Book Lovers’ London by Andrew Kershman
Best for: Um, book lovers who will be in London. The title’s pretty spot on.
In a nutshell: Catalog of new bookstores, secondhand bookstores, rare book dealers, libraries, and other book-related London spots.
Worth quoting: “The collection of antiques upstairs is limited and expensive. The cafe menu is limited and expensive. The range of books for sale is limited and expensive. If you have the cash and want to buy into the concept of building a ‘luxury library,’ this store is a welcome addition to London’s literary landscape.”
Why I chose it: I’m in London without a job and with some measure of disposable income for the moment. I need to get a job soon, but for now … I want all the books.
Review: This is a lovely compilation of bookshops and other related stores covering the greater London area. Each shop description starts with the basics: location, phone, nearest public transportation, opening hours, and the website. Then there is between a paragraph and a page discussing the special features of the particular shop. Some might have excellent sections fro children; others perhaps specialize in art and photography.
There are also features of some bookshops, discussing the history of the shop itself or the story of the owner or staff. It’s a cool way to personalize these shops, which are often small and exist not so much to make money but because the proprietor simply loves books.
A cool feature is the sections on literary London – museums, pubs, and even graveyards with a connection to the world of books. It was a bit disappointing, however, as very few featured authors that were white men.
I have a goal of visiting as many of these shops as possible while I have the time, and I’m keeping a low-key blog noting the visits. Might not be your particular interest, but if so, check my twitter (@MxASK) for the site address (coming soon!).