Bookstores in the United Kingdom (London)
23 Aug 2015
[I think I got all the new telephone numbers right, but I can't promise it.]
Bookstores in other parts of the UK are in separate files:
Northern Ireland, Scotland, England [not London],
and Wales. Miscellaneous information applicable to all of the United
Kingdom can be found in the England [not London] file.
Just to be perfectly clear, bookstores for the Republic of Ireland/Eire are in
the Europe file.
Cities include (listed basically west to east, north to south by region,
alphabetically within region, counties together if I know them; if anyone
has a better ordering, let me know):
Charing Cross Road
Miscellaneous UK notes
other geographic areas
The UK country code is 44. To dial from outside the UK, drop the leading
"0" in the telephone number given and prefix it with "44" (after whatever
your phone system requires). The phone numbers here reflect the recent
change requiring "1" after the "0" and before the city code; update your
other phone numbers accordingly.
[Note 1: I collected these comments from a variety of people. I personally
have no knowledge of many of these places and take no responsibility if you
buy a book you don't enjoy. :-) Phone numbers and precise addresses can be
gotten by calling directory assistance for the appropriate city. Call ahead
for precise hours, as even when I list them they are subject to change.]
[Note 2: If you can add information for any of these, in particular
addresses when they are missing, please send it to me.]
[Note 3: I know they're bookshops in Britain, not bookstores. In the text
I try to follow this; the introductory material is used world-wide and
uses "bookstores" instead.]
[Note 4: Someone sent this for a particular store, but it applies
everywhere: "Don't complain about high prices; the people in the shop don't
make them, we only try to get a wide range of books and help customers as
well as we can. Books might look a bit than dearer in your home country but
the costs, the costs! We are not, I repeat not, a tourist office--it can be
very annoying to try to do your job and being interupted a hundred times a
day for the way to the Rijks-, Van Gogh or any other museum. (We are
willing to sell you a map of Amsterdam and then point you in the right
In general when people ask about bookshops in London, the only answer they
get is to take the Underground to the Charing Cross area and walk down the
street. Charing Cross Road runs N/S from the junction of Tottenham Court Rd
to Trafalgar Square. Tube stations to go to are Tottenham Court Rd
(Northern Line/Central Line) or Leicester Square (Northern/Piccadilly
Line). However, the following may be of more specific help.
[Enormous thanks to John Alvey for arranging this geographically and
providing many updates!! Latest personal trip by me was 07/05.]
Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road:
Charing Cross Road runs south from where Oxford Street (to the West), New
Oxford Street (to the East), Tottenham Court Road (to the North) and
Charing Cross Road (to the South) meet. The place is technically called
St. Giles' Circus and is also where you will find Tottenham Court Road tube
station (Northern and Central lines), the Dominion Theatre and the hideous
Centre Point office building. Charing Cross Road is/was the equivalent of
New York's Fourth Avenue or Paris' Boulevard St. Michel, the place where
bookshops of all sorts are to be found. Charing Cross Road goes South to
Cambridge Circus (where Shaftesbury Avenue crosses it) and continues South
to Trafalgar Square (location of the National Gallery, National Portrait
Gallery, St. Martin-in-the Fields and Nelson's column and, incidentally,
the place where mileage to/from London is calculated.) As well as
Tottenham Court Road, you are within ten minutes' walk of the following
tube stations: Oxford Circus (Victoria, Bakerloo, Central); Goodge Street
(one stop up from Tottentham Court Road on the Northern Line); Leicester
Square (halfway down Charing Cross Road on the Northern and Piccadilly
lines); Charing Cross (Jubilee, Bakerloo and Northern); Piccadilly Circus
(Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee) Charing Cross British Rail
Buses: The following stop at or near Tottenham Court Road Tube Station: 7,
8, 10, 25, 55, 73, 98, 134. The following go up and/or down Charing Cross
Road: 14, 19, 24, 29, 38. Note that bus stops in key traffic areas such as
this are lettered. Each bus stop has a map of the location of the
different bus stops, which buses stop at these stops and which buses go to
and from key destinations. Take the bus - it's more fun than the tube and
cheaper! Now if only the capital of the USA could do something
Carlton House Terrace is one block South of Pall Mall which is the
ritzy street running from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace.
Denmark Street is off Charing Cross Road to the left (going South).
Earlham Street is the second street on the right off that part of
Shaftesbury Avenue to the left at Cambridge Circus. Newport Place is a
small street just to the West of Charing Cross Road by Shaftesbury
Avenue. St. Martin's Court is to the left just past Leicester Square
tube station. Cecil Court is the next one on the left after
St. Martin's Court. Strand runs East from Trafalgar Square.
The second-hand bookshops are in the southern part of this road,
closer to Leicester Square; the new ones are north, closer to
Starting from St. Giles' Circus/Tottenham Court Road tube station,
going South (even numbers on the left, odd on the right):
Soho Original Books (125 Charing Cross Rd, WC1). Remainders on
ground floor. Upstairs is Claire de Rouen, which sells art
books, primarily photography. "Basement has a licensed sex
shop (which I didn't visit)." Open Mon-Fri 1000-1830,
Sat 1000-1800. [05/08]
Foyles (107 Charing Cross Rd, after Sutton Row, 020-7437-5660,
http://www.foyles.co.uk/). In this new location starting
June 2014. Open Mon-Sat 0930-1930, Sun 1200-1800. [04/14]
Book Ends (108 Charing Cross Road, 020-7836-3457). One reader writes,
"A very nice bookshop which I visit every time I am in London.
Small place, packed with books on many different topics and
helpful staff." Open Mon-Ffri 0930-2030, Sat 0930-1830,
Sun 0930-1600 (all hours approx, according to person in the
Blackwell's (100 Charing Cross Rd). A branch of the large Oxford bookshop.
It is the second largest of the chain in the country. It has
excellent medical, social sciences and history sections.
Declined somewhat from its former glory. Open Mon-Sat
0930-2000, Sun 1200-1800. [05/08]
Lovejoys (99B Charing Cross Rd). Remainders.
Forbidden Planet (179 Shaftesbury Ave east of CC, 020-7836-4179, FAX
020-7240-7118). They have some reduced hardbacks, marked-down
paperbacks and sell more-than-two-year-old copies of Asimov's,
F&SF, etc. at a reasonable price. Now that New Worlds is gone,
this is the only SF specialty store left in central London.
Open Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat 1000-1900, Thu 1000-2000, Sun 1200-1800.
