What could be more charming for a book lover than book filled shops on Charring Cross Road in London. Kerry Hammond reports back from her London travels.
One of my favorite things to do on vacation, especially when I’m in another country, is to visit local bookshops. If you can find ones that sell both new and used books, even better. I think London just might be the best place to look for used books, especially if you’re a big fan of British mysteries like I am.
On my recent trip to London, I spent an entire day walking down Charing Cross Road, visiting every bookshop I came across, on my way to the theatre district. I found that the bookshops themselves were just as interesting as the books they held. The buildings were ancient and many of them had shelves full of books in the basement, which contained even more intrigue.
The contraption pictured here was just set into the wall of the book store’s basement, with books displayed all around it.
I spent some time looking for British authors that I hadn’t heard of, and bought a book in a series by Captain W.E. Johns called The Biggles Adventures. I also browsed for Agatha Christie titles. As many know, the British titles will sometimes differ from the ones published in the United States, so I find it fun to collect the British books so that my collection contains some of the originally published titles.
My husband is a Cartographer, and he browsed the books on mapping. He even found one that he bought for his collection. When he opened the book he found a newspaper clipping from 1936 and a handwritten note from the Reverend J.H.C. Twisaday of All Saints’ Vicarage. We’re not sure when the note was written.
Whether you’re visiting a new city, or traveling to another country, consider visiting an independent bookstore on your next vacation. It’s a great place to browse for items you might not find elsewhere.
Kerry traveled to Ireland last year and found such gems as The Poison Garden on the grounds of Blarney Castle and Trinity College’s Long Room. She came back from her trip to London with just as many stories. She’s told us about the Pubs of London and the Jack the Ripper Tour.
Come back next week for Kerry’s final London story: Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap at the St. Martin’s Theatre, now in its 64th season.
Follow Kerry on Twitter @kerryhammond88.