I love a good bookstore. From the scent of the paper to the world of words hidden between covers, I can spend hours browsing and buying. A few months ago I wrote about the best places for books in London, and it was so well received that I decided to write more. Today I bring you 7 specialty bookstores in London that are worth a trip.
Travel Bookstores in London
I discovered Stanfords when I first moved to London, and now I can’t pass anywhere near Covent Garden without popping in. Set over three floors, the bookstore has every travel book imaginable, from classic guidebooks to famous narratives.
It also has a wanderlust-worthy selection of travel notebooks, cards, and other accessories. And don’t even get me started on how much I love the treasure trove of globes and retro luggage in the basement. Steamer trunk, please!
Daunt Books is not only one of the most famous bookstores in London, but also one of the loveliest. The Marylebone High Street location is full of travel books on every destination across the globe, and its inspired interiors make it a mecca for book lovers.
Foodie Bookstores in London
Books for Cooks
Even though I’m the world’s worst cook, I like to think I can still appreciate a good cookbook when I see one. And I see lots every time I visit Books for Cooks in Notting Hill. This specialty bookstore in London is an iconic location in the city, and the perfect place to find culinary inspiration.
Vintage Bookstores in London
Alice Through The Looking Glass
I’ve been a Lewis Carroll fan since playing the lead role in a community youth theater production of Alice in Wonderland when I was 14. I may have grown up since then—the “Eat Me” cakes helped—but I still love a bit of good Alice memorabilia.
Enter Alice Through The Looking Glass, a shop on Covent Garden’s famous vintage bookstore row, Cecil Court. In addition to first editions of Carroll’s books, the shop also sells everything from tea party-themed greeting cards to chocolate-filled Mad Hatter top hats.
Women’s Bookstores in London
I didn’t realize there was such thing as a women’s bookstore until I came across Persephone Books on Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. Specializing in reprints of books written by 20th century female writers, the store not only has a beautiful aesthetic—all the books are bound in gray jackets with colorful printed endpaper—but also an appealing mission. Beyond books, they sell pretty crockery and other lovely-looking objects.
Art Bookstores in London
Over in the hipster capital of Shoreditch, Artwords is one of the best speciality bookstores in London for—you guessed it—art. The little shop is full of books on contemporary visual arts and culture, covering everything from fashion to graphic design. The store itself is a treat to look at, too.
Photography Bookstores in London
Claire de Rouen Books
I love photography, and looking at books with amazing photos always inspires me to become a better photographer. Tucked away upstairs on busy Charing Cross Road, Claire de Rouen Books has a great selection of photobooks, magazines, and other publications related to art, fashion, and photography. Perfect!
How about you? What are your favorite specialty bookstores in London?