Mysteries (11 Monmouth Street, WC2, opposite Forbidden Planet,
Stocks most Dover books, and similar titles, and specializes
in their pictorial archives and Victoriana series. Open Mon-Wed
1000-1800, Thu-Sat 1000-1900, Sun 1300-1700. [05/08]
Magma (8 Earlham, WC2, 020-7240-8498, http://www.magmabooks.com). Art
books. Open Mon-Sat 1000-1900, Sun 1200-1800. [05/08]
Henry Pordes (58-60 Charing Cross Rd, 020-7836-9031, FAX 020-7240-4232,
http://www.henrypordesbooks.com/). Remainders and
second-hand. Open Mon-Sat 1000-1900. [05/08]
Any Amount of Books (56 Charing Cross Rd, 020-7836-3697). Second-hand.
Reported to have the faster turnover and good prices. Open
Mon-Sat 1030-2130, Sun 1130-2030. [05/08]
Quinto (48 Charing Cross Rd, 020-7379-7669, FAX 020-7836-5977; also
63 Great Russell opposite the British Museum). Second-hand
books. "Has complete changeover of stock every month or so
(from Cinema Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye). Occasionally has some
interesting stuff, depending on what's come from Hay, but
generally overpriced given that they're not strong on
condition (most books are, at best, pretty tatty)." Recent
reports indicate that their selection of fiction has
"diminished severely." "Definitely visit the store on Great
Russell; it seems to have a better quality and breadth of
selections and the store has more room and laid out easier to
understand than the Charing Cross store (but if one is
cruising C+ anyway, that store is worth at least a
stop :^) )." Like many of the second-hand shops here, this
has a basement that twists and turns, and extends at least to
under the sidewalk. Open Mon-Sat 0900-2100, Sun 1200-2000.
Francis Edwards (13 Great Newport St, next door to Quinto, 020-7379-7669, FAX
020-7836-5977). Same as Quinto, as it's the same company. "Smallish
stock, much better quality than Quinto, also higher prices (but less
overpriced, if you see what I mean). Main improvement of last few
months is that they're no longer just naval/military, but have become
a general secondhand bookseller." Open Mon-Sat 0930-1830.
Guangwha (7 Newport Place, WC2, 020-7437-3737). New books, primarily
in Chinese but also a few in English on China. Open Mon-Sat
1030-1900, Sun 1100-1700. [05/08]
Dress Circle (57 Monmouth, 020-7240-2227). They have the largest selection
of material related to musicals on this side of the galaxy. This
includes scores, recordings, books, etc. Open Mon-Sat
Motor Books (36 St. Martin's Ct, just off Charing Cross Rd, near
Leicester Square, 020-7836-5376, FAX 020-7497-2539, http://www.motorbooks.co.uk/).
"Specializing in naval, military and aviation." Their other
shop is in Cecil Court (see below). Open Mon-Fri 0930-1800,
Thu 0930-1900, Sat 1030-1730. [05/08]
"Just off Charing Cross Road, just beyond Leicester Square Underground if
you are going down towards Trafalgar Square, you will find Cecil Court to
the left. The street consists entirely of second-hand/antiquarian/obscure
books stores, including stores specializing in literature, children's
books, dance, theater, travel, etc. as well as a new Italian bookshop,
carrying both books in Italian and books in English on things Italian.
Odd numbers are on the right going from Charing Cross Road towards St.
Martin's Lane, even on the left. This looked accurate as of 07/05, but
there is constant turnover of stores on this street. (Stores had come,
gone, and moved since 10/00.) Number 1 is at the St. Martin's Lane
end and number 25 at the Charing Cross Road end.
You can find an up-to-date listing on http://www.cecilcourt.co.uk/.
Storey (1/3 Cecil Court, 020-7836-3777, FAX 01959-563315). Prints,
engravings, especially military and naval. Open Mon-Sat
Goldsboro Books (1 Cecil Court (?), WC2N 4EZ, 0207-497-9230,
http://www.goldsborobooks.co.uk). Modern first editions and
new titles, specialising in crime and children's titles, but
some general and so forth as well. Open Mon-Sat 1000-1800.
Witch Ball (2 Cecil Court). Prints. [07/05]
Tindley & Chapman (4 Cecil Court). Modern firsts. [05/08]
Italian Bookshop (5 Cecil Court, 020-7240-1634, FAX 020-7240-1635).
New books in Italian and in English about things Italian.
Open Mon-Sat 1030-1830. [05/08]
Young Europeans Bookstore (5 Cecil Court (?)). Children's books in many
Cecil Court Stamp Shop (6 Cecil Court). Stamps. [08/06]
Tim Bryars Ltd (8 Cecil Court, WC2N 4HE, 044-20-7836-1901,
http://www.timbryars.co.uk). Prints, illustrated books,
David Drummond/Pleasures of Past Times (11 Cecil Court, 020-7836-1142).
Books related to older forms of entertainment, also older
children's books. Open Mon-Fri 1100-1715, with lunch break at
1430-1530, first Sat in month 1100-1430. [05/08]
P J Hilton (12/14 Cecil Court, 020-7379-9825). Literature. Open
Motor Books (13/15 Cecil Court, 020-7836-5376, http://www.motorbooks.co.uk/).
"Specializing in transport, railways, cars." Their other shop
is in St. Martin's Court (see above). "They have the most
incredible selection of books relating to transportation. As
a train buff, I feel that their railroad (yes, I know they'd
call it railway :-)) section is the best in the world. Their
military, aviation and auto sections are top notch as well."
Open Mon-Fri 0930-1800, Thu 0930-1900, Sat 1030-1730. [05/08]
Travis and Emery Music Bookshop (17 Cecil Court, 020-7240-2129,
FAX 020-7497-0473). Used music and books on music. Open
Mon-Sat 1015-1845, Sun 1130-1645. [05/08]
Marchpane (16 Cecil Court, 020-7836-8661, FAX 020-7497-0567). Used
children's books. Open Mon-Sat 1030-1830.
Watkins (19-21 Cecil Court, 020-7836-2182, FAX 020-7836-6700). A great
bookshop if you are into the occult and other New-Age-type
subjects. "Best place to buy books on Far Eastern religions -
Buddhism, Hinduism, etc." Open Mon-Sat 1100-1900. [05/08]
Peter Ellis (18 Cecil Court). Modern firsts, art, literature, history.
Open Mon-Fri 1030-1900, Sat 1030-1730. [05/08]
Red Snapper (22 Cecil Court). [07/05]
T. Alena Brett (24 Cecil Court, 020-7836-8222). Modern Firsts. Open
Mon-Fri 0930-1700, Sat 0900-1700, Sun 1000-1600. [07/05]
Greening Burland (27 Cecil Court). Modern firsts, SF, mystery. Open
Mon-Fri 1000-1800, Sun 1200-1700. [05/08]
The public library is further down on the left at 4 Charing Cross Rd.
