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It’s a page turner – the best bookshops in Bloomsbury

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Whether you’re planning your holiday reads or books are a year-round passion, a lazy afternoon browsing the shelves of a good bookshop is hard to beat. 

Defying the rise of the e-book and the dominance of online sales, London has a healthy independent bookshop scene – and Bloomsbury has more than its share of lovely places to check out. Here are some of the best bookshops in Bloomsbury and close-by that you might like to try. 

It’s a page turner – the best bookshops in Bloomsbury

London Review Bookshop 

The London Review of Books opened its shop with the aim of being “intelligent without being pompous; engaged without being partisan”. It’s good for history, politics and philosophy as well as contemporary and classic fiction.  It also has a great café and choice of high-profile literary events. Click here for more information. 

 

Gosh! 

Dedicated to graphic novels and comics, Gosh! has everything from colourful manga to vintage children’s books and mainstream superhero comics to rare and independent finds. It’s popular with diehard comic fans as well as casual readers of all ages. An events programme includes book signings and a regular reading group. Click here for more information. 

 

Persephone Books 

Within this Grade II-listed building on Lamb’s Conduit Street, you’ll find a unique shop and publisher dedicated to breathing new life into out-of-print titles, mainly novels by 20th-century female writers. Each book is a work of art and the shop itself is a delight. Click here for more information. 

 

Arthur Probsthain 

For more than 100 years, this family-run bookshop has been stocking titles on oriental and African culture as well as art, literature and theatre.  The downstairs café, the Tea and Tattle, serves leaf tea and Monmouth coffee – or treat yourself to its full afternoon tea for two. Click here for more information. 

 

Gay's the Word 

Well-loved community hub and bookshop, Gay’s the Word has a large range of fiction as well as books on all aspects of queer theory, history and politics. It hosts regular discussion groups and meet-ups too. Click here for more information. 

 

Close by, don’t miss … 

 

Daunt Books 

Daunt Books’ Marylebone branch could, according to Time Out, be “London’s most beautiful bookshop”. Its Edwardian building with galleried main room and stained glass windows is a trip back in time. Books are arranged by country not content so expect your browsing to take some time. Make sure you pick up a Daunt Books reusable bag while you’re there, the hallmark of a well-read Londoner. Click here for more information. 

 

Foyles 

Foyles’ flagship store on Charing Cross Road covers five floors, with four miles of shelves and 200,000 titles. The top floor has a café and exhibition space attracting readings and talks by high-profile authors. Click here for more information. 

 

Read more about London’s best bookshops in Time Out.