by Olivia Gacka
As a book blogger and Londoner, I spend many an hour hiking around the city visiting bookstores, admiring their shelves and forgetting real life even exists. When picking the store of choice for endless browsing, the ability to get lost in thought is essential and this often comes down to the interior design and types of books that they house.
Independent bookstores have mastered this, with many approaching a less modern and more traditional interior, creating a sense of going back in time the second you step through the door. With the addition of stocking extremely rare books, there is nothing better than finding the perfect indie book shop to enhance your literature collection. Here is my list of the top locations in London and their various specialisms.
Address: 100 Fulham Road SW3 6HS and 43 Dover Street Mayfair, W1S 4FF
Best for: Rare Books, First Editions
Peter Harrington stocks a range of titles from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. It is a stunning store that strongly resembles a museum and since one of the branches resides in the middle of Mayfair, you can rest assured that it is surrounded by one of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings in the city.
Address: 23 – 27 Cecil Court, WC2N 4EZ
Best for: Signed First Editions
Well known for stocking first editions, Goldsboro books is also your best bet when looking for signed books. Located in the infamous Cecil Court (an entire road of antique stores and book shops), it houses thousands of books and hosts many events and launches. It organizes a book club, which features a different novel every month likely to become a collectible, their chosen titles have gone on to receive critical acclaim and found themselves onto shortlists.
Address: 19-21 Cecil Court, WC2N 4EZ
Best for: Antiquarian titles, Esoterica
This bookstore in a researcher’s dream. From witchcraft and mythology to religion, whatever your topic of interest, you are most likely to find it here. As well as books, they stock tarot cards, talismans and crystals; you can even make an appointment to have your tarot cards read by a psychic!
Address: 1 Berwick Street, W1F 0DR
Best for: Comics and Graphic Novels
If you enjoy leafing through dozens of comics and finding an issue that’s missing from your collection, Gosh is the perfect place for it. With a wondrous comics and graphic novels collection (some of which are signed!), they also stock merchandise, small press books, and manga; it is an occult fan’s utopia.
Address: 58-60 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0BB
Best for: Leather-bound sets, Rare First Editions
This store really is a glimpse into the past, with an old-fashioned interior with books going almost up to the ceiling. Its rare book collection is striking, with many first edition gems to be found.
Olivia is a book blogger at thatfictionlife.co.uk