#LondonBookshopCrawl 2018

Sorry this is a little late (this was scheduled to go live at midday, but for some reason didn’t); this is what I did during the London Bookshop Crawl back in February.

On Saturday the tenth of February we got up early, and caught the train down to London for the London Bookshop Crawl. This was my third year taking part, and my experience has been different every time as the Crawl has got bigger and bigger. Instead of it taking place on single day, as it did the previous years, this year it ran from Friday the ninth to Sunday the eleventh and there were activities people could sign up for every day.

Before we caught the train, we decided that we were going to complete one maybe two of the crawls based on underground lines. This way we could visit some familiar places, and also get to explore new areas of London. We thought we’d start with the Northern Line crawl, which was one of the routes created for the crawl (thanks for doing that!). There are quite a few bookshops you can visit

Once we arrived in London we caught the Northern Line to our furthest stop north, Hampstead, where we intended to visit West End Lane Books. We didn’t realise until we got there that the bookshop was a sixteen minute walk away which looked rather complicated on the A to Z; rather than catching the Northern Line we would have been closer catching the Jubilee Line or Thameslink. It was our first stop of the day, and we decided to get back on the Northern Line and head back towards central London.

We got off at Tottenham Court Road station and headed straight for Foyles’s flagship bookshop on Charing Cross Road. It’s a familiar site, and on previous Bookshop Crawls it was the starting point of the adventure. The first place we stopped off was the café on the fifth floor to grab a bite to eat and a drink.

Main entrance of Foyles Charing Cross Road.

Foyles is huge; it covers six floors, and has just about every section you could imagine in a bookstore. I really enjoyed having a look around through several different sections – if you’re a fan of young adult or middle grade books then this is definitely one shop you should check out – and I got several books.

Forbidden Planet Megastore

Once we escaped Foyles, we headed down Charing Cross Road and took a left onto Shaftesbury Avenue to go to the Forbidden Planet megastore. This is one of my favourite stores. There is just so much. It’s got everything from merch from films and TV, to comics, to manga and anime, to books. The only trouble with it is once you get inside there’s little/no phone signal.

Orbital Comics

Rather than hopping back on the Northern Line, we headed back to Charing Cross Road and walked down towards the next station Leicester Square. Before we reached the station we turned off onto Great Newport Street and visited Orbital Comics. A shop I first stumbled across on my first London Bookshop Crawl. If you’re a comic/graphic novel fan then this is well worth a visit particularly if you’re looking for something less mainstream (though it does have a lot of mainstream stuff).

View from National Theatre towards Waterloo Bridge and Somerset House.

View from National Theatre towards London Eye

Then we headed back to the Underground and caught the Northern Line to Waterloo, where we paid a visit to the National Theatre Bookshop. It was interesting getting to it, and it was also starting to rain after already being a bit damp (which is something of an understatement). We’d visited the Southbank before, but never actually gone inside the National Theatre. The bookshop has plenty of plays, and actually is an interesting place to visit if you’re interested in theatre craft.

Pizza and Heineken

Pizza and orange juice

By the time we left the National Theatre it was well past lunchtime, and we were both starving. There wasn’t anywhere between the National Theatre and Waterloo that we wanted to eat at or wasn’t packed so we decided to head to out next stop. So we caught the Northern Line to Clapham Common, and when we stumbled out of the station we came across Joe Public so we decided to stop for lunch there. It was lovely.

Clapham Books

After lunch we headed for our final stop on the Northern Line crawl, by this point in our journey it had really started to pour down with rain, Clapham Books. It’s a small, quirky little shop.

Having finished visiting all the bookshops on the Northern Line we wanted to see, we decided (perhaps foolishly) that we would make a start on the Piccadilly Line crawl. Our first destination was South Kensington because we wanted to have a look at the V&A bookstore. The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the few museums that we both like, so we were both looking forward to visiting. Unfortunately when we arrived not only was the rain absolutely bucketing it down, the pedestrian tunnel to the museums was closed so we had to go out in it. And the museums themselves had really long queues, none of which looked like they were moving. At that point we decided to give it up for the day, and head back to catch the train home.

All in all, even with some mishaps, we had a really fab day. We definitely got to see some areas of London we’d never visisted before – both Hampstead and Clapham Common are really lovely looking places. I totally recommend joining the London Bookshop Crawl next year if you can make it, to find out more about it and future crawls you can find the sign-up to the mailing list on this page. Thank you so much for reading so far, and next week I will be showing the books I picked up so be sure to come back for that.

#LondonBookshopCrawl – Book Haul!

