Hidden reading nooks, over-stacked shelves and stories with a side of shortbread: we asked Time Out Tastemakers to name the best booksellers in the city (put your knives away, it’s all subjective).
‘Black Gull Books in Camden Market is a really lovely one, it’s packed to the top of the ceiling with all sorts, so despite being small (and super cosy) there’s so much to get through. Also it’s right next to the canal, so if you do buy something, you can take it down there to read.’ Sophie Berkoff
‘Depicted in the film ‘Pride’, and at the heart of the LGBT+ community for many decades, Gay’s the Word is a bookshop to be proud of!’ Luisa Gottardo
‘The Oxfam bookshop near the British Museum is always full of pre-loved books that would cost a fortune if bought new (some are even out of print). I can’t go in there without buying three or four books and often have to walk past for the sake of my wallet.’ Adrian Hill
‘Libreria is the cosiest bookshop in London! The focus there is on discovery: just browse their fab collection (which is not sorted like traditional bookshops) and sit in one of their comfy pods to read until closing time.’ Milena Dvorec
‘Skoob Books is an absolutely hidden delight at The Brunswick Shopping Centre.’ Dimple Mistry
‘Bookmongers has been a fixture on Coldharbour Lane for years, the owner Patrick is friendly and has encyclopaedic knowledge of whatever he’s currently stocking. It is open on Sundays and Patrick’s lovely dog Rosa will keep you company while you browse.’ Sarah Blaikie
‘I’m sure nobody’s heard of it but Offside is a gem on Willesden Lane. Their cakes and coffee are fab.’ Eloise Craven-Todd
‘Although small, Phlox has a great selection of books from classics with beautiful covers, modern fiction, or impressive coffee table non-fiction. The cute kids’ corner holds readings and book clubs for the local community. The staff are friendly and on top of that the whole place is filled with the aroma of coffee, which they serve alongside delicious shortbread. You can take a seat (inside or out) and get stuck in to your new book.’ Lizzie Williamson
‘Review bookshop in Peckham runs Peckham Literary Festival, and for a reason I’m not entirely sure of, they get customers to share pictures of their dogs on the website.’ Sarah Manning
‘Belgravia Books is a gorgeous little bookshop a short walk from Victoria Station. They have done handwritten recommendations on the front of a number of books, which gives it a real personalised feel. The staff are really dedicated to finding the right book for you too! I love the place.’ Ruth Joyce
Is your fave missing? See if it made it onto our list of London’s best bookshops.