Continuing or amble round London's independent bookshops
After last week's venture to Joseph's Bookstore unleashed our thirst for knowledge, we decided to check out Westbourne Grove's Al Saqi Bookshop, which is the UK's largest Middle Eastern Specialist bookseller. It first caught our eye after having done a double-take walking past it on the way to grab some coffee. The white columns on the shop's exterior made us instantly want to know what on earth was inside. We were thoroughly impressed.
The store carries stacks and shelves of books in both English and Arabic in a variety of subjects including: history, art, religion, cooking, and fiction. The books are beautifully displayed and the friendly staff will eagerly offer suggestions on your subject of choice. Whether you are interested in learning more about Hizbullah, Istanbul, orientalist art, or Lebanese wine, you will find the top selections here.
Al Saqi is tied to Saqi Books, an award winning publishing company with branches in London, San Francisco, and Beirut. It is renowned for producing high quality works as well as promoting awareness, understanding, and appreciation for Arab culture and history. The bookshop carries Saqi's newest titles and also holds a section of rare and antiquarian books. Individuals and institutions can place orders, which makes this an excellent find for academics and the neverendingly curious. We found that the longer we remained within Al Saqi, the more we wanted to learn. We hope to drop by again soon, Inshallah, and pick up something or other about Iran, which seems to be fairly busy these days.
Al Saqi Bookshop, 26 Westbourne Grove, W2 5RH. Open Monday-Friday. Map after the jump, images author's own. Know a good bookshop? Email us at londonist (@) gmail.com.
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