Are you looking for a place to find your next read? If so, you’re in luck. Below we’ve featured 10 of the best independent bookstores in London you should check out!
Opened in 1994, West End Lane Books provides West London with a large collection fiction and nonfiction books from a variety of categories, including cookery, sport, music, poetry, crime, and children’s literature. Looking for something specific they don’t have in stock? Special order it through their website at no extra charge!
West End Lane Books hosts events regularly, such as book signings and talks, monthly book clubs and weekly children’s story time. Contact them for more details on their next event or to see how you can check them out next time you’re in West London.
2. Nomad Books
Nomad Books is a little corner bookshop on Fulham Road opened in 1990. It features popular fiction and nonfiction for both adults and children. They are especially known for their collection of French language books and quirky stationery and cards.
Nomad Books also hosts book signings and author talks, as well as one-off community events. You can contact them via their website or, to stay even more up to date, follow them on their social media pages.
When the community of the Wood Green/Turnpike Lane area of North London decided they wanted a bookshop, they opened All Good Books in 2019 as a co-operative, owned and operated entirely by the community. They sell all the latest popular fiction and nonfiction but they are most proud of their second-hand books section, the ‘All Good Bookshed’ in the Blue House Yard.
All Good Books also hosts events such as author events, book clubs and writing workshops, but more uniquely, they also host yoga sessions, knitting circles and comedy nights. If you’re looking for a location in North London where the community can come together to share ideas, books and learn a new skill, look no further than All Good Books. Contact them for more information about this awesome place.
Stoke Newington Bookshop has been one of North London’s most awarded and well-known independent bookshops since 1987. They carry all the most popular adult fiction and nonfiction, while at their sister shop, Stoke Newington Toys and Books, carries books and toys specifically for children, including handcrafted wooden toys not to be found anywhere else.
If you would like to attend an author reading or book signing, Stoke Newington Bookshop hosts these events, every two months or so, depending on demand. Contact them to find out more about this little blue fronted shop on the Stoke Newington High Street.
If you are looking for a philosophical text or collection of essays, or maybe just a quality piece of literary fiction, check out Pages of Hackney, opened in 2008 in the Hackney area of East London. They specialise in books about politics, feminism, life writing, nature writing, and music. They take special care to include texts about social issues or written by marginalised authors. In 2015, they added Fields Books to their basement, which sells second-hand books.
Events at Pages of Hackney often feature conversations and book launches with writers and artists concerned with contemporary social issues reflected in that season’s book titles. Contact Pages of Hackney to see what else is on and how you can stop by to check them out.
Newham Bookshop began in 1978 as the entrance to the Newham Parents’ Centre, eventually developing into its own separate entity as the business grew. It still supports children in the area by promoting a love for reading and literacy education through its children’s book selection, but it also provides adults in the community with quality fiction and nonfiction.
Every Thursday, Newham Bookshop hosts a different author event, featuring a different writer or journalist in conversation or reading their latest book. Contact them to find out how you can shop their inventory online or in store; you can even get your books shipped to you for only £3 for shipping.
Located in the New Cross area of South London, The Word Bookshop is the picture of small, independent corner bookshop frequented by the young university students attending nearby Goldsmiths College. They carry all the best classic and contemporary fiction and nonfiction, including books about serious issues such as sexism, racism, and gender.
As a local university bookshop, The Word Bookshop hosts events benefiting the students as well as the local community: author book signings, social justice talks, writing and publishing workshops, among others. Contact them to find out more about this quirky and fun independent shop.
If you’re looking for a second-hand book, check out Halcyon Books on Lee High Road. Halcyon Books is a family business that originally began in 1990 in Greenwich before moving to Lewisham in 2011. They specialise in used, rare, collectible and out-of-print books, covering almost any topic or genre you are looking for.
If you fancy a cuppa while browsing the shelves, Halcyon Books has a small drinks-only café located in the shop. You can even bring your own books to sell or trade. Contact them to find out more about their buying policies or for any other questions you may have.
If you find yourself near the British Museum, check out the London Review Bookshop. Opened in 2003, the London Review Bookshop carries 20,000+ titles of classic and contemporary fiction and nonfiction from all around the world, including topics on lifestyle, hobbies, academic interests, and science. They even have a selection of signed and first editions.
London Review regularly hosts events such as author signings and conversations, as well as film screenings and scholarly lectures. If you fancy a sweet treat to nibble on while you read your new book or wait for the next event to start, check out the London Review Cake Shop next door. Contact the bookshop to find out more about what’s on in store.
10. Goldsboro Books
Opened in 1999 by friends David Headley and Daniel Gedeon, Goldsboro Books has become known for their carefully curated selection of signed first editions, as well as the newest and most popular fiction and nonfiction books. You can even join their Premier Membership, a monthly book subscription delivering a new signed, first edition book to your home each month.