London: The city’s best bookstores

Foyles, Foo’
Photo by Philip Sheldrake

It’s no secret that Londoners love literature just about as much as they love their tabloids. When not sifting the mags to find out where Posh and Becks are currently being preposterous, Londoners are usually nose-in-novel on the Underground or while queueing at Sainsbury’s.

Here are just some of the places where we find our favorite wordsmiths in London:

1. Foyle’s bookshop was co-created by two brothers in 1903 after they both failed their civil service exams. The store first sold only textbooks; today it hosts author events (Chuck Palahniuk ring a bell?) and gallery tours at its flagship location in SoHo. It may not be the largest and most exciting shop, but it’s distinguished and impressive.

2. Travel fans (know any of those?) should visit Daunt Travel Bookshop in Hampstead, where it’s rumored that George Orwell once clerked. The bookstore has long been known for its courteous, brilliant staff (owner James Daunt writes reviews for The Times and The Guardian) and though the names that grace their events diary may not be household to us, the talks at Daunt sure do enlighten. Ol’ Jimmy Boy co-hosts many events with another famous lad from around the corner, John Keats.

3. Waterstone’s. If you like your bookstores big and comprehensive, then Waterstone’s is the place for you. The store on Piccadilly has six floors of literary madness. Look for JK Rowling when she signs copies of the next (and last) Harry Potter here in July.

Happy reading!

About the author

Meredith Franco Meyers
About the author: Meredith earned an MFA in fiction writing at The New School in New York City. Her feature stories and articles have appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, American Baby, Self, Bridal Guide, Time Out New York, Fitness and more. She joined EuroCheapo in summer 2007.
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