I am an avid reader and I love wandering around bookstores in towns and cities I am visiting. I started reading when I was still attending kindergarten and my love for reading has grown through the years; I usually read all kinds of books across different genres and I love reading physical copies of books, so I rarely get to use an e-reader. Since I speak four languages, I like to read in different languages as well. I mostly read in English and Italian but I occasionally read French and Spanish editions of books as well. When I’m in Italy I find it difficult to buy books written in English in local bookstores, as most of them have only very few in stock and they are often quite expensive, so when I’m in foreign places like London or New York I really enjoy exploring the city to discover new bookstores.
I lived in London for some time in 2016 so I would buy books directly from local bookstores and I have rounded up five of my favorite ones I came across while living in the city:
1) Brick Lane Bookshop: an independent bookshop in Tower Hamlets. Established in 1978, it is located in the East End, one of the most iconic areas of London, which hosts plenty of interesting clothing stores, cafés and is also home to the famous Spitalfields Market. I love walking around this neighborhood because it is one of the most distinctive in the city and it has become a trendy area like Shoreditch, especially for young people. Many streets intersecting with Brick Lane are great to explore if you enjoy urban art and graffiti, since the East End is filled with amazing artworks covering different building façades. Brick Lane Bookshop used to be part of the Tower Hamlets Arts Project, formed in the 1970s out of a protest. There wasn’t a single bookshop in Tower Hamlets at the beginning of the ’70s, so a group of local people decided to start one. They began with a weekly stall in Whitechapel Market where they sold Penguin proof copies and the success of the bookstall inspired the locals to create a permanent bookstore. If you happen to visit Brick Lane, be sure to stop by the library because you will sure find some interesting reads about London and the East End (I suggest you have a look at the historic Brick Lane’s Beigel Shop, which is also known as “the yellow one” thanks to its bright yellow sign, and try one of their delicious bagels).
Brick Lane Bookshop, 166 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RUREAD MORE
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