Institute of Contemporary Arts (12 Carlton House, Terrace Dillons, The Grand
Buildings, Trafalgar Square, WC2, 020-7839-4411, FAX 020-7839-1797).
Has a bookshop (as well as a cinema, a theatre, and a gallery. (The
bookshop does not require a membership to visit.) "Lots on
contemporary art, left-wing, feminist, gay, (mucho alternative),
great post cards."
Starting from Tottenham Court Road tube station and heading East along
New Oxford Street. Great Russell Street runs parallel, one block to the
North and is the street the British Museum is on. Museum Street is a
small street between Great Russell Street and New Oxford
Street/Bloomsbury Way. Bury Place runs parallel and one block to the
East of Museum Street. Galen Place and Pied Bull yard are small
pedestrian streets off Bury Street. Bloomsbury Street runs North from
New Oxford Street, into Bedford Square and subsequently becomes Gower
Street. Gower Street is the street running parallel to Tottenham Court
Road and one block East of Tottentham Court Road. Malet Street is a
small street the other side of Waterstone's from Gower Street. Sicilian
Avenue is a small pedestrian-only private street between Bloomsbury Way
and Southampton Row (see section below; map here). To find it, leave the
Holborn Tube by the large exit and turn right (or by the small exit
beside it and go straight). You are now walking roughly North on
Southampton Row. Within a few blocks, just before Bloomsbury Way, the
tiny Sicilian Avenue will appear on your left at the Sky Television
shop (you'll need to cross the street). Once inside, Skoob and PC
Bookshop will be on your left. Fitzroy Street is two blocks West of
Tottenham Court Road (i.e., away from Waterstone's and the British Museum)
and runs parallel to it. Whitfield Street is one block West of
Tottenham Court Road and runs parallel to it. Goodge Street is off the
West side of Tottenham Court Road, by the tube station of the same
name. Charlotte Place is a small street just off Goodge Street. Long
Acre starts one block East of Leicester Square (starting at St.
Martin's Lane) and runs to King Street. King Street runs parallel and
two blocks South of Long Acre and runs into Covent Garden.
"You should consider adding a link to the excellent little guide
published by Jarndyce at http://www.jarndyce.co.uk (follow the
Bloomsbury Booksellers and By Name links) which has up-to-date
addresses and summaries for Unsworths, etc."
Bookmarks (1 Bloomsbury, 020-8802-6145). Left-wing interest. One reader
writes, "If you can stomach the owner's politics it is still a
pretty good bookshop with a surprisingly wide range of books on
economics and history." Your mileage may vary. [01/05]
Atlantis Bookshop (49a Museum St, WC1, 020-7405-2120). The title says it
all. They carry new and second-hand books on esoterica, the occult
and the like. An essential visit. Open Mon-Sat 1030-1800. [03/08]
Ulysses (40 Museum St). Open Mon-Sat 1030-1800, Sun 1200-1800.
Skoob Books (66, The Brunswick, off Marchmont, WC1N 1AE, 020-7278-8760,
http://www.skoob.com). Secondhand books. Open Mon-Sat
1030-2000, Sun 1030-1800. [03/08]
The following stores are more or less opposite the British Museum.
Quinto (48 Charing Cross Rd, 020-7379-7669, FAX 020-7836-5977; also
63 Great Russell opposite the British Museum). See
description at Charing Cross Road entry. This branch is
reportedly the better of the two. Open Tue-Sun 1000-1830.
Museum Bookshop (36 Great Russell St, WC1, 020-7580-4086,
FAX 020-7436-4364). Books on archeology, the Orient, etc. Open
Mon-Fri 1000-1730, Sat 1100-1730.
Jarndyce's, The 19th Century Bookshop (46 Great Russell St,
020-7631-4220). "Rather expensive, and you have to ring the
bell to be allowed in, but very friendly and helpful.
Specialists in 19th Century books of all kinds, plus some 18th
Century ones as well." OPen Mon-Fri 0930-1700, Sat 1000-1430.
Gosh Comics (39 Great Russell St, 020-7636-1011). Open Mon-Wed, Sat-Sun
1000-1800, Thu-Fri 1000-1900. [03/08]
Arthur Probsthain (41 Great Russell opposite the British Museum, WC1B 3PH,
TEL/FAX 020-7636-1096). Second-hand on things Oriental. Mails
monthly (approx) short lists of second-hand/antiquarian books for
sale (not cheap). Open Mon-Fri 0900-1730, Sat 1100-1600.
Souvenir Press (43 Great Russell). Publisher but sells its own books.
Open Mon-Fri 0930-1715 (closed for lunch 1230-1430). [03/08]
Unsworths Booksellers (across from the British Museum on the Euston
Road, http://www.unsworths.com/). "Unsworths is similar to
Judds in specialising in academic secondhand and remainders
and is particularly strong on history and classics (for
instance, they are probably the only shop in London to stock
the complete range of Loeb Greek and Latin classics, but
unfortunately at full price which means I can't afford to buy
them)--plus they also have an antiquarian section downstairs.
Pricing for the remainders and s/h is quite competitive;
academic paperbacks tend to start at #3.99 to #5.99 range,
and hardbacks are mostly in the #5.99 to #12.99 range. They
have another shop across from the British Library. [08/08]
The British Museum (Great Russell St). Has a good bookshop, especially for
art and history.
The London Review Bookshop (14 Bury Pl, 020-7269-9030,
http://www.lrb.co.uk). "Excellently stocked new books
independent. Small, two floors, specialises in history,
politics, fiction, philosophy, critical theory, poetry, lit
crit and other smaller sections. Good on imported
contemporary American fiction and poetry. Open Mon-Sat
1000-1830, Sun 1200-1800. [03/08]
Gekoski (Pied Bull Yard, WC1, 020-7404-6676, FAX 020-7404-6595,
email@example.com). First editions, manuscripts. Expensive. Open
Mon-Fri 1000-1730. [11/04]
Oxfam Bookshop (12 Bloomsbury St). [07/06]
Waterstone's (82 Gower St, WC1, 020-7636-1577, FAX 020-7580-7680, Goodge
Street tube). Beautiful, general, moderately helpful staff.
