Word of advice: travel with bookish friends. While in England my friend and I spent a day visiting bookshops in London, and it was such a fun day. Not only did we visit some beautiful bookshops, but it was also a great way to see many different parts of the city without going to the usual tourist spots we had both visited several times before. Between all the bookshops in London and our old favorites in Oxford, there was plenty of British bookishness to keep us busy (wowow that alliteration though). Here are the books I purchased while on my trip.
Persephone Books (London)
I’ve wanted to visit this bookshop for AGES, and after admiring it from afar via Instagram for years I’m ecstatic to say that I have finally been there. I love this bookshop so much that I’m actually going to write a whole post about it, so stay tuned for that in the next few weeks. My friend and I spent a long time browsing the shelves of this lovely shop, debating which books to buy. Finally I decided to get The Second Persephone Book of Short Stories which includes stories from so many authors that I have never read before. I figured it would be a good one to get because it gives me an overarching taste of what Persephone Books is all about.
Waterstones (Piccadilly, London)
Ah, Waterstones. So reliable! So packed with books! I love the one in Piccadilly because it has so many floors and corners and cafes. Randomly I stumbled on a display that included Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, which one of my friends recently read and loved. It’s a gorgeous edition with pages that are red on the outside (!!!), so I immediately knew it would have to be my memento from Waterstones. I can’t wait to read it!
There’s nothing like a good trip to Hatchards: looking up in wonder at the funky, square-shaped staircase, marveling at how everything seems so regal, eventually trying to remember how on earth you get back to the entrance… My friend and I spent a long time in Hatchards, and along the way I picked up Ongoingness/300 Arguments by Sarah Manguso because I was drawn to the cover design. Although I have since read it and was a bit disappointed (full review to come) it’s still such a gorgeous book physically!
Blackwell’s!! My favorite!! (I’ll also be sharing an entire post about Blackwell’s in the next few weeks…). I love their shelves of tiny Penguin editions (not only are they small and cute, but they are also not very expensive) and I decided to buy The Lifted Veil by George Eliot. Eliot was one of the authors I read for my first primary tutorial when I studied abroad, so she has a special place in my heart. Excited for this spooky read!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little book haul! I had such a great time exploring bookshops on my trip. Visiting bookshops like these always drives home the importance of supporting local bookshops when possible. They are so important!
Have you ever been to these bookshops? What do you think of the books I bought? Do you have a favorite British bookshop? Let me know in the comments section below!