London's most inspiring bookshops

If you've got 30 minutes to waste and don't want to walk the streets or you actually need a book, check out these shops.

Here are some good ways to side-step Amazon and invite E-books to bugger off.

London may not be packing the kind of store which has the eighteen miles of books like The Strand in Manhattan (unless you count the British Library) and most of this list will probably never hit celluloid in movies as cheesy as Before Sunset like Paris’ Shakespeare and Company, but they rule hard all the same...

If you've got 30 minutes to waste and don't want to walk the streets or you actually need a book, check out these shops.

107 Charing Cross Road Covent Garden WC2H 0DT
Region: Covent Garden
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Any best bookshop list has to feature this megastore on it. The flagship store on Charing Cross Road is in a league of its own covering a huge range of subjects with departmental buyers delivering their knowledge in each section. Get a little Love Supreme in Ray’s Jazz, the in-house music store with the clue in the name and dare to find a seat in the excellent cafe upstairs.

  • USERS 8/10
Broadway Bookshop
6 Broadway Market Dalston E8 4QJ
Region: Dalston
Nearest Station: London Fields (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: A picture perfect book seller and peaceful to boot. It’s mostly fiction at the Boradway Bookshop but there’s really good travel and popular non-fiction on the table tops, plus the well stocked Children’s Corner and a cosy little art section to target the Broadway Market types. It’s gimmick free and clearly run on a passion for books.

  • USERS 8/10
Any Amount of Books
56 Charing Cross Road Covent Garden WC2H 0BB
Region: Covent Garden
Nearest Station: Leicester Square

AIL Says: On Charing Cross Road lies the true alternative to Amazon. Any Amount of Books is a true secondhand bookstore and you’ll always find vast quantities of popular fiction simply displayed at bargain prices. Even better are the rare editions, which make good gifts and mean you don’t have to settle for the movie poster on the cover. There’s also the Books for Decoration service so you can buy leather or cloth bound books by the yard for that instant library that everyone just has to have...

Pages Of Hackney
70 Lower Clapton Road Lower Clapton E5 0RN
Region: Lower Clapton
Nearest Station: Hackney Central (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Located on Lower Clapton Road, Pages is a lovely local bookshop. Fiction fills the small space for the most part, but there attention is paid to politics and London living. Look out for the second hand space opening downstairs – plus regular author events.

  • USERS 10/10
Artwords Bookshop
22 Broadway Market Dalston E8 4QJ
Region: Dalston
Nearest Station: London Fields (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Artwords Bookshop is the first stop for magazines, art and graphics. Expert knowledge, coupled with fine tuned curation means a visit is always bound to have you leaving with more than you bargained for.

  • USERS 8/10
Nomad Books
781 Fulham Road Fulham SW6 5HA
Region: Fulham
Nearest Station: Parsons Green (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: With a past filled with travel, the owner of Nomad was bound to focus on that department when she finally opened her Parsons Green book store. However, having grown from strength to strength, Nomad now stocks a great array of fiction, non-fiction, art and travel – not to mention the excellent children’s room at the back of the shop.

  • USERS 10/10
Lutyens & Rubinstein
21 Kensington Park Road Notting Hill W11 2EU
Region: Notting Hill
Nearest Station: Ladbroke Grove (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Home to the eponymous literary agents, this Notting Hill shop is as sweet as the stock it sells. Spread across two floors, complete with a delightful children’s mezzanine, you’ll find anything from Saul Bass to Jonathon Franzen. Fiction and non-fiction combine and the carefully selected stock is all brand new, no remainders.

1 Berwick Street Soho W1F 0PA
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Everybody knows comics are cool now, with the validation from Hollywood studios and the persistently peddled lines from celebrities about their geeky comic love and blah, blah, yawn, yawn... BIFF!! Once you visit you’re bound to find something worth, er, marvel-ing at from rare comics to that super cynical graphic novel, plus there are signings and events galore. So, until Peter Parker relocates from Queens to London with the Green Goblin disguised as MJ, make ours Gosh!

  • USERS 10/10
Daunt Books
83-84 Marylebone High Street Marylebone W1U 4QW
Region: Marylebone
Nearest Station: Baker Street (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: If bookshops were judged on their aesthetics alone, there is no doubt that Daunt would triumph in London. The historic look drives tourists mad and why shouldn’t it, it’s beautiful. The Marylebone store in particular, is prone to giving you goose bumps. History, travel, fiction and non-fiction, you’ll find it all.

  • USERS 9/10

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