Thursday, 3 July 2014

IBW Bookshop Crawl: My Favourite Independent Bookshops

As part of Independent Booksellers Week this week, on Saturday 5th July, there is a Bookshop Crawl (like a pub crawl but books, alcohol breaks optional) across the UK challenging bloggers and vloggers to visit as many bookshops as possible in their local area to support the booksellers working there and help towards bookselling in the UK. Unfortunately, I cannot participate, even though this sounds like such a great excuse to spend time in my favourite bookshops in London, so I've put together this post of some of the independent bookshops I've come across in the UK that are simply brilliant.

I may be an ex-Waterstones employee whose loyalty lies majority with that company, but I do love independent bookshops. They have this air of personality to them, every one is never the same. But also, I always feel good when leaving the shop, knowing I've helped towards a local business that is seen to rarely now on our high streets.


W&A HOUBEN
2 Church Walk, Richmond, London

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Richmond is a place I spend the majority of my time within when I'm at home. It's where I worked, where I hang out, where I shop - it's a beautiful town that doesn't feel at all like you're within London and it's only 20 minutes away from me.
This in one of the independent bookshops that is so close to me, but took me years to find. In an alleyway just off Richmond high street, this bookshop boasts a range of both modern, upcoming titles as well as an extensive secondhand selection in their basement. The amount of times I have found some of my most anticipated 'to-read' books and even some academic books for my studies in here is endless with a selection that is both reasonably priced in the secondhand section and in good condition.
I really like visiting this shop both with friends, in my lunch breaks when I was working at Waterstones and also by myself. It's so quiet and friendly in the shop that I really feel like I'm entering a little world within the bookshop only finishing when I open the door to the street with a ring of the bell above the door and back into the street where a pub stands next door.
It's a brilliant little shop, and somewhere a lot of locals and Londoners don't know about.


THE CROOKED BOOK
725 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth
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When I moved to Bournemouth for university, I thought the only bookshops I would be visiting would be the university's own Blackwell's or the Waterstones shop where I worked. However, I soon found out about The Crooked Book, a unique bookshop about 15 minutes from Bournemouth's town centre in Boscombe high street, which is a vintage shop, a coffee shop AND a bookshop. Considering vintage clothes, coffee and books are three of my favourite things, this place is like heaven for me. I've only been able to warrant a trip once when some bookish friends from home visited me and it was utterly brilliant with a wide selection of secondhand book titles, both modern and old. I picked up vintage copies of some classics, 'Brighton Rock' and 'Ballet Shoes'. It's rather cheap as well (brilliant for student over here) and it's just a generally nice experience to visit this beautiful shop even if you're not the biggest fan of books.


If you want to join in or find out more, check out Rosianna Halse Rojas's YouTube video telling you how to join in! I hope to see some of you join in!

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