Bye Bye Borders

Very disappointing to see that the giant Borders on Oxford Street is closing. Especially when it’s to make way for a shop like New Look. I guess it shows where peoples’ priorities are these days.

On the plus side, I took advantage of their 50% off of everything deal to buy Lonely Planet’s book One People which I’ve had my eye on for a while. And it was kind of fun digging through the complete mess the shop has become…

 Borders

(Even the book cart is “broken”…)

London’s Best Bookshops

Hop on the tube and you’ll see Londoners reading, an essential activity when it comes to escaping into your own little world on a crowded morning commute. Being a blog about London written by a book lover, it only seems right to tell you about my three favourite bookshops in the city. Besides the obvious Borders, Waterstones, Foyles and the many used bookshops lining Charing Cross Road, here’s a few to check out:

1) Daunt Books (http://www.dauntbooks.co.uk/)

The Daily Telegraph acknowledged it as “The most beautiful bookshop in London – designed or travellers who like reading.” While the front contains a mix of new books, the rest of the shelves are organised by country or area of the world and are filled not only with travel guides, but fictional novels and non-fiction based in those specific countries. The best branch is the one in Marylebone with its long oak rooms and bright, welcoming skylights.

83 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW

2) London Review Bookshop (http://www.lrbshop.co.uk/)

This one has more of a politics/current affairs-based inventory, but it’s not as dry as that makes it sound. What I love about this shop is the knowledgeable and helpful staff who will go out of their way to make recommendations or find what you’re looking for. Again, lots of novels set in various locations around the world. Also, a nice café attached where you can start on a new book over a cup of tea.

14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL

3) Book & Comic Exchange

Unique selection of second-hand books and comics. Not in much of a particular order so fun to trawl through the shelves when you’re trying to escape the chaos of Portobello Market just down the road. Again, friendly staff, even if they can’t find what you’re looking for. There are definitely some treasures buried in here. Don’t forget to check out the basement which is easy to overlook at quick glance.

14 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill, London W11 3HL

Comment with recommendations if you have any!

Octo-Library

During a student recruitment fair today at Queen Mary University in East London, my booth was based in the Octogon building. Stunning, and no justice is done by these photos. The books stretched around all eight walls above an open plan with a giant skylight at the top and busts of famous authors dotted around the room.

Queen Mary

Queen Mary

Queen Mary