TOP FIVE LONDON BOOKSHOPS

Books, I love books.  Walking passed a bookshop is a wrench, if I do then it means that I must be in a tearing hurry.  Whilst I can find joy in almost anywhere that sells books, I do have favourites.  Here are my top five London bookshops.

DAUNT BOOKS

Top Five London Bookshops

Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street used to be my local bookshop.  Every week I would prowl its shelves seeking my next companion.  Daunt is a stunningly beautiful shop, built round a central atrium with a large window at one end.  In theory it is a travel bookshop but it sells so much more than mere guidebooks.  Each geographical area has not only the Rough Guides but also cookbooks, histories of the country and novels.  Reading books about the area which I am visiting or written by a local is something that I love, if you want the perfect Albanian novel (The File on H by Ismail Kadare) look no further than Daunt.

word on the water

Word on the Water is a bookshop on a barge, she chugs up and down the Regents Canal and can be visited at which ever part of the tow path she moors up. I found her just by Granary Square behind Kings Cross Station.  Browsing through secondhand books is a joy.  Sometimes you see old friends and remember the happy times you spent together, other times you look at the old covers and typefaces and realise that fashion even reaches into the world of books.  Best of all is when you see a title that you have wanted to read for ages, I found THE DIARY OF A NOBODY by George and Weedon Grosssmith.

waterstones

Waterstones is one of Britains biggest booksellers.  The branch that I love is its flagship on Piccadilly, the building is a splendid Art Deco place.  Sweeping staircases lure you upwards to ever more temptation.   This branch of Waterstones is the Junior CW’s favourite bookshop.  When they were very small I used to browse the shelves with them, then they wanted to make their own selections so I used to hunker down on a child-sized seat and read my own book.  Now they are big enough for me to wander at will, until we meet and compare our selections.  Waterstones also offers places in which to peruse your purchases, the basement has a booklined café and right at the very top of the building is a bar for more grown up discussions.

stanfords

TOP FIVE LONDON BOOKSHOPS

Stanfords on Covent Garden’s Long Acre is another travel book shop but unlike Daunt it specialises in maps.  Once I have decided on a holiday destination, Standfords is my first stop to purchase a proper folding map, even the floors have maps on them.  Nowadays Stanfords sells guidebooks and all manner of travel related books.  If you love maps and books then head for Stanfords.

MAISON ASSOULINE

top five London bookshops

Maison Assouline is a temple to the coffee table book.  It is housed in a perfect cube of room and is devoted to selling the luxury books produced by Assouline.  I concede that I have never actually bought a book in Maison Assouline as the luxury books come with luxury price tags.  It is also home to Swans Bar which will serve coffee accessorised with the most beautiful spoon I have ever seen.  It is the perfect place to flick through my latest book haul from Waterstones just down the road on days when the Junior CW’s are elsewhere.

These are my top five London bookshops, which are yours?

TOP FIVE LONDON BOOKSHOPS

DAUNT BOOKS 83-84 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW

WORDS ON WATER Regents Canal Towpath

WATERSTONES 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

STANFORDS 12-14 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LP

MAISON ASSOULINE 196 Piccadilly, London w1J 9EY

Oregon Girl Around the World

32 thoughts on “TOP FIVE LONDON BOOKSHOPS

  1. Kim Carberry April 24, 2017 / 4:31 pm

    Ohh! They look like fantastic book shops. I do love our Waterstones.
    #MMBC

    • Catherine April 24, 2017 / 4:36 pm

      Hard to settle on just five!

  2. Carol April 24, 2017 / 7:19 pm

    I’d love to live close to any of those stores. There are a couple of warehouse bargain book stores close to me which I occasionally peruse, Nothing like your glamorous choices.

    • Catherine April 24, 2017 / 7:21 pm

      I love a bargain book warehouse too

  3. California Globetrotter April 27, 2017 / 9:16 am

    How cute! Love the book barge! And that massive map carpet is fun! Love bookshops and libraries! #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine April 27, 2017 / 3:33 pm

      Hard to resist a book, but a book with a map impossible to refuse

    • Catherine April 27, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      Now I need time to read the pile of unread books, maybe a long train journey is called for

  4. Tanja April 27, 2017 / 9:46 am

    I’ve only been to Waterstones:) #farawayfiles

  5. Erin Gustafson (@oregongirlworld) April 27, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    I think I’m in love with Word on the Water – how cool is that! Now THAT is a unique book store! I would definitely see spending much time (and money) in Daunt Books as well. Great list! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles – Erin

    • Catherine April 27, 2017 / 3:36 pm

      My spending on books did fall when I no longer lived round the corner from Daunt!

  6. jphowze April 27, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    You mean they have books and not just cocktails at Maison Assouline? 😉 Seriously, a great list. I could spend hours browsing at any of these places. #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine April 27, 2017 / 3:37 pm

      Books AND cocktails, what could be finer?

  7. Clare Thomson April 27, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    I can happily spend hours in a bookshop. I really like Hatchard’s on Piccadilly and that Waterstone’s is my favourite too. I love Daunts and I must search out Word on the Water. Great post for #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine April 27, 2017 / 3:38 pm

      Finding Words on the Water involves a stroll along the canal, so win win!

  8. katy@untoldmorsels April 27, 2017 / 7:09 pm

    Ooh Words on the Water sounds right up my alley… or canal! Love to check it out. I also like the Foyles near Tottenham Court Road – free wifi in cafe! #farawayfiles

  9. Wherejogoes April 27, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    I love Stanfords – there is something about maps that spark the imagination. We went this Easter to Livraria Lello in Porto which is a bookshop treat. No matter how kindles take over the world there is something about turning a page, stepping into a bookshop that can’t be beaten. #FarawayFiles

    • Catherine April 27, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      Quite agree, although not having to devote half my holiday luggage to books is an upside of the kindle

      • Wherejogoes April 27, 2017 / 7:43 pm

        Yes goodness I remember taking 14 books on holiday! One for each day! The kindle definitely lightens the load I’d hate to run out of reading material!

          • Wherejogoes April 27, 2017 / 7:44 pm

            You are a kindred spirit Catherine – we should go on holiday with a pile of books and not speak to eachother all day!

          • Catherine April 27, 2017 / 7:52 pm

            Sounds like heaven, are we allowed wine with dinner?

          • Wherejogoes April 27, 2017 / 8:02 pm

            Oh yes it’s obligatory!

  10. Hilary April 29, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    This is awesome! I love the idea of Daunt Books and am definitely saving this for my next London visit! #farawayfiles

    • Catherine April 29, 2017 / 8:06 pm

      Daunt is fabulous and Marylebone High Street has lots of other interesting shops too!

  11. Angie May 4, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Daunts is definitly one of me favourites too. I keep meaning to visit Word on the Water and I love Stanfords. Have you visited Skoob Books in the Brunswick Centre, Bloomsbury? If not I recommend it, if you love second hand book shops you will adore this, its overflowing

    • Catherine May 4, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      Not been to Skoob but will the next time I’m in that neck of the woods, also want to visit Persephone Books on Lambs Conduit Street which is close

  12. Momma Jones May 8, 2017 / 12:23 am

    Those are some handsome bookshops. Not been to Daunts before, so I will have to keep my eye out next time I’m down in the capital. I love our Waterstones, even if it’s tricky to navigate with the buggy, and my 4yo loves it too, a love I hope to get burning in years to come.

    • Catherine May 8, 2017 / 7:44 am

      Buggy navigation is a nightmare, good luck with passing on your love of books

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