Smaller than Foyles but it more than makes up for it in
efficiency. Excellent science and medicine depts, and generally
strong on textbooks and "recommended reading" in all
subjects--this is an academic's bookshop. (It caters to
University College that is a block away, for Birkbeck College,
and for the student population of London at large.) One of
the three main technical bookshops in London, and easier to
find your way round than Foyles. Also has a reasonable SF
section (all UK, though), and lots of other stuff. There is a
remainder and secondhand department on the first floor,
including plenty of US university press books. Very
knowledgeable staff. "While you're there, visitors should go
and look at the outside of Senate House (one of the models for
Orwell's ministries) and on Russell Square, which is where
T. S. Eliot worked for Faber's." Also, "the gardens opposite
were also the scene of several events in John Wyndham's THE
DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS." (Other branches at 150-152 Kings Rd,
SW3; 48-52 Kensington High St, W8; 8 Long Acre, WC2;
213 Piccadilly, W1; St Dunstans Rd, W6; St Mary's Rd, W5;
Exhibition Rd, SW7; Lambeth Palace Rd, SE1; 37 Upper Berkeley
St, W1; Trafalgar Square, WC1. Most of these are associated
with a college, so are likely to be small and have a specialist
selection. For example, the St Dunstan one is at the
Westminster Medical School, the St Mary one at the Polytechnic
of West London, the Lambeth one at St Thomas' Hospital, and the
Exhibition Road one at the Science Museum. The Waterstone's
near Covent Garden has a large selection of art books. The
Waterstone's at 8 Long Acre is next door to Stanford's Map
Centre and is a specialist art/architecture/design bookshop.)
Waterstone's on Trafalgar Square is large and spacious, but
empty of much substance. "The Piccadilly bookshop covers six
of the seven floors, the 7th being an art gallery. It is
massively spacious, has a fantastic biography section and is
altogether overwhelming. I particularly love the travel
section." Someone wrote in April 2004 that the store on Gower
"is still worth the visit." [04/04]
University of London Union (Malet St, opposite Waterstone's). They hold a book
sale every Friday 1100-1800. Worth a visit.
Swedenborg Society (920 Bloomsbury Way). Books in various languages by and
about the philosopher Swedenborg. Open Mon-Fri 0930-1700.
Building Bookshop (26 Store St between Tottenham Court Road and Gower
St, 020-7255-4300). All sorts of books on remodeling,
do-it-yourself, building materials, etc.) Open Mon-Fri
0930-1800, Sat 1100-1700. [05/08]
Star Books (55 Warren, opposite French's Theatre Bookshop, one block
down from Warren Street tube, 020-7380-0622). Books on all
topics relating to India. Open Mon-Fri 1000-1830. [05/08]
French's Theatre Bookshop (52 Fitzroy St, W1P 6JR, Warren St or
Great Portland St tube, 020-7387-9373, FAX 020-7387-2161). They
have a very large selection of plays, recordings and related
material. If you are looking for an obscure play, they have it or
can get it. Open Mon-Fri 0930-1730, Sat 1100-1700. [05/08]
Pollock's Toy Museum (41 Whitfield, http://www.pollockstoymuseum.com/).
Yes, it's a toy museum but also has a very small selection of
books on theater and the like. Open Mon-Sat 1000-1700. [08/05]
Oxfam, YMCA, and one other charity shop (Goodge a couple of blocks
west of Tottenham Court Road. Oxfam books are approaching
the prices you would pay in a regular used book shop, but it
is for a good cause. The other are cheaper, but the selection
is worse. Near Pollock's Toy Museum. [08/05]
Countryside Bookshop (39 Goodge, 020-7636-3156, FAX 020-7323-6879). New
books on the environment, nature, gardening and the like. Open
Mon-Fri 1000-1800, Sat 1100-1700.
Orbital Manga (4c Orion House, Upper St Martin's Lane). Books, comics,
and other stuff relating to manga. Open Mon-Sat 1030-1900,
Sun 1130-1700. [05/08]
Stanford's (Long Acre at the back of Charing Cross Road off St. Martin's
Lane towards Covent Garden, WC2E 9LP, 020-7836-1321,
FAX 020-7632-8928). World-famous for their maps but also
selling lots of travel books. Now has three floors. Can get
its hands on maps of almost anywhere provided they are not
security classified. Has a close working relationship with
the British Ordnance Survey. Open Mon, Wed-Fri 0900-1930;
Tue 0930-1930, Sat 1000-1900, Sun 1200-1800. [03/04]
Waterstone's Art Bookshop (13 Garrick, just behind Long Acre, WC2,
020-7836-1359). New books on art, design, architecture, etc.
but also theater, fiction, poetry, music and cinema. Open
Mon-Wed, Fri 1000-2000; Thu, Sat 1000-2100; Sun 1200-1800.
Treadwells Bookshop (34 Tavistock, Covent Garden, 0207 240 8906,
http://www.treadwells-london.com). Second-hand bookshop
specializing in magic, witchcraft,and paganism. Open seven
days a week 1200-1900. [08/05]
Banana Bookshop (in the market at Covent Garden). Remainders.
Inner Space (36 Shorts Gardens, Covent Garden, WC2H 9AB, 020-7836-6688,
http://www.innerspace.org.uk). Personal growth and
spirituality. Open Mon-Sat 10:30AM-6PM. [08/06]
Southampton Row is the large (for London) street that runs parallel to
Tottenham Court Road and is about 10 blocks East of it (and about 5 blocks
East of the British Museum). It becomes Woburn Place further North,
and then Tavistock Square and then Upper Woburn Place. Woburn Walk is a
small pedestrian street, just off Upper Woburn Place, which leads to Burton
Street. Marchmont Street is parallel to Woburn Place and two blocks to the
East. Leigh Street is off the Northern end of Marchmont Street and leads
into Judd Street. Parker Street runs parallel and to the South of High
Holborn between Drury Lane and Kingsway. High Holborn is the Eastern
continuation of New Oxford Street. Euston Road is the Northern boundary of
this section and runs East from Great Portland Street tube station to
King's Cross via Euston and St. Pancras British Rail stations. Caledonian
Road is the continuation of Euston Road beyond King's Cross (going East).
Portugal Street is a small street off Kingsway just North of the Aldwych
and to the right when you walk from the Aldwych towards Holborn. Carey
Street is off Portugal Street to the right.
PBFA Book Fairs (Hotel Russell, Russell Square, WC1). Every month the
Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association holds a booksale here on
Sunday from 1400-1900 and Monday 1030-1900. It is usually the first
or second week of the month. You can get the latest calendar from
the PBFA, Old Coach House, 16 Melbourn St., Royston, Hertfordshire,
SG8 7BZ, 01763-248400, FAX 01763-248921. (See below for more
Chess and Bridge (369 Euston Rd, 020-7388-2404, FAX 020-7905-5626). New
books and paraphernalia relating to chess and bridge (the card
game). Open Mon-Sat 1000-1800.
