Continuing our amble round London's independent bookshops
Coincidences are funny, aren't they? Last Wednesday, Londonist reader Jill Butcher emailed to tip us the wink about the London Review Bookshop, and would you believe we were just putting our shoes on to swing by and visit? We're all clearly on the same wavelength.
Bibliophiles are surely already on the same wavelength as the LRB. Opened by the London Review of Books in 2003 after a debate on the war on terror drew a crowd of 1,000 (and after a bit of MORI polling), the shop aims to cater for the types who read the magazine - think intelligent folk (like you) who are just as happy reading politics as they are indulging in a spot of literary criticism. The basement has entire walls filled with philosophy and poetry titles and the history section takes up four whole floor-to-ceiling units. Fiction occupies just one, relatively small, corner of the shop. The LRB also produces its own special editions; one of the latest was a limited run of Iain Sinclair's Hackney, That Rose Red Empire with etchings, maps and other gorgeous goodies.
Next to the aforementioned history section is a little corridor that brings you to the recent addition of the Cake Shop. It's light and airy with a selection of toothsome goodies that made our stomachs growl. (They sell savories too, for the healthier among us.) If you're in the mood for a little booze amongst the books you could always try the monthly late shopping evenings on the first Wednesday in each month. There's 10% off all items - and wine and snacks.
But possibly the London Review Bookshop's masterstroke is its events list. There's generally something happening once a week and a quick glance at the list of authors who've previously appeared is bloody impressive: Vaclav Havel, Germaine Greer, Harold Pinter, Doris Lessing, Hanif Kureishi, Terry Jones, Alan Bennett... for the present, you can catch Will Self tomorrow at 7pm, and a discussion of the Movement Poets next Tuesday.
London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place WC1A - a hop and skip from the British Museum and next door to a Back Passage. Map after the jump, images author's own. Know a good bookshop? Email us at londonist (@) gmail.com.
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