Thursday, June 12, 2008

Best Bookshops in London

Since I generally work under the assumption that any bookstore is a good bookstore, I am not too critical of anyone trying to make a living selling books. There is something nice and comforting about being surrounded by all that knowledge and all those stories and all that history. A good bookstore warms the heart with its clutter and crowded shelves.

I used to be a book dealer myself and it was often a bittersweet moment when a good book would sell. But that was the nature of the business, let go of one book and go out and find another. It does the heart good to know that there are still people who read and care about books in this age of the blog and the DVD. Great bookstores are always a joy to enter.

So here is a list of London Bookshops in no particular order.

bookartbookshop 17 Pitfield St, London N1 6HBn-features the publications of some of Britain’s best-known artist presses and publishers of artists’ books, as well as books from abroad. The shop is a centre and a service for individual & institutional collectors, artists, publishers and the aesthetically and bibliographically curious. Where a book is more than just something to read.

Newham Bookshop, London, 747 Barking Road, Newham, London E13 9ER-East Londons leading independent bookseller, supplying books for over 29 years. Newham books has recently entered the exciting world of blogging-clearly they are more interested in books than blogs.

London Review Bookshop, Bloomsbury, London, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL-ah, any bookstore in Bloomsbury has to be good for a quick look. And they have cake. Nestled within the London Review Bookshop, the London Review Cake Shop is an exuberant expression of the thread of gaiety so familiar to those that know and love the LRB.

John Sandoe (Books) Ltd, London, 10 Blacklands Terrace, Chelsea, London, SW3 2SR-John Sandoe started this shop in 1957. Before that, the premises were partly devoted to the grooming of poodles. The other half was a junkshop, where books were sold by weight. In 1989 the shop was sold to members of staff. Since then, the business has grown and moved with the times, but it remains essentially the same - an independent literary bookshop with many regular customers.

Daunt Books, Marylebone High St, London, 83 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 4QW-Just looking at the outside of the shop makes me want to go inside. Looks like the kind of place of that Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson would while away the odd hour looking for that rare book on tobacco ash. Called by The Daily Telegraph the Most Beautiful Bookshop in London this is certainly a bookstore worth paying a visit.

Black Gull Books, Camden 70-71 Camden Lock Place, Camden Lock Market, NW1 8AF-One of the Wife's goals for our visit to London was to find a book by John Wyndham that she had not read-since many of his books never seemed to make the trip to Texas. She found an old paperback in a bookstall at Camden Lock-and there was much rejoicing. It may well have been Black Gull Books, but there are so many cool place in Camden Lock you should go anyway.

Bertram Rota, Covent Garden, 31 Long Acre, WC2E 9LT-Since its foundation, Bertram Rota Ltd has established a reputation for handling the sale of archives for major figures in the fields of literature and the arts. Since its foundation, Bertram Rota Ltd has established a reputation for handling the sale of archives for major figures in the fields of literature and the arts.

There are many other great bookshops in London. Bloomsbury is famous for all its bookshops and Notting Hill has more bookstores to browse in than the famous Travel Book Shop.

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