London’s best independent bookshops | Entertainment | Culture

While all retail sectors have been hit onerous by pandemic restrictions, few are feeling the pinch greater than small independent shops – and, specifically, bookshops. Even earlier than the pandemic, many guide shops have been going through elevated competitors from the likes of Amazon and, with bodily outlets closed for a lot of the final 12 months, the capital is liable to shedding many of those companies.

Which could be an actual disgrace as a result of, from guide signings with big-name authors to stay readings for youngsters, independent bookshops supply a significant place for communities to come back collectively to find and talk about new works. Not certain the place to seek out your native independent bookshop? Read on for our decide of the best, every of which has been shortlisted for the Independent Bookshop of the Year award at this 12 months’s British Book Awards.

Village Books, Dulwich Village

The website on which Village Books now stands, within the coronary heart of fairly Dulwich Village, has been dwelling to a bookshop in a single kind or one other for greater than 95 years. Now run by Hazel Broadfoot, and her crack group of devoted bibliophiles, Village Books presents an award-winning vary of titles (at present in the stores on-line) together with a busy occasions programme for adults and youngsters. Mary Berry, Michael Morpurgo, Yotam Ottolenghi and Michael Palin have all graced the shop with their presence whereas Village Books has additionally been internet hosting stay streamed talks with authors together with Hadley Freeman, Anna Jones and Dermot O’Leary throughout lockdown.


Image courtesy of Sophie Davidson

Pages of Hackney, Hackney

This small East London bookshop has been providing Hackney residents an eclectic and well-curated mixture of fiction and non-fiction titles, together with some carefully-selected classic and second-hand tomes, since 2008. It pays explicit consideration to works by under-represented and marginalised voices, supported by its various vary of creator occasions; current highlights have included on-line discussions between Raven Leilani and the Black Girls Book Club and Lola Olufemi in dialog with Amelia Horgan. Pages of Hackney additionally homes a choice of LPs from The Record Deck, a report retailer on a narrowboat that specialises in traditional vinyls, in its basement.


Goldsboro Books, Covent Garden

Looking for one thing particular? Covent Garden’s Goldsboro Books specialises in signed, first version hardbacks from traditional and up to date authors, in addition to uncommon, restricted and particular editions. The store was based by David Headley and Daniel Gedeon in 1999, and whereas Goldsboro’s vary spans virtually each style and period, the pair personally choose new titles. In 2013, the shop gained worldwide fame for being the one bookstore on this planet to have signed copies of The Cuckoo’s Calling earlier than its creator, Robert Galbraith, was revealed to be J.Okay. Rowling. The pair are eager to share their experience so, should you’re trying to purchase for funding, that is the bookshop for you.


gays the word bookshop

Gay’s The Word, Bloomsbury

Originally opened in 1979 by a gaggle of homosexual socialists, this community-centred retailer in Bloomsbury can be the capital’s oldest LGBT bookshop. Now managed by a small group led by Jim MacSweeney, who has been at Gay’s The Word since 1989, the shop shares a variety of LGBT-centric titles and can be dwelling to an array of group and literary occasions. Alongside signings, creator discussions and guide launches, the Lesbian Discussion Group has been assembly at Gay’s The Word for greater than 40 years, whereas Trans London and the London LGBT Book Group are additionally regulars.


Burley Fisher Books, Haggerston

If your important purpose for choosing on-line retailers over native guide shops is a priority in regards to the vary out there, enable Burley Fisher to dispel your worries. The East London bookshop has entry to greater than 4.5 million titles, all of which could be dispatched similar day. As such, the store additionally specialises in introducing clients to contemporary, undiscovered voices and books by independent publishers. With the bodily retailer closed, its podcast, weblog and ‘Ask A Bookseller’ on-line service have saved this momentum going whereas, on the tail finish of 2020, Burley Fisher launched a service delivering subscribers a brand new small press fiction or poetry guide every month.



Hewson Books, Kew

One of a pair of bookshops in Kew and Sheen, this family-oriented retailer is the proper place for serving to little readers nurture their love of books. Offering a largely mainstream vary of titles for each adults and youngsters, Hewson Books hosts common creator occasions, signings and stay readings and is staffed by an professional group all the time prepared with a advice. In addition, the shop works with native faculties to host books festivals, creator visits and curate studying lists to complement the usual curriculum.


Read extra: The new books so as to add to your 2021 studying checklist

Recommended For You