London Bookshops

I just got back from a blissful week in London, and I miss this gorgeous city already. While I did visit the city multiple times, this time I wanted to fully indulge my bookish fancies and visit as many bookshops as I could…and buy loads of books in the process! By the end of the holiday, I ended up with a luggage full to bursting with books, with barely enough space to stuff my clothes and boxes of chocolates!

 

Hatchards, 187, Piccadily

One of my favourite bookshops is actually one of the oldest. It’s a five-storey shop on one of the busiest streets in London, but when you step through their doors you are instantly transported into another world of oak framed shelves, tottering piles of books and well-worn sofas. I absolutely love their gorgeous selection of Penguin classics, their great variety of history books and their many hidden gems scattered throughout the whole shop.

What I bought:

  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
  • The Confession by Jessie Burton

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Waterstones, Garrick Street, Covent Garden

There are loads of Waterstones bookshops scattered throughout London, but I do love visiting the one at Covent Garden, especially in the evening when it’s not too busy. I love the way they decorate their window displays and I also love their beautiful selection of stationary.

What I bought:

  • The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
  • Nothing…except my genius: the wit and wisdom of Oscar Wilde
  • Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

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Waterstones, Gower Street

There is also a lovely Waterstones close to the British Museum, that unfortunately I didn’t have time to browse. I did visit the shop though to buy the newly released The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. It’s a gorgeous Waterstones special edition with specially designed jacket and gorgeous endpapers.

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Cecil Court, the Booksellers’ Row

After visiting Waterstones at Covent Garden, we decided to head to Cecil Court, a charming 17th century alley lined with second-hand bookshops and antique shops. While it links two very busy streets, this pedestrian street is quite cosy and atmospheric. Unfortunately we visited in the evening when all the shops were closed, but it was still an incredible experience to peek through the shop’s windows and glimpse their wonderful interiors. There are shops selling first-edition books, some of them incredibly rare, art, jewellery and whatever you may fancy.

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Persephone Books, 59 Lambs Conduit Street

Persephone Books is an independent publisher based in Bloomsbury that reprints long-lost books by mostly women authors from the mid 20th century. You can find short stories, memoirs, diaries, fiction and non-fiction and even cookery books. What’s special about this bookshop is that all the books have the same elegant grey jacket cover except for their uniquely designed end-papers. They have also re-issued a selection of their bestsellers with gorgeous pictures on their covers.

What I bought:

  • The Home-Maker by by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  • High Wages by Dorothy Whipple

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Daunts Books, Marylebone High Street

This is by far one of my new favourite bookshops EVER! I visited on the last day and it was one of the highlights of the trip. It felt like stepping through time as I glimpsed the long oak galleries and the heavenly skylight. This original Edwardian bookshop organises its sections geographically, where travel guides, history, fiction/non-fiction books are grouped by their relevant country. The staff are incredibly helpful and very well-read, and they recommend some of the best books!

What I bought:

  • The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
  • I Remain in Darkness by Annie Ernaux
  • Shelley Poems by Mary Shelley
  • Territory of Light by Yūko Tsushima

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Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road

I cannot fail from mentioning one of the large bookstores in London, with six floors full of books of different subjects and specialism. There’s also a Cafe that sells locally-sourced food. The sheer size of the shop always takes my breath away and I never manage to browse all of it in one go!

What I bought:

  • Melmoth by Sarah Perry

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I hope you enjoyed this short trip around London! x

4 thoughts on “London Bookshops

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