We often get comments about some of our “picks of the day” for The Local Artisan Guide’s social media as sometimes our choices can seem a bit contrary to local artisans. We have overtime decided to include independent and small brands, artisanal foods, sustainable brands and one of our favorite picks, the local, independent bookstore.
In the United Kingdom, the land of Shakespeare, books are highly revered. Neighborhoods everywhere have a local bookstore that offer books from authors old and new. What is special about the United Kingdom is their plethora of antiquarian bookstores. Here you can find ancient manuscripts and some of the earliest books ever printed. In the United States most antiquarian booksellers are carefully hidden away in office buildings in large cities. In the UK it is possible to just walk off the street and into a book lovers paradise. Imagine owning a Medieval manuscript carefully created from a monk centuries ago? Or a Renaissance book on medicine? Well in the UK there are many antiquarian bookstores that cater to this very need. These shops look so quaint and charming to boot that you have to go in to carouse just for the experience alone. Its enough to make you feel like Audrey Hepburn’s book clerk character in “Funny Face”.
The UK also offers many bookstores that specialize in rare books. Want a signed copy of Ernest Hemingway’s “A Movable Feast”? Well chances are you can find it in the UK along with countless other authors and manuscripts.
With Amazon and Barnes & Noble gobbling up small bookstores around the world, we salute and highlight some of our favorite local bookshops we have seen so far in the UK. We realize we have only scratched the surface and look forward to highlighting many more, so if there is a local bookstore that you admire please let us know in the comments below.
The Local Artisan Guide is looking forward to exploring more local neighborhoods in London and around the UK. In the meantime we applaud the local independent bookshops that strive to survive in an Amazon world.
By Natalie Rivera