Porcupine Bookcellar (5 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross, N1, 020-7837-4473).
Second-hand books of a left-wing nature. Open Mon-Sat 1100-1800.
BMJ Booksellers (Burton St). New medical books (BMJ stands for British
Medical Journal). Now that H K Lewis has gone, the best place for
medical books. The store has no street number (even the clerks said
it did not have one) but it is opposite the Maghreb Bookshop at #45,
by the top end of Burton Street, where it meets Woburn Walk.
Maghreb Books/Librairie du Maghreb (45 Burton St, 020-7388-1840). Small
bookshop stocking primarily new books on the Maghreb countries,
mainly in English, some in French. Open Mon-Sat 0930-1800.
Marchmont Bookshop (39 Burton St, WC1, 013-7237-9404,
firstname.lastname@example.org). General second-hand books, with
an accent on poetry and literature. Has finally returned 
after a long period of inactivity. Open Mon-Fri 1200-1800.
Collinge and Clark (13 Leigh St, WC1, 020-7387-7105, FAX 020-7833-0335).
Used books in the field of literature, history and art. Fairly
upmarket. "Not really that upmarket, although they do have quite
a lot of private press stuff. The basement's worth a rummage."
Open Mon-Fri 1100-1830, Sat 1100-1530.
Judd Books (82 Marchmont St, WC1, 020-7387-5333). "Mainly high-quality
remainders, with a small amount of secondhand. This shop;
Unsworth, Rice and Coe; and Waterstone's Gower Street are the
three best remainder shops in London, with a wide range of
quality fiction and non-fiction, particularly the latter." Open
Mon-Sat 1100-1900, Sun 1100-1800.
Gay's the Word (66 Marchmont St, 020-7278-7654). New and second-hand books
and magazines on gay and feminist topics. Open Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat
1000-1800; Thu 1000-1900; Sun 1400-1800.
Waterstone's Economist Book Shop (Clare Market, Portugal St next to Houghton
St, 020-7405-5531). Very good history, economy, related subjects.
New books in the front, second-hand in the back. Just one block
over on Clement's Street is the shop Dickens used as his model for
the Old Curiosity Shop, looking just as you would expect it to, so
it's worth a visit here even if you are not an economist.
(According to one person the address is pretty useless. It is
attached to the London School of Economics so ask directions to
that.) Open Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri 0930-1800; Wed 1000-1800;
Wildy and Sons (Lincoln's Inn Archway, Carey St, WC2, 020-7242-5778, FAX
020-7430-0897). New and second-hand books in the fields of law and
TSO Bookshop (49 High Holborn, 020-7873-0011, FAX 020-7831-1326). Halfway
along Holborn between Holborn and Chancery Lane Tubes. Source for
all UK government publications, white papers, etc. Has large stock
and can order all that it hasn't got in stock. Open Mon-Fri
0815-1715, Sat 1000-1300.
Blackwells (244 High Holborn, WC1, 020-7831-9501, FAX 020-7405-9412). New
books on business and professional topics. Near Holborn tube
station. Open Mon-Fri 0830-1830, Sat 1000-1600.
Guanghwa (32 Parker St, WC2, 020-7831-0137). See main entry under Charing
BBC Shop (Bush House (on the lower side, round the back, opposite the now
defunct Aldwich tube station), Strand). Books, videos, cassettes,
and the odd CD.
Great Marlborough Street is one block South of Oxford Street near Oxford
Circus tube station, Liberty's and Carnaby Street. Berkeley Square is in
Mayfair - go South on Bond Street from Oxford Street and take a right at
Bruton Street or go along Piccadilly from Piccadilly Circus towards Hyde
Park and take a right up Berkeley Street. Of course, if you are visiting
Maggs, you will probably take a taxi. Langham Place is at the North end of
Regent Street (i.e. North of Oxford Circus) and on the right as you are
going North from Oxford Circus.
Grant and Cutler (55-57 Great Marlborough St next to Carnaby St and
Liberty's, 020-7734-2012, FAX 020-7734-9272,
email@example.com). The place for foreign-language books,
including English translations thereof. Open Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat
0900-1730; Thu 0900-1900.
Daunts (83 Marylebone High St, W1M 3DE, 020-7224-2295; also Belsize Park and
South End Green, Hampstead). "The most beautiful bookshop in London--
designed for travellers who like reading" -- Daily Telegraph. "I
could agree--it is very nice: large, lit, and shockingly spacious.
And the shelves are arranged geographically, with travel books on some
of the shelves and books by people from that area (e.g., Atwood books
by the Canada guides) on the other shelves, above or below. I
recommend a visit." Open Mon-Sat 0900-1930. [05/03]
Waterstone (19-23 Oxford St, W1, 020-7434-9759). See main entry under British
BBC Books (4 Langham Place, W1, 020-7927-4970). New books relating to BBC
Boosey and Hawkes (295 Regent St, W1, 020-7580-2060, FAX 020-7436-2850).
North end of Regent Street, on the left as you go North from Oxford
Circus. New books on music (mainly classical) and sheet music.
Open Mon-Fri 0900-1800, Sat 1000-1600.
Maggs Bros (50 Berkeley Square). "The place if you would never buy a book
for less than US$1000." Another poster says this is unfair and that
"they appear to be slightly more enthusiastic about encouraging the
not-stinking-rich collector than their competitors, who aren't
listed at all (eg Quaritch, Pickering & Chatto, Simon Finch, etc)."
Biblion (Davies Mews, W1, south of Oxford ST, near the Bond St tube,
20-7629-1374, FAX 20-7493-7158, http://www.biblion.co.uk).
Hosts the stock of about a hundred dealers in a "permanent
bookfair." A chance to browse a variety of selections in one
location. [And without this "shared" space, I suspect most of
these dealers would probably be Internet only at this point. -ecl]
Mostly modern firsts.
Robert Frew (somewhere in Mayfair). Antiquarian, especially travel,
literature. Moved in 08/05 from Bloomsbury/British Museum
There is a map here.
Piccadilly is the street to the left of Tower Records when facing Tower
from Piccadilly Circus. Warwick Street is a small street parallel to
Regent Street and one block to the East near Piccadilly Circus. Brewer
Street runs parallel to Shaftesbury Avenue, to the East of Regent Street
by Piccadilly Circus. Golden Square is a block North of Brewer Street,
two blocks East of Regent Street. Royal Opera Arcade is just off
Haymarket (on the right as you go down from Piccadilly Circus) towards
Pall Mall/Trafalgar Square.
