Boasting 18 miles of books, the Strand has a mammoth collection of more than 2 million discount volumes, and the store is made all the more daunting by its chaotic, towering shelves and surly staff. Reviewer discounts are in the basement, while rare volumes lurk upstairs. If you spend enough time here you can find just about anything, from that out-of-print Victorian book on manners to the kitschiest of sci-fi pulp. It also hosts a wide variety of lively readings by fiction writers, graphic novelists, biographers and political analysts. The bookshop also hosts weekly staff-run storytimes, readings by popular children's writers and "visits" from book characters.