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Six Incredible Independent Bookshops in London

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Books, books and more books

In the age of Amazon, independent bookshops provide a much needed alternative. From works by new and small presses to unusual talks and events, these shops can provide you with some new and challenging fiction, or help you find an unusual present for the book lover in your life.

London Review of Books, Bloomsbury

Opened in 2003, the London Review Bookshop is of central importance to the literary scene in London. As the sister to the London Review of Books, that most distinguished of literary reviews, the shop highlights the best in new fiction and non-fiction and has extensive and thoughtfully curated selections. The shop is also well known for hosting interesting and challenging book launches, talks and screenings. This is a must-stop for anyone wanting to refresh a boring book collection, or who wants to take in new and exciting ideas.

Burley Fisher Books, Haggerston

Burley Fisher Books is a new addition to the Kingsland Road. It has a select range of amazing new publishing, particularly from small publishers, as well as literary magazines, poetry and books about London. The super friendly staff are always ready to have a conversations about their stock and make recommendations. They also host regular events with poets and writers from small presses, or debut writers, highlighting emerging, innovative and challenging work.

Gay’s The Word, Bloomsbury

Gay’s The Word is the only lesbian and gay bookshop in the UK, carrying a large selection of books by and about the LGBTQ community. Founded in 1979 by Gay Icebreakers, a gay socialist group who were inspired by the gay bookstore movement in the US, this bookshop offers a wide range of gay, lesbian and trans-interest fiction and non-fiction. They also host a wide range of events, talks and support groups for the LGBTQ community - the shop is a London literary institution.

Check out our full piece on Gay's The Word here.

Review, Peckham

This little bookshop in Peckham offers a great range of books for all ages; they have a lovely selection for children, a section from small presses and a wide variety of eclectic fiction. They often feature a book of the month to give you some ideas, as well as hosting a book club each month. They are an essential part of the South London literary scene, and have hosted the Peckham Literary Festival for the last few years.

Nomad Books, Fulham

Nomad opened in 1990 and invite keen readers to pull up a chair, hang out and browse their recommended reading. They have an excellent selection for children, including a range of unusual and creative illustrated books, and run story time events for little ones. They not only host book clubs, but a reading clinic where a reading advisor will talk to you one-on-one about your reading preferences and make you up a book prescription, from which you will receive six books a year. They also offer up their space for literature and related events. This West London gem really makes reading into an event.

Pages of Hackney and

Pages Cheshire Street

Pages of Hackney has been thriving for 11 years, serving the local community through their diverse selection of books and events. Their new shop in Brick Lane, Pages Cheshire Street stocks only books by women and gender non-conforming writers. Both shops are incredibly warm and inviting, and lovely details pepper the space at Cheshire Street, like the small reading nook in the children's section and two extremely squashy pink velvet chairs stood in the sunlit window bay. Come here to find great books you won't find anywhere else, plus a fabulous roster of readings.

Check out our full piece on Pages Cheshire Street here.