So the title of this both rhymes and is a little late – sorry, not sorry. It’s the day before Good Friday and I felt like posting something upbeat, so we have this post. I suppose I better start this post by briefly explaining what the #LondonBookshopCrawl is/was (you can see my post about the day here). So bascially a bookshop crawl is just like a pub crawl, but without the alcohol and with books. This particular one took place in London on February 18th (and if you’re interested in taking part in future ones you can find more into here). You can either watch the video, or head straight down to a photo and list of the books I got during the crawl.

Enjoy!

My haul from the 2017 #LondonBookshopCrawl.

The books I got were:

  • The Song From Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold [Link]
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman [Link]
  • A Child of Books by Sam Winston and Oliver Jeffers [Link]
  • My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord by David Solomons [Link]
  • Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands 2) by Alwyn Hamilton [Link]
  • The BBC Reith Lectures: Black Holes by Stephen Hawkings [Link]
  • Tsubasa: World Chronicles volume 2 by CLAMP [Link]
  • Tsubasa: World Chronicles volume 3 by CLAMP [Link]

None of the links in the list above are affiliate links, so I make no money if you choose to use them.

#LondonBookShopCrawl – Having a brilliant book-ish time!

So this is a little different from my usual post, but I really wanted to talk about this and I thought you might find it fun and/or interesting. First though, just a heads-up, this post does contain a few images.

On Saturday 18th February a lot of book lovers converged on London to take part in the London Bookshop Crawl organised by the brilliant Bex of Ninja Book Box, and I was one of them. There was a list of around fifty bookshops spread out through the whole of London that participants could pay a visit to, if it they fancied to. To start with, there was a chance for everyone to meet up at Foyles between 9:30am and 10:30am to just say hi (or find your group, if you were part of one them).

Foyles 107 Charing Cross Rd, Soho WC2H 0DT

Foyles is a very beautiful, modern-looking bookstore. On the fifth floor they have a bright café that sells brilliant drinks and cake – that alone, in my opinion makes it well worth a visit. I particularly like their children and young adult section, as well as their graphic novel section. I’m not so much a fan of the fantasy/sci-fi section though.

After Foyles, Mum and I headed to Victoria station and then out to Herne Hill.

Tales on Moon Lane 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill SE24 9JU

Tales on Moon Lane is, in my opinion, a must stop for anyone who has children or who loves children’s books. It contains a wide variety of picture books that will keep anyone enthralled. It also has a good selection of books for 9 to 12 year olds, and whilst its young adult section isn’t the broadest I’ve seen there are some gems in it.

After Tales on Moon Lane, Mum and I popped next door to The Roome, which provided a lovely lunch.

Then we headed to Kings Cross and paid a quick visit to Housmans. We then went on to visit the bookshop in Somerset House.

Inside Rizzoli Bookshop

Inside Rizzoli Bookshop

Rizzoli Bookshop Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA

This was actually quite difficult to find, as we came at it from Temple station. The setting of Somerset House is very beautiful, and the bookshop itself looks out onto the courtyard. This bookshop is very much art based – and probably links to whatever exhibitions are taking place in Somerset House. It’s small, but neat, and there are a lot of interesting books.

We then continued on to Leicester Square.

Orbital Comics 8 Great Newport St, WC2H 7JA

One of the best comic stores I have ever visited – whether you’re after independent comics, DC, Marvel, or like manga this place is well worth a visit. It’s nicely tucked away around the corner from Leicester Square tube station, and easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. It’s also surprisingly big once you’re inside.

By this time, Mum and I are getting tired. So we decided to head to Piccadilly, and see how things went from there. Before any book browsing took place we headed straight to 5th View Bar & Food, which is located on the top floor at Waterstones Piccadilly. We had a quick snack, drink and rest, before heading down to browse the books.

The yummy food at 5th Bar & Food.

The yummy food at 5th View Bar & Food.

Waterstones Piccadilly 203-206 Piccadilly, St James’s W1J 9HD

This is Waterstones flagship store – and it is hands down the best Waterstones branch I have ever visited. It’s spread over four floors, and there are comfortable places to sit on every floor. The displays are brilliant to look at, and there are a wide selection of books in all genres to look at.

Hatchards 187 Piccadilly, St James’s W1J 9LE

This bookshop has the feel of bookshops I remember from my childhood – full of hidden corners and surprises. There’s also quite a wide selection of books – they even have a signed and first editions section – and I quite enjoy exploring the store trying to find something that catches my interest.

After this, and having bought a lot of books, we decided it was time to head home. I had a fantastic time, and I highly recommend giving the London Bookshop Crawl a try the next time it’s organised. If you’d like to take part in the next Bookshop Crawl then you can find more info here.