London is a reader’s dream — and a client’s dream as effectively. Nevertheless, precisely what number of bookstores are in London is a little bit of a thriller. In response to one map on-line, there are 112 unbiased bookshops within the British capital. However based mostly by myself information, there are oodles extra, largely little secondhand outlets tucked into corners throughout town. Then there are the non-independent shops, the regional chains, and the worldwide powerhouses. Add within the kiosks at practice stations, museums, and multi-purpose shops, and the variety of book-selling institutions should push near 1,000. That’s nice information should you’re a reader like me!

Travis & Emery and Watkins bookshops in Covent Garden.
Travis & Emery and Watkins bookshops in Covent Backyard (Picture Credit score: Pack-Shot /

A few of these outlets are greater than only a place to purchase a ebook or two. They’re legends in their very own proper, performing as neighborhood hubs and welcoming vacationers as in the event that they’re locals. Listed below are some to place in your journey checklist, beginning with common curiosity institutions and concluding with specialty outlets.

1. E-book Mongers (Brixton)

Considered one of London’s greatest bookstores was based by an American, Patrick Kelly. Devoted followers of Book Mongers love the used bookstore’s cramped however well-organized cabinets. Preserve a watch out for Popeye, the scrappy resident store cat, and be sure you ask for “Popeye’s Picks” when shopping the books.

2. Broadway Bookshop (London Fields)

You’ll doubtless spend much more time in Broadway Bookshop than you think about, as there’s a complete basement you possibly can’t see from the road, full of fiction, native historical past, and child’s books. In addition they have a small exhibition house the place the artwork adjustments each 3 months or so.

the Hampstead Daunt Books branch.
inProgressImaging /

3. Daunt Books (Marylebone)

Although Daunt Books has a number of places, the Marylebone deal with is the clear place to be. This attractive store is in an Edwardian constructing and boasts stained glass home windows. Books are organized by nation, somewhat than style, which makes for a enjoyable (and sometimes bamboozling) shopping expertise.

100 year old eclectic bookshop Foyles in Charing Cross Road,  Soho, London, UK.
DrimaFilm /

4. Foyles (Charing Cross)

The world’s first purpose-built bookstore, Foyles covers each topic conceivable and in addition gives items, stationery, music, and magazines. This multi-level house within the coronary heart of London boasts greater than 4 miles of cabinets throughout 4 flooring, in addition to a restaurant, an auditorium, and a gallery. 

This bus, in the bookshop Hatchards is called "Travels with Edward".
“Travels with Edward” bus at Hatchards (Picture Credit score: Eugene Regis /

5. Hatchards (Picadilly) 

The UK’s oldest surviving bookshop, purchasing at Hatchards is a chic and refined expertise, with only a trace of caprice — head as much as the second-floor youngsters’s part to see for your self. Throughout the annual Christmas Buyer Night, authors are available to combine and mingle with buyers.

6. Heywood Hill (Mayfair)

Refined and understated, Heywood Hill is positioned in a Georgian townhouse. Well-known for antiquarian and kids’s books, the shop has held a royal warrant since 2011. Literary followers shall be eager to know that novelist Nancy Mitford labored within the retailer throughout World Battle II.

Shop window displays the Hurlingham Books store close to Putney Bridge underground station in London. Fulham High Road.
Alla Tsyganova /

7. Hurlingham Books (Fulham)

In case you deal with ebook purchasing like a quest, Hurlingham Books is your sort of place. It’s positively stacked from ground to ceiling, left to proper, and what you’re seeing is simply the tip of the iceberg. Over 1,000,000 books are of their close by warehouse. 

8. John Sandoe Books (King’s Street)

Followers of John Sandoe’s usually describe it as getting into a Dickens novel. From the unique tiny store first established in 1957, the shop has taken over two adjoining shops and is now stocked with greater than 30,000 titles overlaying each floor — together with the chairs! 

9. Kirkdale Bookshop (Sydenham) 

Half neighborhood bookshop and half cultural hub, Kirkdale hosts paintings and musical occasions. It gives a mixture of new and secondhand books, prioritizing authors of coloration and LGBTQIA+ authors. 

10. Liberia (Spitalfields)

On this bookshop based by a tech entrepreneur, the vibe is decidedly analog. Cell phones are banned! But Liberia’s design may be very futuristic, with shiny yellow cabinets organized by theme to “maximize serendipity.” 

Through the window of the London Review Cake Shop.
Eddie Jordan Photographs /

11. London Assessment Bookshop (Bloomsbury) 

The London Assessment of Books is a literary periodical, however it additionally runs a cozy bookstore with a give attention to basic fiction in addition to new. In addition they function a cake store, which is totally pleasant (and maybe the rationale this bookstore is so well-liked with writers).

12. Lutyens & Rubinstein (Notting Hill)

Stylish, modern, and effectively organized, Lutyens & Rubinstein is each bookshop and literary company. They assembled their preliminary inventory after surveying tons of of readers (adults and youngsters), and, as such, each ebook right here is actually a private suggestion.

