Continuing our amble round London's independent bookshops
Daunt Books. We had a big debate about whether, since it seems to be spawning more heads than a Hydra, it was still an independent. We decided it was, which is a good thing because the original Marylebone High Street branch is possibly the most beautiful bookshop in London. Possibly the most beautiful shop full stop.
At first glance it looks fairly ordinary and whatever, but pass through the narrow corridor towards the rear and the building opens out into an incredible long gallery, with an oak balcony lining the walls, Edwardian stained glass windows at either end and a glass roof that floods the room with light. This is where you'll find the backbone of Daunt Books - its travel section. Although it's now branched out into other areas, Daunt is primarily about travel, packed with new and second hand guides over three floors, fiction and non-fiction, covering every area of the world.
We were also delighted by the obligatory greeting card section for its literary leanings, and spent ages poring over the display of Penguin Great... These gorgeous themed series are new to us and we got quite excited at the idea of owning beautifully designed classics for less than a fiver.
They also run talks (£5, including wine) but the appeal of Daunt is simply the elegant surroundings. It's very easy to lose yourself in the peaceful atmosphere, so we recommend setting aside plenty of time whenever you pop in.
Daunt Books, 83 Marylebone High Street, London W1U. Map after the jump, images author's own. Know a good bookshop? Email us at londonist (@) gmail.com.
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