We all love a Waterstones and Foyles, but this piece features a list of the bookshops that every book lover needs to visit. You will walk into them in the morning and walk out of them by the time the evening comes around.
This joint looks pretty elegant on the outside, so it is very hard to resist not walking in to talk a look at what is available in-store, and there is something for every reader out there. In turn, each reader is given a unique experience. This store assembled their stock after polling hundreds of readers, so each book has been recommended by another reader, before you pick it up off the shelf. There is an abundance of fiction, but be sure to check out their poetry and art selections, they have quite interesting pieces.
This is definitely one of London’s most beautiful bookshops and is quite popular for this reason. You will find this gorgeous shop in an Edwardian building which holds the most stunning gallery for the main room and stained glass windows. It is otherworldly. There is a lot to go through in this branch of Daunt Books. It is arranged by country, regardless of genre and content, and it is what makes the browsing experience easy to lose yourself into.
It is so easy to be distracted by your phones when you are in the city, and it is even easier when you are in a quiet bookshop, Libreria fixes that problem because mobile phones are banned. I suggest you learn how to read an analogue clock otherwise you are guaranteed to lose hours in this store. There’s even a printing press in the basement. It does not even feel like an archaic bookshop, it is actually quite modern, with its sleek yellow shelves and interesting furniture choices. Libreria is an inspiring place to read books and makes browsing through them a fun experience.
I am obsessed with this bookshop. If you are a hardcore fan of comics and graphic novels, even if you are new to them, you will be in this store for hours It is dedicated to comics, graphic novels and manga. Anything in the realm of that genre, you will find it in this shop, from your mainstream superhero stories to vintage children’s books and European fiction. It is modern and slick so you know the atmosphere is great in this one.
Based near our university, this bookshop is just 25 minutes away, you should visit if you have time to kill. Be careful, however, this is another one where you will definitely lose time perusing the shelves. It is quite the deceptive store as it is larger on the inside than from the way it looks outside. They have great books for local history. Be sure to follow their Twitter feed to get the latest on their intimate literary events!
A must-vist. You want rare books? Ones that are out of print? Or hard to find? Foster Books is the bookshop for the ultimate bookworm. This beauty has been in operation for nearly fifty years in Chiswick. You can purchase books from the online store, but not much of their stock is actually catalogued from the shelves, so you should visit this store to get a full look at the inventory.
When you go to Piccadilly Circus, the bookstore you will normally find yourself in is Waterstones, but if you explore a little further you will find the little gem that is Hatchards right next to the Fortnum & Mason. Yes, it is owned by Waterstones, too. However, it is not like all of its other chain stores. It is the country’s oldest surviving bookshop, so you know you have to visit it, especially if you are a bookworm.
Girls, this one is for you. Guys, you do not want to miss out on this one either. Supporting the women’s writing comes into physical form with Persephone Books. Its inventory boasts works from overlooked female writers from the twentieth century. You will find reprinted novels, short stories, even cook books written by women who have likely been forgotten through time.
Sloane Square is known for its shopping, but do not just go for the clothes, pop into John Sandoe for the books. They have over 30,000 titles that have been carefully selected by staff. It is tempting to stand outside to admire the window boxes displaying flowers, but walk inside, and enjoy the heaps of books that cover all the surfaces in the store.
You are encountering a luminous beauty of a bookshop when you come to this store. It is quite the quirky bookshop, nevertheless, it still functions well. If you want more unusual items, head down to Bookshop on the Heath, because you will find rare and second-hand books. You will also find maps, if you are into cartography this is another store to visit after Stanfords, which is packed since it is in Covent Garden.
This bookshop is on the more sophisticated side. It is based in Mayfair. It is in a stunning Georgian townhouse. It was even awarded a royal warrant in the last decade. i recommend this book store, however, for its traditional milieu and the simplicity of its inventory. You will find new books and old. Check this store out if you are feeling extra regal.
I walked past this one a few times, only took me a year to finally walk in, and i regret not walking in sooner. Every bibliophile should walk through the door and browse through the rare first editions the store holds, especially if they are signed. This store is perfect for the book collector.
I guess I am letting you in on one of London’s best kept secrets with this recommendation. Even if you are not interested in books, you should still visit the Southbank Centre, but they have this wonderful Book Market hidden under Waterloo Bridge on Queen’s Walk. It is an outdoor secondhand and antique book market. You can visit this book market on the daily, whether it is raining or sunny, until seven o’clock in the evening – with earlier closing times in the winter.
This bookshop is bright, airy and super cosy with the wooden floors and plush sofas. It is quite popular and lively on Fulham Road. Although, those are not the reasons for me putting this book store on the list, I am recommending this one to you for their ‘reading clinics’. Essentially, an advisor sits with you, asks you questions, they will then devise six books for you to receive and read over the next year.
When in Primrose Hill, why not visit Primrose Hill Books? You already know it is a great high street, but pop into this family-run bookshop, you will find yourself in love with their collection of new and second-hand books. I highly recommend you attend one of their literary events, they are quite intimate, and they feel like you are all snuggling up with your favourite book.