Best Bookshops in London

Best Bookshops in London

It might be the age of Amazon, but we still believe in the importance of the high-street bookshop – a place to browse, to discover and to learn.

Check out our list of some of the best bookshops in London – these are just our favourites, feel free to let us know about yours!

Top Tip

Make sure to check out the The London Bookshop Map – a map of 110 independent bookshops scattered across London. They’ve just launched a fab iPhone app, available here.

Best Bookshops in London…

Claire-de-Rouen-Books

Claire de Rouen Books

Fashion, art & mags aplently in this legendary treasure trove of beautiful coffee table books. upstairs on Charing Cross Road. Don’t forget to buy the rather amazing trans mag Candy Magazine, which is often in the shop window.

Daunt Books

Daunt Books

A real gem of a bookshop, like something out of a fantasy novel! An original Edwardian bookshop, with long oak galleries, on Marylebone High Street. The type of book shop where spies might meet, or young wizards might buy find books on magic. We think. But then, we’re prone to flights of fancy…

foyles

Foyle’s, Charing Cross

For staff recommendations & sheer variety of stock, you can’t beat Foyle’s. Plus check out the amazing London maps, cards & independently designed gift wrap on the ground floor.

ntbookshop

National Theatre Bookshop

The perfect collection of theatre books & mags you wont find anywhere else, alongside quirky culture books & gifts.

Magma

Magma | Charing Cross

Design, illustration & creativity oozes out of this tiny book & magazine store in Seven Dials.  You’re bound to pick up something visually stunning at MAGMA.

Stanfords

Stanfords Travel Bookshop

Plan your great escape with 3 floors of travel books, maps & travel inspired gifts. So many places, so little time.

Taschen

Taschen

From naughty nudes to architecture & luxe city guides Taschen is the ultimate coffee table book publisher and this is its London flagship. Why not pop by the Saatchi Gallery next door, while you’re there !

Treadwell's

Treadwells Bookshop

Discover tarot, Paganism, wicca, and druidry, but also literature, history, culture and classics in this boutique-sized browser’s paradise near Tottenham Court Road. They also host some incredible talks, courses & events including one coming up in 2014 called Mesopotamian Sex Magic.

Photo Credit: Kevin_Morris via Compfight cc

And some fab books we recommend…

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The Circle by Dave Eggers

A deeply thought-provoking, and eerily realistic, exploration of a near-future world in which a social media giant makes the smooth transition from enabler to controller.

Mae gets lucky when an old University friend gets her a dream job at the all-encompassing Circle – think Facebook, Google, Twitter and all the rest rolled into one – but is she up their high standards?

What begins as an interesting, if procedural, insight into how such a company might work soon becomes an engrossing, angry satire on the growing influence of social media giants, and the dubious ethics and motivation behind the seemingly whiter-than-white ideals they espouse.

If you don’t get angry to the point of wanting to scream out loud at least three times whilst reading this book, yew don’t want to know you!

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Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan

A slightly lighter read, but no worse for it, this is the definition of a page-turner – which is fitting, because amongst it’s messages is the celebration of the printed page.

A mysterious bookshop, with a mysterious owner, take centre stage in the first half of the book, as Clay takes a job working the nightshift only to become suspicious of the strange goings-on. Soon, he uncovers a cult-like band of customers and a menacing organisation whose mission, if achieved, promises to change the world forever. Or does it?

As the story leaves the bookshop and follows Clay on a mini-adventure pitting cutting-edge technology against an age-old mystery, the question is: Does having the answers to everything at our fingertips make us happier, or does it take something away from the meaning of life?

the naked eye charles saatchi

The Naked Eye by Charles Saatchi

Need a new book to grace your coffee table?

Why not try ‘the Naked Eye’ photo book by Charles Saatchi ,which is stuffed full of spectacular, unusual & completely unphotoshopped images.

Among these are the hidden truths behind the images, which include: an elephant balancing on his trunk, a dancing tree, an office building created to look like a gigantic shopping basket, and a man walking calmly up a palm tree.

 

Rupert Dannreuther

About 

I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.