Many a famous writer has lived and written in London, composing great works of literature and poetry that have been read the world over.

If you’re a bit of a bookworm, then you’ll feel right at home in this literary city. There are bookshops in London to cater to nearly every taste – you’ll find comic book stores, French bookshops, second-hand bookshops, purveyors of women’s lit, travel writing bookshops and lots, lots more! Book lovers in London will never be bored.

Check out our list of the best bookshops in London and then get planning your literary adventure!

Word on the Water

Quirky floating bookshop in King’s Crossed housed on an old Dutch Barge stocking second hand books and contemporary literature

Bookshop / Poetry nights / Live Music

Lucky for us, Word on the Water is just a few minutes’ walk from Clink78 and Clink261. In all honesty, we’d travel much further to visit this quirky bookshop. Housed in a 100-year-old Dutch barge on Regent’s Canal, just off Granary square, Word on the Water has charm in the bucket loads.

In terms of books, Word on the water has a great selection of classic, cult and contemporary literature, including lots of great value second-hand books. The lovely folk who run the place are happy for your browse at your leisure, so you’ll be sure to find something that takes your fancy.

They also host poetry slams, jazz nights (on the roof of the barge) and have a cosy wood-burning fire which will warm your cockles on chillier days. One of the best bookshops in London, hands down.

Word on the Water
York Way
Granary Square

Tel +44 7976 886982

Opening times:
Monday -Sunday 12pm-7pm

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Daunt Books

Renowned book shop occupying an impressive Georgian Building on Marylebone High Street

Bookshop / Travel Literature / Architectural interest

If you’re looking for one of the most Instagrammable bookshops in London, look no further. The Edwardian elegance of this renowned book shop certainly makes for a great snap. Its main gallery room is incredibly beautiful, with stunning stained-glass windows and rows and rows of dark oak shelves.

Of course, there’s much more to Daunt books than its gorgeous insta-worthy interiors. Although not officially a travel bookshop, it’s well known for its unique approach to organising its literature. Books are arranged by country, regardless of genre. You’ll find guidebooks alongside history, politics, biographies and fiction. It’s a great way to discover works from new places that you may not otherwise have thought to pick up.

We could spend hours wandering around this book lover’s heaven. Why not pay a visit and see what all the fuss is about?

Daunt Books
84 Marylebone High St

Tel +44 20 7224 2295

Opening times:
Monday – Saturdays:  9am – 7.30pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm
Bank Holidays: 11am – 6pm

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Travelling Through

Speciality travel bookshop-come-café serving artisan bites and sweet treats from around the world

Bookshop / Travel Literature / Café

As lovers of travel, we couldn’t help but squeeze in one more travel bookshop on this list of London’s best bookshops. Travelling Through is a charming little place stocking all sorts of travel inspired literature. From guidebooks to fiction, biography and memoir, there’s all sort to discover here. The staff are really friendly and will be more than happy to share their recommendations with you.

Attached to the bookshop is a small courtyard café offering a great selection of teas, coffee and hot chocolate along with some delicious sweet treats. Travelling Through, in their own words, ‘is as much about books, as it is about culture, community and place.’ Certainly sounds good to us and we bet you’ll love it too.

Travelling Through
131 Lower Marsh


 Tel +44 20 7633 9279

Opening times:
Vary during March due to events as part of Vault Festival. Check their 
website for full details.

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Check out our guide to all the best cheap places to eat in King’s Cross! 

Foyles Bookshop London

Huge multi-genre bookshop that was once listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest bookshop in the world in terms of shelf space

Bookshop / Multi-genre / Café

Although not quite the biggest bookshop in London anymore (Waterstones Piccadilly now takes that title) Foyles is still incredibly impressive and well worth a visit if you’re looking for a great bookshop in Soho, Central London. Foyles’ became well known in the 1930s for hosting literary luncheons with famous guests that included the likes of many of Britain’s Prime Ministers, the Duke of Edinburgh and General Charles de Gaulle. Foyles stocks books from most genres and categories – from Architecture and Design through to History and Politics, Religion and Fiction. The fifth-floor café is a nice spot to hole up with a newly purchased book and a cuppa – although sadly you’ll be unlikely to bump into the kind of people who used to frequent Foyles back in the day!

