London Revisited: Bookshops II

It started with a call from Foyles. How lucky! I had ordered two different books to pick up in Southbank, but one of the copies wasn’t in good shape. I sighed with relieve, if there is something I’m becoming used to is seeing books in famous bookshops which are not in good conditions. At least this time I was informed. Several options are given to me. But the decision is quickly taken. I choose to go to their store in Charing Cross.

I haven’t been there before. Not inside at least. When I first passed by everyone had to stop for a few minutes, I needed to take it in. In awe. Today destiny had decided I would be there. The conscious button and all the ‘Don’t go out. Stay in the house as much as you can’ warnings were finally off.

All the bookshops give me an indescribable sense of peace. And fulfilment. I understand why I’m in this field. Running up and down my fingertips through every book, smiling every time I recognise the author’s name. Slowly leafing them through and carefully putting them back on the right shelf. I think about how that book will belong to someone.  And if that someone is as picky as me, perfect is how I would want that copy to be.

I notice how cute the building is. Twisty. It is extremely well organised and decorated. Unlike any other, there is a section of CDs. The usual division of languages is there as well.

In the Portuguese section there is the prettiest classic collection by Civilizações. From the original versions of Saramago to the translated and most recent Harry Potter, the variety is huge. The missing Fernando Pessoa and its most known book in England, The Book of Disquiet, is well noticed. But for a very good reason. It is part of the Staff Picks. Is there a way of being prouder? You can also find the biggest classics in Spanish, French, Dutch, Greek…

Not going to the last floor is becoming a bad routine. There is never time for all of them when we get lost. I dare to say that it is a bookshop related to the Arts. The colours and words related to culture, photography and painting are the first to enchant. It has the location bonus, being part of a magical theatre zone. A street full of second-hand bookshops where much more can be explored.

To those who consider going there, I leave you with a small historical note. Virginia Wolf and her famous group of writers had their Publishing House, Bloomsbury around that area. Bloomsbury was also the one that published Harry Potter. Up the street you can also find another Waterstones, that I’ll explore in my next post. Until then, good readings!


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