This time I planned well and managed to get my lazy self to Stanfords within May, it was very helpful that I had no travel planned, as in the previous months I’ve been out of the UK for at least two weekends. Somehow in my brain going to explore a new bookshop is a weekend activity, during the week I resort to the ones I know. As I went alone I guess it also counts as my first artist date (remember I read The Artist’s Way recently;)) and it was very nice.
I got a train from Lewisham to Charing Cross and then instead of plunging in the depths of the Tube I decided to just take a quick 10 min walk. It was a good decision, as it taught me about yet another local tradition that I’ve been blissfully unaware of: 13 of May is the birthday of Mr Punch (a character that I deeply dislike and will never understand how such things can be shown to children without them having nightmares in the coming months). I skipped the celebration in Covent Garden, but chanced upon a small parade:
Stanfords was just around the corner. The bookshop is dedicated to travelling, with probably the widest selection of travel guides and maps I’ve ever seen, but they also throw in a lot of travel writing and travel oriented fiction. Three floors of bliss, with me being in love with Europe I focused on the ground floor and the first floor. I really do think having the books ordered by countries and regions rather than by genre is becoming my favorite way, I loved it in Daunt Books and I loved it here, it helps to discover books I would never find otherwise. There is plenty of space, so as you’ll in the pictures below the books are cover facing rather than spine facing, which as I mentioned multiple times makes all the difference for me. I also liked the dedicated map room upstairs and the wide selection of globes downstairs reminded me how old I am, as last time I saw a globe was in primary school. A really fantastic bookshop, helping to transport you both in time and space.
Of course I got tempted and bought plenty of books, more than I should have, a few I had my eye on for a while and a few because of my past or future travels. As there are so many they will be presented in a separate post, who doesn’t like a good book haul? One teeny tiny thing I didn’t like was that despite me buying so many books I didn’t get a nice bag, I could get a plastic one, but then that’s exactly why I always carry my faithful Tiger foldable one, I was however offered some bookmarks, I guess that counts for something. On the positive note I did find the books set in the two cities I plan to visit in September one right next to the other, I do hope however that my vacation will not be thriller like. Here are some pictures, so you can make up your own mind about whether to visit when you have a chance.
2 thoughts on “Stanfords – 12 bookshops for 12 months – May”
Wow. This looks amazing (and certainly a place where I’d spend loads of money!).
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Oh I love Stanfords, I used to live opposite CG tube station and was in there all the time. The map floor! The millions of books!
Nice to hear from someone who lives in Lewisham – before I was in CG I was in Brockley then New Cross Gate for several years, and used to use Lewisham Library regularly.
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