Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Great Independent Bookshop Trek

It all started with this, on Facebook.  I have a feeling I may have shared it, but can't now find it if I did.  But it was suggested that when our friend J came over from her native Massachusetts, we might want to do a tour of independent bookshops.

So I looked at the list, and thought of bookshops I also knew, and arranged an itinerary.  J, A and I met in East Dulwich, which is between Hither Green, where A lives, and Brixton, where I do.  So our first port of call was
in Lordship Lane.  We then took two buses, changing at Waterloo, to Red Lion Square, where we walked up Lamb's Conduit Street to find
which was where I was tempted and tempted, but managed to stay strong.  I could have spent £100 so easily - all those wonderful books published by Persephone, many that I loved in childhood or have lost my own copy of. My friend V has a subscription and gets every book as it is printed, and I rather wish I did!  Anybody who wants to give me a present.....

Anyway, I was very, very strong-minded and didn't buy anything (not even The Children who lived in a Barn, which I loved as a child, not even Mariana, not even A London Child of the 1870s, not even Consequences). And eventually we came away, and walked down towards Shaftesbury Avenue and our next planned port of call.  This, en route
turned out to be the bookshop of the Swedenborg Society, so we didn't stay there long, but headed on, stopping for lunch at Byron Burgers, which was nice.  I do like a good burger!

Our Shaftesbury Avenue port of call was
which I love, and spent ages browsing in.  But I didn't buy anything!  Very strong-minded I am....  Then a bus up to Bond Street and a rather long walk up Marylebone High Street (which is always longer than I think it's going to be) to
which is a beautiful shop and has a great children's department, too.  I believe it specialises in travel books, but it has a very large general selection, too.

We finally dragged ourselves away from there, once I had persuaded J that if she hadn't read The Pursuit of Love she was seriously missing something.  And walked down to Baker Street to catch a no 2 bus to Victoria, where we got a bit lost looking for


Actually, it might have been here that I persuaded J to buy The Pursuit of Love, but never mind that now.  A had to leave us at that point, but J and I decided to head on via Sloane Square and the 137 bus, so that we could decide whether to add in one final bookshop or not.  In fact, we found this one
while we were changing buses opposite the Chelsea Royal Hospital.  This was an art bookshop, but we didn't stay long as we were getting tired and wanted to get the next 137.  Which we duly did, but got off at Old Town and walked through it to our final destination of the day:
Clapham Books is not what it was now it's moved from the High Street - it used to have a lot of discounted and second-hand books, which it no longer has.

And finally, very tired, we got one final bus to my flat!


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