13. Nomad Books (Fulham)

This informal, cozy house with squishy sofas is a favourite of writers and celebrities and has a powerful neighborhood vibe with a wonderful youngsters’s part. Nomad Books has a wide selection of French-language titles too.

A second hand book shop on Regent's Park Road, an attractive shopping street at the bottom of Primrose Hill, London.
William Barton /

14. Primrose Hill Books (Primrose Hill)

Vastly cozy, Primrose Hill Books is a family-run bookshop promoting new and used titles and so they often host small literary occasions with massive names. This can be a good place to go to search out works by native writers — some from proper in their very own neighborhood — and signed copies. 

15. Assessment Bookshop (Peckham) 

Review may have bragging rights as London’s most dog-friendly bookstore. Pups are welcome to browse, the bookstore curates an inventory of dog-themed reads, and you may even submit a photograph of your pooch to be featured on their website.

16. Waterstones Piccadilly (Piccadilly)

Admittedly, Waterstones Piccadilly is about as removed from a comfy unbiased bookstore as you’ll discover. Waterstones is a serious chain, and its Piccadilly location is reputed to be Europe’s largest bookstore. However what it lacks in homey allure, it makes up for in facilities and titles. Situated in central London, that is the right spot to cover away for a number of hours when the rain hits.

Word on the Water: The Bookbarge Bookshop in London.
Panorama Inventory Photographs /

17. Phrase On The Water (King’s Cross)

In case you’re going to make time for only one London bookstore, Word On The Water ought to be it. This new and used bookstore is definitely a “ebook barge,” a 100+-year-old Dutch barge moored on Regent’s Canal. It’s quirky and enjoyable and has bonafide literary chops, internet hosting musical performances and poetry slams.

18. Alice By The Trying Glass (Covent Backyard)

Alice Through The Looking Glass may be probably the most particular of all of London’s particular curiosity booksellers. Because the title suggests, it’s residence to all issues Alice, from expensive first editions to trendy novelties. Browsers will even discover a mini-museum and first editions of different childhood classics just like the Harry Potter sequence. Situated on Cecil Court docket, this retailer is a part of “Bookseller’s Row,” the perfect place to browse for uncommon titles. 

19. Arthur Probsthain (Bloomsbury)

This family-run bookstore has been in operation for over 100 years and focuses on titles associated to world tradition, particularly Africa, Asia, and the Center East. Their onsite tea room, Tea and Tattle, serves afternoon tea full with scones and truffles and can be a wonderful cease for an inexpensive lunch.

The famous 'Books for Cooks' bookshop and cooking school in Notting Hill, West London. /

20. Books For Cooks (Notting Hill) 

Because the title suggests, Books for Cooks sells hundreds of titles associated to the culinary arts, from basic cookbooks to biographies. Extra than simply booksellers, they’ve a tiny check kitchen the place they put their stock to the check. Nicknamed “one of the best smelling store on this planet,” you possibly can even have lunch right here.

21. Homosexual’s The Phrase (Bloomsbury)

The UK’s oldest LGBT bookshop sells new and used titles starting from fiction to relationships to parenting. They’re additionally a hub of neighborhood exercise, internet hosting dialogue teams (together with one which’s been round for 40 years!) and literary occasions.

Gosh! Comics shop in Covent Garden.
Alena Veasey /

22. Gosh! (Soho)

This amazing shop is devoted to comics and graphic novels. It has titles for youngsters and adults, together with every little thing from mainstream choices to extra obscure work from small-press publishers. In addition they inventory uncommon used titles, signed books, and items.

23. Persephone (Bloomsbury) 

Specializing in Twentieth-century feminine writers, Persephone solely shares what they themselves have printed. As such, they offer a brand new lease of life to out-of-print writers. The books are simply as good to gather as they’re to learn, as they function gray covers, shiny linings, and forwards by well-known authors.

24. Stanfords (Covent Backyard)

One of many world’s premier journey bookstores, Stanfords is full of journey guides, maps, literary adventures, cool items, and important journey gear. Established in 1853, former prospects embrace Florence Nightingale and Captain Robert Scott. 

woman sitting in front of the famous Notting Hill bookshop, located at 13 Blenheim Crescent.
Awana JF /

25. The Notting Hill Bookshop (Notting Hill) 

Made well-known by the 1999 movie Notting Hill, this iconic bookstore with the intense blue signal does certainly concentrate on journey books, although at present The Notting Hill Bookshop has expanded to incorporate general-interest titles (plus magnets with quotes from its namesake film).

26. Travis & Emery (Covent Backyard)

One other Cecil Court docket gem, Travis & Emery focuses on music, together with uncommon, used, and collectible books, plus sheet music, playbills, images, and prints. Music followers shall be equally enamored by the truth that Mozart as soon as lived on this very constructing.

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