indies, in central or out of it) in the capital and why you love them so much? We may just pop to them and I may just get one of you, picked later at random, a gift as a thank you, ha!

22 Comments

Filed under Give Away, Random Savidgeness

22 responses to “I’m Planning A Bookshop Crawl in London…

  1. Strange also in London next Thursday myself

  2. I know it’s a little clichéd, but the (old) flagship Foyles was my hunting ground when I lived in central London – so much variety and knowledge there. The new one is wonderful, but not quite the same…

  3. Alison

    Lucky old you! Try the Amnesty bookshop in Hammersmith..last time I was there it was 2014, but hope its still there..

  4. The bookshop I’ve long been meaning to visit but not got there so far is the LRB one near the British Library.

  5. Alison

    Try the Amnesty bookshop in Hammersmith

  6. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Foyles is always amazing – and my first port of call when I arrived for a trip in London. The LRB shop Annabel mentions is lovely, and has an impressive amount of stock for a small building (plus a great cafe with tea and cakes). If you want second hand, the Bloombsbury Oxfam is a couple of streets away from the LRB and not far from Foyles; and of course Skoob is worth the walk, but you may not get out with your credit card intact….🙂
    Happy hunting!

  7. Col

    Keeping the old cliche thing going I still love going to Waterstones at Piccadilly – it’s huge of course but building is beautiful especially in evening and nearby the Queens Head pub on Denman Street is nice to retire to and review purchases over a beer!

  8. Jon Morgan

    Any amount of books. Bitty but occasionally superb !
    Notting hill book exchange if only for the rudeness of the staff and their appalling taste in ‘music’.
    Skoob in the Brunswick Centre in various incarnations it has haunted my book buying since the late 70’s.

  9. I do love Foyles on the Charing Cross Road but also Waterstone’s Piccadilly. Daunt’s Marylebone Road have fantastic booksellers in my experience – really good at handselling books you may not have heard of (probably not relevant in your case!) There’s a new one that’s opened in Hanbury Street – it crosses Brick Lane – called Libreria. I went there the other day. I couldn’t make up my mind whether I loved it or thought it a little err, pretentious. It’s quite small – I thought it was larger until I rather embarrassingly walked into the mirror attached to the back wall! Avoid that at all costs! I’d like to go back when it’s empty and sort of accustom myself to its shelving system. It’s very yellow which I love but I wish it was larger and slightly less cool! Skoob Books in Bloomsbury for second hand books. Hope you have a lovely day. I’d be interested to know what you think of Libreria if you get there.

  10. happyphantom

    Ooh, Gay’s The Word is always worth a visit.

  11. Hhmmmm…. Don’t think there are any bookshops left around Tooting?
    (Such a shame!)

  12. Anna

    If you want to get out of the centre, Review on Bellenden Road in Peckham is great.

  13. Joanna C

    If you’re looking for independent book shops, I’ve been visiting Skoob in the Brunswick Centre near Russell Square for nearly a decade (and my family has since the 70s, so it’s come well-recommended!) as well as two book shops side by side right by Leicester Square station on Charing Cross Road, one of them’s called Henry Ford Books or something along those lines, I always forget. My absolute favourite will always be the Waterstones Piccadilly, I’ve spent so many hours in there reading on comfy armchairs with my dad or popping by for a new book when doing my first bit of work experience in my teens. Lots of fond memories, places to sit down, and I’ve not found a bookshop that beats the selection!

  14. Daunt Books in Marylebone is very charming!

  15. Sorry for the double post, but also Hatchard’s in Piccadilly. Mentioned in Mrs Dalloway. Very interesting staircase.

  16. I’d really recommend Lutyens and Rubinstein in Notting Hill. A beautiful bookshop, and really well curated. The Lutyens and Rubinstein literary agency shares the building, but you wouldn’t know it. At basement level the office is hidden behind a wall of books which secretly slide apart…

  17. Sophie Mitchell

    Oh Simon, do check out Skoob for a bit of pot luck second hand browsing. The selection of old Penguins is a sight to behold!

  18. chatebooks

    Lucky you! I wish I could do the same. Libraries are underrated these days especially with the technology that we have. I hope you find great reads. Will look forward to how your trip went. ChatEbooks recently posted https://www.chatebooks.com/blog-4-Simple-Tips-on-Writing-a-Concise-and-Impressive-Book-Synopsis

  19. So many great books shops on the Charing Cross Road have disappeared since the times when I used to spend an entire day walking from Leicester Square tube to Tottenham Court Road. No more Murder One or Sportspages. These days your best bet are the charity stores. If you are visiting Daunt Books, there is an amazing Oxfam just down the road that is mostly books.

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