Continuing our amble round London's independent bookshops
It's a two-for-one deal this week as we visit Artwords Bookshop(s). The Rivington Street shop has been open since 2001, and feels a bit like being invited into someone's special stock cupboard. By which we mean it's tiny, yet enterprisingly packed full of stuff on contemporary visual art (one entire wall is taken up just with magazines). We really like the dinky atmosphere, a bit like bookshops of yore but in a whitewashed, arty setting.
If you venture just a little further east to Broadway Market, you'll find a larger, brighter, newer shop focusing more on design. If you're interested in visual art these are the places for you; and if you're someone who's always felt a bit intimidated by the idea of browsing one of those cooler-than-thou Shoreditch hipster bookshops then fear no more. Everyone's über-friendly and more than happy to point out things you might like.
We're also just pleased to see another of London's indies branching out. As owner Ben said, "people still respond to interesting titles in shops", and they really go the extra mile to make sure there's something that even people who are clotheaded when it comes to art and design can find something interesting.
The Rivington branch collaborates with galleries to hold events, but the Hackney shop has much more room; watch this space for more details. They also have a little sideline in publishing. The 'Rules of Engagement' series allows artists to explain their motivation and practice, while other books allow artists and critics to discuss their work. We've got a copy of John Timberlake's Bussard Ramjet, and it's a fascinating mix of the artist's photography and a sci-fi-esque text he's written.
And if this isn't enough to get you through the doors, both shops are holding a sale starting today! Get down there before Sunday and have a discounted rummage for books on architecture, art history and theory, fashion, photography, and more.
Artwords Bookshop, 65a Rivington Street, Shoreditch / 20-22 Broadway Market, Hackney. Images author's own. Know a good bookshop? Email us at londonist (@) gmail.com.
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