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Living in London

The best bookshops in London

By WardenLucia 11 Jan 2023

If you like books, London will spoil you!

Once a bookseller, always a bookseller. I've put together a list of great London bookshops for all your needs.

  • The best bookshop for comic books: Gosh!
    Their range of graphic novels, small press comic books, illustrated children's books and manga is second to none. Their window displays are always dreamy, and they host events with incredible artists. You can find them in Soho, at 1 Berwick St., W1F 0DR.
  • The best BIG bookshop: Foyles on Charing Cross.
    If you're looking for a vast selection of books (over 200,000 titles over five floors), this the place for you. They've been an independent bookseller for 115 years before being bought by Waterstones - don't worry, though, they are still very independent at heart. A great place to spend a dark, rainy afternoon; they even have a cafe! 107 Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0DT.
  • The best bookshop for aesthetically pleasing pictures (and a truly great selection of titles): Libreria.
    This haven just off Brick Lane is packed with wonderful treasures, with very expert staff able to recommend the perfect title. Cleverly placed mirrors make for a magical atmosphere. Highly recommended. 65 Hanbury St, E1 5JP.
  • The best bookshop for African and Caribbean literature: New Beacon Books.
    Established in 1966, New Beacon Books is the only remaining independent Black publishing and bookselling entity in the UK, and it has played a crucial role in Black British literary life. This wonderful space recently faced the threat of closure but was saved by a massive crowdfunding campaign. I highly recommend supporting them.  76 Stroud Green Road, N4 3EN.
  • The best intersectional bookshop (with great coffee!): The Common Press.
    This space champions titles by marginalised authors and hosts a fabulous series of events. The shop is based in a multidisciplinary arts venue in Shoreditch, which includes a restaurant and events space and a cafe. 118 Bethnal Green Road, E2 6DG.
  • The best second-hand bookshop: Skoob Books.
    Located in the Brunswick Centre, one of the most singular Brutalist developments in the heart of London, Skoob sells over 55,000 titles, with a particular focus on nonfiction, history, politics, and philosophy. 
  • The best indipendent bookshop for LGBTQIA and feminist books: Housmans.
    This radical shop has been selling new and second-hand publications since 1945. They specialise in books, magazines, periodicals on politics, feminism, environmental justice. Don't miss out on the second-hand selection in the basement, with titles starting at £1! 5 Caledonian Rd, N1 9DX.
  • The best bookshop for architecture and art books: AA Bookshop.
    This hidden gem in Bloomsbury is an extension of the neighbouring Architectural Association. It sells a curated selection of books on urbanism, arts, design, philosophy, politics, fiction. It's a beautiful space, filled with great quality books, some of which published by AA themselves. 32 Bedford Square (Door at No.33), WC1B 3ES.
  • The best bookshop for cookbooks: Books for Cooks.
    This wonderful Notting Hill shop is crammed with thousands of books with regional recipes, treaties on ingredients, books on the history of national cuisines, and so on. They have a small kitchen at the back where the owners put recipes to the test. 4 Blenheim Crescent, W11 1NN.


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