Japan Centre (212 Piccadilly, W1, 020-7439-8035, FAX 020-7287-1082).
Mainly books in Japanese but there is a small stock of books
in English on Japan. Open Mon-Sat 1000-1930, Sun 1000-1800.
Waterstone (213 Piccadilly, W1, 020-7434-9617, FAX 020-7734-0681). A
smaller version of the one in Gower Street. Open Mon-Sat
0930-2000, Sun 1200-1800.
Bird and Wildlife Bookshop (Royal Opera Arcade, SW1, 020-7839-1881,
Golden Square Books (16 The Village, Golden Square, W1,
020-7434-3337). New books in the field of fiction, poetry,
philosophy, psychology, New Age.
European Bookshop (5 Warwick St, 020-7734-5259, FAX 020-7287-1720).
New books in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch,
Portuguese and Swedish and books in English for learning these
and other European languages. Open Mon-Sat 0930-1800.
[some Japanese bookstore] (70 Brewer St, W1). "As the name of the shop
was given in Japanese I am not sure of the name. It is open
from 12-9 and 12-8 but as the days were given in Japanese, I do
not know what days! New books in Japanese only."
Vintage Magazine Shop (39-41 Brewer St, W1, 020-7439-8525). Old
magazines, posters, cinema stuff, photos. Also in Camden Town
(see below). Open Mon-Sat 1000-1900. [07/05]
Original Soho Bookshop (12 Brewer St, W1; also two branches in Brewer
St, Middlesex St, Leatherlane, and Cowcross St). Remainders
upstairs, porn downstairs. [05/03]
Someone writes, "If it's porn you want, this area is the place as every
other shop sells porn here."
Central North West (between Marylebone and Edgware Road Station)
Stephen Foster's Bookshop (Bell St, Marylebone, NW1). "Full of
unusual books and good art subjects." [09/06]
Archive Bookstore (83 Bell St, NW1 6TB). "A secondhand bookshop
with a large 50p and under bargain stall, a few old
interesting books and many diverse categories of books
and a music dungeon with a tiny but playable piano and full of
printed secondhand music for all instruments and moods from
19th century editions to the present--pop songs and classical
scores & sheets in great piles. The accent of this shop is
upon the readable and the affordable and for some people that
is enjoyable until it turns into the unfindable (customers
quite often find things, treasures, and then after another
half hour or so of browsing, they've misplaced them and lost
them in the general all-engulfing undergrowth of the place."
St. John's Wood
Park Road runs from Baker Street to Lord's Cricket Ground in St. John's
Wood. Waterstone is about half way along.
Note that Camden High Street becomes Chalk Farm Road. Offstage is nearer
the Camden Town end rather than the Chalk Farm end. If you are taking the
tube, make a right out of the tube station and go up, past the food markets
and trendy clothes shops. Inverness Street is a small street just off
Camden High Street, almost opposite the tube station. Greenland Place is
just off Camden High Street, just South of the tube station.
Vintage Magazine Shop (7-8 Greenland Place, NW1). See main entry under
Mega City One Comics (18 Inverness St, 0)71-485-9320). Near Compendium and
Offstage. Better than Forbidden Planet. Open on Sundays.
Offstage (37 Chalk Farm Road between Camden Town and Chalk Farm Undergound,
NW1, 020-7485-4996). Books on the theater. Open seven days
Walden Books ("Harmood Street Chalk Farm").
Primrose Hill Books(134 Regent's Park Road, NW1 8XL, 020-7586-2022,
FAX 020-7722-9653, http://www.primrosehillbooks.co.uk).
Open Mon-Sat 1000-1830, Sun 1100-1800.
BlackGull Books (Camden Lock).
Clerkenwell (not quite North London, but nowhere else better to list it)
[Japanese book store] (located in Oriental City, at the corner of Edgeware
Rd and Grove Park). Japanese books with a a few Japan-related
Centerprise Bookshop (136-138 Kingsland High St, London E8 2NS, British
Rail North London Line Dalston Kingsland, 020-7254-9632, FAX
020-7923-1951). Part of long-established multi-purpose arts and
community centre. Specialises in Black writing, childrens books,
lesbian and gay writing, local history, modern fiction. Adjoining
cafe/gallery has good value hot and cold food and drinks. Open
New Beacon Bookshop (76 Stroud Green Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4,
Finsbury Park tube, 020-7272-4889, FAX 020-7281-4662). "They
specialise in Caribbean, African, African-American, Black
British and Black European writings and stock a wide range of
materials including novels, poetry, plays, cultural studies,
literary criticism, women's studies, history, politics, music and
children's books. The staff are friendly and welcoming--and
extremely knowledgeable about their subjects." Mon-Sat 1030-1800.
Bookworm (1177 Finchley Rd, London NW11 0AA, 020-8201-9811). Children's
Joseph's Bookstore (2 Ashbourne Parade, Finchley Road - Temple Fortune,
London NW11 0AD, 020-8731-7575 ). Independent small shop, more
non-fiction than fiction, has particular interest in Judaica (though
not religious texts--more things like history). Holds signings
occasionaly (Amos Oz about a year back for example).
Aisenthal J (11 Ashbourne Parade, Finchley Road - Temple Fortune, London
NW11 0AD, 020-8455-0501). Jewish bookshop; also has other Jewish
stuff. Polite family business.
Nearest tube: Golders Green - Northern Line
"I have given you them in the order away from Golders Green station. A
good 10 minute walk (my pace == 20 mins? otherwise) - so can get buses
82, 260 or 102 from outside "The Refectory" pub near the station, under
the tube bridge (it's no longer actually underground from just before
Golders Green northwards) to Boots/WHSmiths at top of Temple Fortune
(a hill) and then carry on walking north, and all shops are on left
Ripping Yarns (355 Archway Rd, Highgate, N6, 081-341-6111). Just next to
Highgate tube (Northern Line), also 43, 134 (from Tottenham Court
Road tube) and 135 (from Oxford Circus) bus lines. Monty Python
fans will recognize the name of the comedy series Michael Palin did
immediately after Monty Python. Palin and fellow-Python Terry Jones
were present at the opening of this store but are not owners. Stock
is reasonably-priced, general second-hand, but with a specialty of
old British children's books (i.e., ripping yarns). Open Mon-Fri
1030-1730, Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1130-1630.
Highgate Bookshop. [05/03]
Hellenic Bookservice (91 Fortess Rd, NW5, 020-7267-9499). One of the places
for books in Greek or about things Greek. Moved from Charing
Owl Bookshop (across from Kentish Town branch library, Kentish Town road).