107 Charing Cross Rd

Tel +44 20 7440 3253

Opening times:
Monday – Saturday: 9.30am – 9pm
Sunday: 11.30am – 6pm
Bank Holidays 11am – 8pm
Café: Closes 45 minutes before the bookshop

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Persephone Books

Speciality publisher and bookshop that republishes neglected fiction and non-fiction by female writers

Bookshop / Speciality Publishing / Female Writers

Persephone Books is a true gem and very unique in its approach to publishing, making it firmly onto our list of London’s best bookshops. Founded in 1998, founder Nicola Beauman’s original concept was to publish a handful of ‘lost’ or out-of-print books every year, mainly by women writing during the interwar period. Initially run from a basement office in Clerkenwell, Persephone Books’ now operates its HQ and bookshop in Bloomsbury, an area with a vibrant literary history. In 2001, Persephone reprinted a little-known novel called Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. This went on to become a major hit and was then adapted into a hit film starring Oscar winning actress Frances Mc Dormand.

Each Persephone reprint is covered in the same identical grey sleeve, but these books are far from boring. The endpapers include re-creations of wallpapers, fabrics, clothing and patterns contemporary with the book. And the words of once neglected female writers, of course, are given a whole new lease of life.

Persephone Books
59 Lamb’s Conduit Street
Tel: +44 20 7242 9292

Opening times:
Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday 11am – 5pm
Saturday 12pm – 4pm

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Any Amount of Books (Second hand books)

Bookshop / Second Hand Books / Bargain hunting

A treasure trove of used and second- hand books, including bargain finds for as little as £1 and rare and hard to find pieces of literature – for much more …

If you’re looking for second-hand books in London, Any Amount of Books is an excellent place to start. This central London bookshop is warm, cosy and packed to the rafters with an incredible array of used books. From hardback antiques through to like-new contemporary fiction, there’s something to suit most tastes and budgets. Any Amount of Books also run a sale several times a year in the basement, so make sure to take a look downstairs to see if it’s on whilst you’re visiting. Have a good rummage and you can often grab a book for as little as £1! The staff here are friendly and welcoming and happy to help with any questions you might have. For second-hand books in London, you’ll be well served at Any Amount of Books.

Any Amount of Books
56 Charing Cross Road

Tel: + 44 207 836 3697

Opening times:
Monday – Sunday: 10.30am – 9.30pm

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Visiting London on a budget? Check out our guide to A London Weekend on a Budget here.

La Librairie

A small but perfectly formed French bookshop stocking second-hand French literature and offering cheap hot drinks  

Are you visiting London from France, or perhaps you’re an aspiring Francophone? Then you’ll probably want to pay a visit to La Librairie, one of our favourite French bookshops in London. Owner Marine Raynor realised, in spite of the large Francophone community living in London, that it wasn’t easy to find many French books here. She spoke with a lot of French speakers and learners and eventually opened La Librairie in 2018.

This compact French bookshop stocks mainly second-hand books in a range of genres: from comics and graphic novels to crime/thrillers, non-fiction, classic and contemporary fiction. Fans of sweet treats will also be pleased to hear that La Libraire offers a range of French sweets and biscuits along with hot drinks for just £1.50. Feel free to takeaway or stay and enjoy in one of their comfy armchairs. Let’s hope the number of French bookshops in London continues to grow, taking inspiration from the small but perfectly formed La Librairie.

La Librairie
377 King St
W6 9NJ

Tel: +44 20 8741 9484

Opening times:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm

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Visiting London with friends? Have a look at our guide to the best things to do in London as a group.

Gosh! Comics

Industrial-chic shop in the heart of Soho, specialising in graphic novels and comics, from mainstream to Manga and cutting edge

If you’re wandering around the streets of Soho, you’d do well to pay a visit to Gosh! Comics, one of our favourite comic book stores in London. This interesting shop has a great selection of independent and small print comics, an impressive range of feminist and queer literature, a good collection of zines along with some of the superhero stuff that most of us associate with comics! We love the fact that interesting and thoughtful books are given the spotlight here, helping you to discover something new each time you visit. Staff are happy to let you browse at your leisure but will always become animated and helpful if you’re looking for any help or guidance.

If you’re looking for a great comic book store in London, then Gosh! Comics is the perfect place.

Gosh! Comics
1 Berwick St, Soho

Tel:+44 20 7437 0187

Opening Hours:
Monday – Sunday: 10.30am – 7pm

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Are you a book lover planning your visit to London? Book your stay at Clink now. We’re centrally located with easy access to the best bookshops in London.