Nowadays in the time of e-books, bookstores are becoming rarer. Over the past five years, more than eight hundred bookshops were closed in the UK, unable to withstand competition. The rest are trying to stay afloat using the opportunities that electronic versions are unable to provide.
Daunt Books is one of the most beautiful bookshops in London. It is worth to visit just for the sake of the building of the era of Edward VII and the interior: bright rooms with glass ceiling, huge windows, oak bookshelves and galleries. But the most important thing in Daunt Books is the way the store organized: the books are not in alphabetical order, not by genre or author, but by country: for travelers or people studying national literature. Each section of the country has not only city guides, maps, literature about the country’s history, but also fiction, poetry and cookery books.
The largest bookstore in Europe, Waterstone’s, is situated in London on Piccadilly. There one can easily spend several hours just browsing and flipping through books, or even read them, sitting on the couch in one of the book rooms. The famous British chain of bookshops, Waterstone’s started its development with the opening of the first London store in 1982. Today, under the guise Waterstone’s almost 300 stores operate across the UK and in other European countries.
Bookstore Foyles is one of the oldest universal bookstores in London. It is listed in the Guinness book of world records as the store with the largest number of bookshelves. It is 30 miles or 48 kilometers. Book business began with failed exams of brothers Foyles. They decided to sell unnecessary books and got a lot of suggestions about their purchase. Then they began to sell other books.
Bookmarks is the main socialist bookshop of London, which exists for more than three decades. Bookmarks considers itself as the home for ideas and a tool implementing these ideas in practice, setting up booths at rallies, organizing debates of authors. Spacious shop allows to place on the shelves a huge collection of books of left-wing views on the history, politics and the trade union movement. There is also a small but well-chosen fiction section and a large children’s section.
It is the oldest independent bookstore in London, which was opened in 1922 and regarded as the center of the secret world of the British capital. It sells new and used publications about angels, fairies, vampires, werewolves, mysteries and magic, as well as, ecology, spiritualism, and psychology. The store also organizes regular meetings with readers, such as “the Study of Runes” and “Psychic Cafe”.