Near the tube stop of same name, head south on the road, right side
of st. Good and interesting collection, especially British history.
The library's not bad either.
Childrens Bookshop (29 Fortis Green Rd, Muswell Hill, N10, 020-8444-5500).
New childrens' books.
Muswell Hill Bookshop (opposite The Children's Bookshop on the
Broadway). "Great selection of new books. Messy, eclectic."
Prospero's Books (Crouch End). Brother of Muswell Hill Bookshop.
Similar, but Prospero's a bit too cramped for relaxed
Hebrew Booksellers (82 Dunsmore Rd, N16, 020-8800-5863). Books of Jewish
UPG Christian Bookshop (328 High Rd, Tottenham, N5, 020-8365-1788, FAX
The Discount Islamic Bookstore (30 Eskdale House, Stanhope St, NW1 3SB,
020-8903-0819, 020-8903-0820 http://www.angelfire.com/mn/books/).
Hundreds of reduced-price new and classic English-language Muslim
Pathfinder Books (47 The Cut, SE1, 020-7401-2409). Left-wing books. The
Cut is near Waterloo. One reader reports never being able to find
this one. Open Mon 1600-1800, Tue-Thu 1700-1900, Fri 1600-1900,
Sat 1000-1800. (Yes, only open in the evening during the week.)
The Design Museum (28 Shad Thames, a nice walk from Tower Bridge). "Has a
wonderful bookshop; not restricted to design (the `build locks out of
paper' book was particularly interesting)."
Horseman's Bookshop (1 Lower Grosvenor Place, SW1, 020-7834-5606). Near
Victoria Station in an area notably devoid of both bookshops and
Padre Pio (264 Vauxhall Bridge Rd, SW1, 020-7834-5363). Catholic books.
"It sells a wide range of Catholic books and other items. It also
has a loo at the back. It also has a large dog. A lot of its books
are of a prophetic or millennialist nature. There are also two
Catholic book shops by the cathedral and a very good secondhand shop
Gloucester Road Bookshop (123 Gloucester Road near Gloucester Road
Undergound). A good, general second-hand bookshop. "Deserves a
special mention for staying open till 2230 most nights of the week;
it's also one of the better secondhand bookshops in London by quite
a wide margin, IMHO, although not as cheap as it used to be. They
do mark the stock down in price after a while if it hasn't sold,
though, whereas the more pretentious shops will mark it up."
Al Kashkool (56 Knightsbridge, SW1, 020-7235-4240, FAX 020-7235-9305). New
books of Arab interest, many in Arabic.
Harrington Bros. Antiquarian Booksellers (The Chelsea Antique Market, 253
Kings Road, London SW3 5EL, 020-7352-5689/1720, FAX 020-7823-3449).
Issues catalogs of travel books. Open Mon-Sat 1000-1800.
Natural History Museum Book Shop (Exhibition Road, South Kensington).
Science Museum (Exhibition Road, South Kensington). Science books--of
course--with a better selection of math books than one usually
finds (in the United States, anyway; then again, the Museum
has a much better mathematics exhibit than one finds in the
United States also). [08/05]
Bookthrift (22 Thurloe, South Kensington SW7 2LT). Two blocks south
of the Natural History Museum, Victoria & Albert, etc.,
right near the South Kensington Tube. Remaindered books and
discounted new books. [08/05]
[Bookends in this same area is paper products rather than books.
Hatchards (2 Brook St, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT1 2HA, about 12 miles
South West of central London, 020-8546-7592,
http://www.hatchards.co.uk) . An academic bookshop serving
Kingston University and other institutions in the Surrey and South
West London area. Part of the Waterstone, Pentos group. Will post
books worldwide and accepts credit cards (Visa, Master Card and Amex).
(Hatchard's main branch is at 187 Piccadilly, not far from Piccadilly
The Open Book (10 King St, Richmond, 020-8940-1802). Opposite the Lion and
Unicorn. General bookshop.
Lion and the Unicorn (19 King St, Richmond). Children's bookshop. "Not a
vast stock, but a good range and very helpful staff.
Parks (119 London Rd, SE1, 020-7928-5376, FAX 020-7261-9536). See main
entry under British Museum/Holborn. Near Elephant and Castle tube.
Tlon Books (Unit 316, Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, SE1 6TE,
General second-hand books.
Chaldon Books & Records (1 High, Caterham on the Hill, Surrey CR3 5UE,
044-1883-348583, www.chaldonbooks.co.uk). Secondhand
bookshop. Just beyond edge of "south London", and near to
Chaldon Church and its wallpainting. Open Thu-Sat 10AM-5PM.
Freedom (84b Whitechapel High St, E1, 020-7247-9249). Aldgate East Tube.
Genesis (188 Old St, EC1, 020-7250-1868). New Age and environment books.
Parks (11 Copthall Ave, EC2, 020-7638-1991, FAX 020-7638-1594). See main
entry under British Museum/Holborn. Near Bank tube.
Bankers Books (17 St. Swithins Lane, EC4, 020-7929-4306, FAX 020-7929-4301).
Waterstone (Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2, 020-7629-8206). See main entry
under British Museum/Holborn.
Wisdom Books (402 Hoe St, E17, 020-8520-5588). Books on Eastern religions.
Kirkdale Bookshop (Kirkdale Rd, Sydenham, near the Crystal Palace).
"It contains a large second hand stock in the basement
covering archaeology, the sciences, history, sport, art
fiction and SF. It also sells new books on the ground floor.
The bookshop has just been painted bright red and is easily
found." Opposite Sydenham Railway station and on many bus
routes, particularly the 176.
"There are two other second hand quality book shops at Crystal Palace
also that are worth visiting. The stock categories are similar to
those of the Kirkdale shop. Crystal Palace town is very small and
takes little time to walk around."
Halcyon Books (1 Greenwich South St, SE10, 020-8305-2675). New
and secondhand books and magazines. Open 1000-1800.
There are also an Ottaker's and at least three branches of a bargain
bookshop selling remaindered new books for two pounds each in the
block closest to the Cutty Sark/Royal Naval College/National Maritime
Al-Saqi (26 Westbourne Grove, W2, 020-7229-8543). It's about equidistant
between Bayswater tube (on the Circle line) and Royal Oak (on the
Metropolitan Line) but ten minutes walk from both. New books on
Arab issues, Islam, about half in Arabic and half in English.
Open Mon-Sat 1000-1800.
