It's Book Shop Day this Saturday and to celebrate we have literally put together this epic list of the most novel book shops in our cities. The word play is for free!
There is nothing like that heady smell of paper, ink, leather and intelligence that oozes from bookshop doors so why not support the independent bookshops this weekend by grabbing your bike and pedalling down to peruse the prints.
Here are our top 10 bookshops in London, Oxford and Cambridge:
Nestled away on the edges of Covent Garden this book shop has the best description - "specialising in books on esoterica, metaphysics, spirituality, magic and the occult." Muggles are also allowed and they have in store tarot readings on Saturday.
Another bookshop selling a wide range of books on the Occult but we just had to mention it as WB Yeats is known to have shopped here. So if you want to ponder symbolism in his footsteps this is the place for you.
49a Museum St, London WC1A 1LY
...We don't want to make a song and dance about the next one but it is on the theatrical side.
Calder focuses on performance, theatre, left politics and films and rather brilliantly also has a theatre out the back where they are not afraid to go straight for the big subjects, this October they will tell you how be rich and happy in their new play 'Tax Havens'. Unless of course, it's sarcastic. Joking aside, they have a great collection of talks, performances and film screenings... oh and books.
GAY'S THE WORD
Possibly here for the name alone but this book shop is worth a visit. According to Armistead Maupin it's the "Fountainhead of queer literature in Britain." It is also nestled near Coram Fields a perfect spot for reading what you've purchased.
If you are south of the river, the lovely Clapham Books is the place to procrastinate over which title to purchase. They have a great selection of novels, children's and arts books as well as story time events regularly.
Need a coffee yet? Or something stronger?
...Where else is there than the discerning Society Club in Soho.
THE SOCIETY CLUB
Their tagline is "the best of all possible things." and they don't disappoint with their 'hedonistic' mix of books, coffee, cake and cocktails.
They also have regular events and talks, including members backgammon evenings.
The FRENCH BOOKSHOP
Looking for that Je ne sais quoi? The French bookshop is parfait. Standing chic and in the heart of Kensington this bookshop sells all things French.
28 Bute Street, SW7 3EX, 020 7584 2840
It's Saturday. Why not head to Broadway Market and visit DONLON BOOKSHOP?
This charming bookshop sells a perfectly curated collection of art, music, counter culture and hard to find books. And the market is the ideal spot for a treat to sit down and read them with.
Whilst you're near the Canal you have to visit WORD ON THE WATER. A bookshop built on a canal barge. It currently resides near Kings Cross but it's advisable to tweet them to check they haven't travelled up stream. This bookshop has also just avoided closure from the council so do visit and support it not to mention that poetry slams and music on the 'roof deck'. @wordonthewater.
Our last London bookshop is THE GLOBE
So the focus is definitely Shakespeare! But it is the perfect place to stop book up on the Bard and you get to cycle along the Southbank on route. Pick up a ticket and watch a performance at the same time!
THE HAUNTED BOOK SHOP
Tucked down one of the beautiful Cambridge alleyways, Sarah Key's bookshop has occupied the Haunted bookshop in Cambridge since 1993. The bookshop is named after the local legend of the White Lady, a ghostly woman swathed all in white and smelling of violets who is said to prowl the stairs. She has been sighted at least twice in the last fifteen years. And while you wait to see her you can also hunt out the shelves for some of the best childrens literature around.
Books, jazz, and cake - what's not to love? According to the Times this is "the best bookshop in Oxford". Buy a book, tea and some cake and ponder on it.
Enjoy #BookshopDay and if you're looking, our bike bags carry at least two proper novels along with your laptop, and other essentials so you can always have a book and everything you need to hand.