My favourite bookshops

I wouldn’t exist without a bookshop. This may sound like hyperbole, but it’s strictly the case, as my mum and dad met through one – both he and my aunt (Mum’s sister) worked in what was then Dillons on Gower Street, near UCL. It’s now inevitably a Waterstone’s.

Given this biographical fact, it’s not surprising that I love bookshops. Waterstone’s don’t really count; to me they’re more booksupermarkets with the same selection in every branch. Having said that, I do make an exception for the Gower St one given that I owe it, you know, my life. But proper bookshops are best. My old favourite was Secession Books in Bath, but that’s sadly no more.

1) Prospero’s Books: my local.

2) The London Review Bookshop: owned by the London Review of Books. Great selection, and a fantastic cake shop.

3) Daunt Books: I love it a) because of the beautiful interior b) because it’s arranged by country, with travel guide books, histories and literature all together

4) Foyles: a good place to meet friends for a wandering chat among the shelves.

It strikes me though that these are all new bookshops. I like wandering up and around Charing Cross Road but I’ve yet to find a ‘favourite’ second-hand bookshop. Charity shops don’t count, I think, although that’s where I get most of my second hand books from. Hm… maybe I need to do a little more exploring.


2 thoughts on “My favourite bookshops

  1. It’s a bit of trek from Crouch End, but I’d recommend Kirkdale bookshop in Sydenham:
    Good new selection, excellent on London history, and a great second hand department containing all sorts of gems. The shop is also a leading player in the Sydenham Arts Festival (better than it sounds) and has a little art gallery. Plus Crystal Palace park is just down the road, so you can go for a lovely walk to celebrate all your amazing finds. Though perhaps not in the weather we’re having at the moment.


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