Like many of you, we’ve been waiting patiently for bricks-and-mortar shops, pubs and restaurants to reopen safely. Barbers! Beers on tap! BOOKS! Ah yes, book shops. The sort of book shops that are more than basket and next-day delivery, the community hubs, the kind that you can get lost in, packed high with titles that you didn’t know you needed.
To celebrate, we asked some friends and fellow publishers to tell us their favourite independent book shops across the world.
Clare Howdle, Stranger Collective
Close to home? Beerwolf Books in Falmouth. A pub and a bookshop in one. Tall shelves to lose yourself in, an open fire, indie craft beer. What’s not to love? I cannot wait for it to open up again.
A little further afield? I went to Livaria Lello in Porto a couple of years ago and was in some sort of book lover’s fantasy-land. It is historic, beautiful, unfathomable, boggling…I also went to a great bookshop in Rennes but can’t for the life of me remember the name. Whenever I go on holiday (ahhh holiday!) I always try and find a bookshop. It’s so interesting to lose yourself among books that you might not be so familiar with.
@the.biblio.files, via Instagram
I love @word_on_the_water in London, I visit every time I’m down (I stay in Scotland).
Hazel Beevers, The Lit Platform
Not strictly just a bookshop, but have to mention do you read me? in Berlin, which dragged me out of a killer hangover a few years ago with an introduction to the cool matt pages of The Gourmand.
@uofecreativity, via Instagram
The tumbledown bookshop in Laugharne.
Sam Jordison, Galley Beggar Press
I can’t wait to get to @Shakespeare_Co and see some of the good in the world.
@_machmudova, via Instagram
I love @pagesofhackney in east London!
Zoe King, Lit:Up
Oooh toughie but it’s got to be @PortyBooks (though we’re spoilt for choice in Edinburgh!!)🌻
Jon Denham, Stranger Collective
Cornwall based – I’m a huge fan of Barton Books in Penzance! Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just an art book shop. Also Judd Books in Bloomsbury, London or Skoob Books (just around the corner from Judd). With stocking new titles in mind, I’d have to say Artwords.
@perennial_press, via Instagram
We love @anovelideaphilly, they are so supportive of local authors & presses and have such a good selection!
Paul Dicken, Stranger Collective
One of my absolute favourite places for books was Bloom and Curll in Bristol; it’s mainly secondhand titles but some new releases, and is just great really. I also used to spend an inordinate amount of time browsing at the Arnolfini bookshop.
The Regent Furniture, Rugs and Gifts in Wantage, Oxfordshire is a magical place.
No Bindings Project
Helen Gilchrist, Stranger Collective
There’s an amazing bookshop in Paris that we ran into to shelter from a torrential downpour, then couldn’t tear ourselves away for the next five hours or so. It had a huge graphics/ design/ illustrated books section, but also curated selection around positive social change, philosophy, cultural theory and utopian/ dystopian fiction, events space upstairs etc. Can’t remember what it was called though…
@art.paths, via Instagram
Sarah Enamorado, Lit:Up
@apr281, via Twitter