noun – A person who collects or has a great love of books.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’re a bibliophile. There is nothing better than spending all afternoon reading books. And what better place to do that than in a city full of rich history, tradition and character – London. This city is home to an impressive collection of quirky, beautiful and extensive stores celebrating books in all its splendour. Over here, you’ll find bookstores donning rare collectibles alongside bespoke shopping centres and coffee shops. These are things you simply can’t appreciate online. Just so that you can truly appreciate what a book haven London really is, we’ve conjured up a list of the absolute must-visit book stores in London.
Daunt Books, Marylebone
There are multiple branches of Daunt Books spread across the UK, but the one we’re talking about is the original Marylebone branch. Its warm Edwardian features make reading a delight, and we’re sure you won’t be able to resist a cheeky Instagram post of this best book stores in London. What catches the eye is its elegant three-level backroom replete with conservatory ceiling, viridian-green walls, oak balconies and stained-glass windows.
Other branches – Cheapside, Chelsea, Hampstead, Holland Park.
Address – 83, Marylebone High St, London, W1U 4QW
Transport – Tube: Baker St
Opening hours – Mon-Sat 9 am – 7.30 pm, Sun 11 am – 6 pm
Phone – +44 20 7224 2295
Any Amount of Books, Charing Cross Road
Nestled comfortably on Charing Cross Road, Any Amount of Books stays very true to its name. You can buy as much as you want or as little as you like from this bookshop. Books that are rare in the market or hard to get, somehow find their way to this book shop in Covent Garden, London. They are well known for their wide-ranging selection of books that include £1.00 bargains to rare collectors’ gems.
Address – 56 Charing Cross Rd, Covent Garden, London WC2H 0QA, United Kingdom
Transport – Subway Leicester -Square Station
Opening hours – Mon-Sun 10.30 am – 9.30 pm
Phone – +44 20 7836 3697
Website – https://www.anyamountofbooks.com/
Stanfords, Covent Gardens
Set up by the great, Edward Stanford in 1853, the Stanfords flagship store was situated in an old building on Long Acre. After spending almost a century in its former home, this bookstore in London, relocated to its current site at 7 Mercer Walk. Customers can find the same unparalleled variety of travel books and memorabilia. The new in-store cafe can still be found here too, where patrons can plan their next trip over sandwiches, cakes and locally roasted coffee.
Address – 7 Mercer Walk, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9FA, United Kingdom
Transport – Tube: Covent Garden/Leicester Square
Opening hours – Mon-Sat 10 am – 6 pm, Sun 11.30 am – 6 pm
Phone – +44 20 7836 1321
Website – https://www.stanfords.co.uk/london-store
Gosh! Comics, Soho
Here’s something we’re sure you didn’t expect – a comic book store in London! There has never been a better time to take up reading comic books and what better place to start than one of the gem from multiple book stores in London. Gosh! Comics is divided into a comic section and a Manga section. Although they specialize in graphic novels, there’s something for everyone, no matter what age you are. Both complete newbies and diehard comic fans alike will find it hard to leave here empty-handed.
Address – 1 Berwick Street, London W1F 0DR, United Kingdom
Transport – Tube: Tottenham Court Rd
Opening hours – Mon-Sun 10 am – 6 pm, Thurs-Fri 10 am – 7 pm
Phone – +44 20 7437 0187
Website – https://www.goshlondon.com/
Foyles, Charing Cross Road
Perched proud on Charing Cross Road, Foyles covers a mammoth five floors, with a whopping 4 miles worth of shelves holding over 200,000 books. Foyles has always been one of those bookshops that trade partly on loyal staff, sentiment with its labyrinthine layout and oddball-friendly café. In this age of the e-reader and Amazon, people need a good reason to visit a bookshop, and this new story has plenty. The focus is on the social aspect of reading. Apart from books, there’s a capacious art space curated by cultural innovators Future City.
Other branches – Southbank Centre, St Pancras Station, Westfield, Westfield Stratford City.
Address – 107 Charing Cross Rd, Soho, London WC2H 0DT, United Kingdom
Transport – Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Foyles’ Opening hours – Mon-Sat 9 am – 7 pm, Sun 11.30 am – 6 pm
Phone – +44 20 7437 5660
Gay’s the Word, Bloomsbury
This much-adored community bookshop is one of the only LGBTQ+ book stores in London, UK. It has a large range of fiction as well as books on all aspects of queer theory, as well as titles covering relationships, sex, parenting and children. This is not only a place to buy books though; it’s an important community hub and hosts regular meet-ups and discussion groups. In addition to regular author readings and book-signings (think Clare Summerskill, Neil Bartlett, Adam Mars-Jones, Armistead Maupin), there are weekly lesbian and monthly trans discussion groups.
Address – 66 Marchmont St, Saint Pancras, London WC1N 1AB, United Kingdom
Transport – Tube: Russel Square tube
Opening hours – Mon-Sat 10 am – 6.30 pm, Sun 2 pm – 6 pm
Phone – +44 20 7278 7654
Website – gaystheword.co.uk