In no particular order some of my favourite places to shop for books in London:
When I came over to live in London, Foyles’s flagship store felt like home. There was plenty to explore and I always spent too much money in store. Waterloo is my favourite branch, not because of its size but because of the interior design. I am just saying they have wicked chandeliers. Plus the stock is, at least for the size of the shop, decent. But of course, the flagship store is grand!
You see what they did there? Clever, eh? Anyway – I study in the area, so I am a fairly regular visitor to this shop. I bought more than one book from here. Excellent second hand stock when it comes to history, humanities and fiction. When it comes to popular fiction, I’d say that you can probably find your book cheaper in one of the millions of charity shops in the city.
It’s a little independent bookshop on Broadway market. I like hanging out at Broadway market on a Sunday and having a stroll along the canal and of course, have a browse here.
It’s just next to the Broadway Bookshop. Specialising in books about art and (art)theory. I never bought anything from here, still I pop in and enjoy browsing whenever I am at Broadway market.
Beautiful little shop on Marylebone Road, specialising in travel books. Interestingly books in the basement are sorted by countries which makes it even more fun to browse.
Gosh is a comic bookshop that used to be around the British museum. They have lots of independent graphic novels, graphic novels in general and comics. The grumpy girl is long gone and they fucked up my standing order twice, hence I don’t have one with them anymore. Still, they do pretty decent events (book signings!) and I cannot resist to pop in.
Super friendly and helpful. Nuff said. Purchase your comics from here! Afterwards go to Cookies and Scream for the best vegan milkshakes in town (they even impress non-vegan friends) and then get away from Camden as quickly as possible! When it’s sunny have a stroll along the canal down to Central St. Martins.
London is amazing because you can walk along the canal and find a second hand bookshop on a barge.
Another thing I really like about London is charity shop browsing. In general Oxfam bookshops are a good address to find bestsellers and the occasional gem. Why I mention the bookshop in Ealing? Because I managed to get the whole Preacher tradeback series out of here. For under 50 quid! Another Oxfam that I frequent is the one around Tottenham Court Road as they keep some interesting German books on the shelf.
I am actually not too impressed with the selection of German books. I probably say that because they only have one or two Thomas Bernhard books, but still it is pretty cool to even get them here.
Rough Trade – Music fans will already know about it. Get the latest indie-vinyl from here and go to the free in-store gigs. Also cast an eye on the music books they have. Ignore the books on Street Art, though.
I know, a whole street full of bookshops. The place to go if you fancy spending your money on first editions, let’s say on To the lighthouse. I have fond memories of this shop: I went through a phase where I devoured Shirley Jackson’s books (that was before the new penguin classic reprint). I was particularly keen on getting my hands on a first edition of The Sundial. Guess where I got it from?
“What’s the bookshop called again?”
“The witch one!”
– Special interest, but hours of browsing fun.