Dar al Dawa Book Shop (99 Westbourne Grove, W2, 020-7221-6256). Books on
Arab & Islamic matters in English and Arabic. [03/08]
The Riverside Studios (Crisp Rd, W6, by the River Thames in Hammersmith,
just down from the flyover). Hammersmith tube (Metropolitan,
Piccadilly and District.) They have a bookshop as well as a cinema,
a theatre and a gallery.
Iranian Bookshop (2a Kensington Church Walk, W8, 020-7937-5087). Near High
Street Kensington tube.
Travel Bookshop (13 Blenheim Crescent, W11, Ladbroke Grove tube
(Metropolitan), 020-7229-5260). Carries new and second-hand travel
books. Open Mon-Fri 1000-1800, Sat 1000-1730.
Cook Book Shop (4 Blenheim Crescent, W11, 020-7584-2840, FAX 020-7823-9259).
Modern Books (15-21 Praed St, Edgware Road tube (Metropolitan, District
and Bakerloo), W2 1NP, 020-7402-9176, FAX 020-7724-5736). Less
than 100 yards from Edgware Road tube. Excellent technical bookshop
with very wide stocks, very easy to get around, helpful staff.
Book & Comic Exchange (14 Pembridge Rd). Recommended by Gosh Comics. [10/05]
Pemberley Natural History Books (18 Bathurst Walk, Iver, SL0 9AZ,
01753-631114, FAX 01753-631115, http://www.pemberleybooks.com).
New, used and antiquarian books on entomology (insects) and other
natural history. Open Mon-Fri 10AM-5PM. [10/05]
Fortune Green Books (74 Fortune Green Rd, NW6 1DS, West Hempstead tube,
020-7435-7545). The shop's specialty is books by and about women,
and the co-owner, Jane Bell (I think her name is), seems to be
regarded as something of an expert in the field by other London
booksellers. However, they have some 19th and early 20th Century
literature and art as well. By appointment only.
Miscellaneous London Comments:
Probably one of the most useful websites for visitors to London is
http://www.streetmap.co.uk, whose function you can probably guess. If you
enter a UK postcode (or, for London only, a street name) on the opening
searchpanel, you'll get a map of the area centred on the postcode/street
Books Etc (various locations)..
Good general stock, with emphasis on fiction and modern literature.
SF section is also surprisingly good for a non-specialist shop,
including some US imports. Lots of other stuff, including a
reasonable technical section. Staff helpful, often beyond the call
of duty. Takes credit cards, will order books from the US.
Sometimes open Sunday afternoon. Branches include: 30 Broadgate
Circus, EC2M 2QS, tel. 020-7628-8944; 60 Fenchurch St, EC3M 4AQ,
tel. 020-7481-4425; 176 Fleet St, EC4A 2AB, tel. 020-7353-5939;
263 High Holborn, WC1V 7EE, tel. 020-7404-0261; 26 James St, Covent
Garden, WC2E 8PA, tel. 020-7379-6947; 54 London Wall, EC2M 5TR,
tel. 020-7628-9708; 163 Oxford St, W1R 1TA, tel. 020-7734-8287;
66 Victoria St, SW1 5LB, tel. 020-7931-0677; 19 Whiteleys of
Bayswater, W2 4YQ, tel. 020-7229-3865). The Charing Cross Road
branch is open Sundays.
There are also a few bookshops in Oxford Street, near Tottenham Court Road
tube station. And don't forget the museum bookshops. For
oriental/historical books, try opposite the British Museum (a reasonably
short walk from Tottenham Court road tube). "You can have a pleasant day
out looking round the bookshops and/or the British museum. There are quite
a few restaurants and fast food outlets around. The booksellers in this
are put out a leaflet called 'Antiquarian and Second-hand Booksellers near
the British Museum' which you can get, free of charge, from any of the
bookshops or by writing, with a SASE, to Janet Nassau, Bloomsbury
Booksellers' Guide, 46 Great Russell St., London, WC1B 3PA." [I find it
interesting that the British Museum is the only museum outside of New York
that I can tell you the name of the street it's on.]
There are a couple of French bookshops near the South Kensington tube stop,
on Bute Street, SW7, a small street off Old Brompton Road:
Au fil des mots (19 Bute, SW7 3EY, 020-7589-9400,
http://www.aufildesmots.co.uk). Open Mon-Fri 8:20AM-6:30PM,
Sat 10AM-6:30PM. [02/09]
The French Bookshop (28 Bute, SW7, 020-7584-2840). Open Mon-Fri
8:30AM-6:30PM, Sat 10AM-6:30PM. [02/09]
"To get to Bute Street, take the tube to South Kensington. When exiting
the station, turn left into the small arcade and then right at the
street. Take Old Brompton Road which is facing you, veering slightly
to the left. There is a conspicuous sign on top of the building
opposite you. Bute Street is the second street on the right. Au fil
des mots is halfway up on the left and the The French Bookshop at the
end on the right, though, as the street is small, the two are within
two minutes of one another. The stocks of the two are similar--
literature, history, current affairs, language learning and the like,
nearly all in French (i.e. very few books in English on French
topics). However, they do have different books and though similar
stocks to the other main French language London bookshops--Grant and
Cutler, the European Bookshop and Waterstone's, Gower Street--all five
do have different books. If you have limited time, Grant & Cutler and
Waterstone's may be best for academic books, the European Bookshop
for novels in French (despite its name and the fact that it stocks
books in German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish and Russian (but
not Italian), its speciality is French), with the Bute Street ones
There are Chinese bookshops in Chinatown and Soho and some good black
bookshops in Brixton. For ethnic categories in general see the
references in the "Guide to Ethnic London."
Away from Charing Cross Road, there is a second-hand book market on
Saturdays just by the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank, under
Waterloo Bridge. Someone else adds, "The second-hand bookmarket by
the Royal Festival Hall is on most days of the week, especially during
the summer months, although it's certainly bigger at weekends than
during the week. The drawback, as with any outdoor bookseller, is
that the books get wet, dirty and dog-eared through sitting outside
and being schlepped around in boxes day in day out. The prices in
this market are also much higher than you'd pay in a bookshop for
something in better condition. Most of the books are very common
titles, and I can see no reason why anyone would buy anything here
(although it never stops me looking, I have to say), unless they were
a tourist who didn't know any better and didn't really like books much
Information contained in this FAQ is compiled from many sources. The
compiler accepts no responsibility for the comments contained herein.
The comments are provided "as is" with no warranty, express or implied,
for the information provided within them.
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4) They will agree, in writing, that the collection including the FAQ will
be distributed on either a non-profit basis, or have some percentage of
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To support this, this FAQ is Compilation Copyright 2015 by Evelyn C. Leeper
(the FAQ maintainer).
Evelyn C. Leeper
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