Bookmarc, Marc Jacobs's first bookstore in London, may be just beneath the designer's fashion store, but it offers a very different retail experience. The cosy, eccentric little nook focuses on expanding your mind rather than your wardrobe, with a gorgeous collection of books, magazines, records, and DVDs to entertain a discerning clientele. The hunter green ceiling and wooden cabinetry, with the walls fully lined with books and records, gives off the feel of a luxurious study, while a brown leather couch encorouages you to linger over one of the coffee table books that may be a tad too pricey to take home. Unlike other dusty tome pedlars, however, the collections offered here are avant-garde and designed to mirror pop-culture evolution in fashion, art, photography, and celebrity. So, of course there is a table dedicated to Bowie and glam culture, and Miles Aldridge's book, Acid Candy, is on prominent display (his exhibition at Somerset House opens this week). There is also a noticeable effort to artfully juxtapose, with a record of Swan Lake merchandised next to Hugh Holland's Locals Only: California Skate Culture. If the classics are more your cup of tea, there is a shelf full of authors like Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Wolfe - but with the book Twitterature: The world's greatest books retold through Twitter, inserted appropriately alongside. Indeed, you can certainly tell the exclusive selection of magazines like Candy and System, and DVDs like Pulp Fiction are chosen for their cult appeal. The relaxed staff and music by bands like Foster the People complete the atmosphere of the place, and there is no pressure to purchase or leave. When you do make your exit, it's through the boutique shop floor – and you may find the return to retail reality a bit of a culture shock (the fashion store is much brighter, the staff much keener). So we recommend putting your departure off as long as possible and enjoying BookMarc at leisure.
56 South Audley Street
|Transport:||Tube: Marble Arch|
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