Best Bookshops in South London and Surrey
Best Bookshops in South London and Surrey
To mark Independent Bookshop Week (17 June to 24 June 2023), Anize Keers has the lowdown on the best local book stores…
- Books on the Rise
This indie bookshop brings amplified literary diversity to the streets of Richmond. With a focus on diverse voices, Books on the Rise offers a platform to promote BAME, LGBTQ+ and women writers, and create an alternative social space for groups to share their appreciation for the different voices in literature.
Location: Hill Rise, Richmond. Website: https://booksontherise.com
Combining children’s books and chocolate, all those with a sweet tooth are welcome at this little spot in Clapham. The aromas of chocolatey goodness mixed with the smell of fresh books waiting to be explored are sure to entice you and children alike. Grab a tale and tuck into some tasty truffles, perhaps just remember to give those fingers a wipe before turning a page!
Location: Old Town, Clapham. Website: https://chocolit.co.uk
- Parade’s End Books
With a packed calendar of events and knowledgeable staff, your new favourite reads await you on the shelves of this cute shop on Ham Parade. Recommendations are on offer from staff, while you are invited to pull up a chair and explore the wide range of genres, ranging from the classics to cookery. (pictured below)
Location: Ham Parade, Kingston. Website: https://paradesendbooks.co.uk
- Nomad Books
The 2023 winner of The British Book Award’s ‘Independent Bookshop of the Year’, Nomad Books, is a spacious little store with each cosy corner filled with a comfy sofa to offer the perfect spot to curl up with a book. The store also boasts a loaded children’s section with colourful tables and chairs and hosts regular children’s story time afternoons with guest authors. Nomad Books told us: “Our aim is to provide amazing books to those who love to read and introduce a love for reading to those who have yet to discover a printed world they can thrive in.”
Location: Fulham Road. Website: https://nomadbooks.co.uk
- Hurlingham Books
Having opened its doors in 1968, owner Ray Cole, brought his love for literature to the streets of Fulham and remains inspiring fellow bookworms on those same streets today. With a warehouse holding over one million titles, less than ten minutes away from the shop, if you are on the hunt for a particular book, this place will more than likely end the search.
Location: Fulham. Website: https://hurlinghambooks.com/about
- John Sandoe Books
Since 1957, thousands of titles have been homed in one of London’s most-loved bookshops. The store is crammed with enticing books of all genres and remains supporting an old-school feel in its quaint design and floor-to-ceiling shelves. You may marvel at the store’s collection of elusive fine editions, exceptional foreign publications, and special editions, including genres such as the arts, poetry, and gardening.
Location: Chelsea. Website: https://johnsandoe.com
- Regency Bookshop
This Surbiton-based independent bookshop operates a loyalty card rewards system for the purchases of books, runs monthly draws for cardholders to win prizes, and offers a range of discounts. The spot also sells toys, gifts, and audiobooks, and a variety of events are run for the community and local school audiences.
Location: Surbiton. Website: https://regencybookshop.com
- The Barnes Bookshop
A multi-genre independent bookshop with a knack for top recommendations in-store and online. Operating a next-day pick-up ordering system and subscriptions to compiled seasonal booklists covering the newest releases over various genres, there is a real sense of community offered by The Barnes Bookshop.
Location: Church Road. Website: https://barnesbookshop.com
- Bookseller Crow on a Hill
This distinctive shop brings the world of books to the surrounding communities. The store hosts an extensive collection of modern fiction, American literature, crime, and many more, always looking to expand its collection of titles on local history and graphic novels.
Location: Crystal Palace. Website: https://booksellercrow.co.uk
- Belgravia Books
This hidden gem holds over four thousand books in-store, with hundreds more coming and going each week, while also bringing the presence of an independent bookshop to the digital world. Belgravia Books has an online platform to purchase and order titles and aims to create the vibe of a real bookshop in a digital format by offering different search categories, and curated reading lists, to browse online in hope you discover something new.
Location: Eccleston Street. Website: https://belgraviabooks.com/bb
Support your local indie!
Independent Bookshop Week
IBW was launched in 2006 and is a celebration of independent bookshops nationwide, and the role ‘indies’ play in their communities. Check out the events planned for the week here.
If you can’t get to a store, on the last weekend, there’s free shipping from Bookshop.org, which provides a platform for independent bookshops to sell books online, awarding them most of the profit on their sales. Nicole Vanderbilt, Managing Director of Bookshop.org UK, said: “Doing much more than just selling books, bookshops work closely with schools and get books into the hands of people who can’t afford them or who need them most. There’s plenty of evidence of the unique and vital role indie bookshops play for us as an industry, but as importantly, for us as a society. Booksellers get different and diverse books into the hands of readers young and old, which is critical to fostering the readers of tomorrow. More diversity in reading means a more diverse, inclusive and sustainable book industry in the future.
People should turn to independent booksellers to get that unique, personalised experience when buying a book (as opposed to buying something simply because an algorithm suggested it).Independent bookshops are places where readers enjoy serendipity, benefit from a conversation with someone who has read the book, and tend to take a chance on titles beyond bestsellers. We encourage everyone to go into an indie bookshop as much as they can – there’s nothing like it.”
Sparking a love for reading at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival