BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | LIBRERIA

Photograph by Iwan Baan
Photograph by Iwan Baan

For our August Bookshop of the Month post we have chosen the magnificent Libreria!

If you haven’t already been to Libreria all we ask is, what are you waiting for?! Located on Hanbury Street, E1 – just off Brick Lane – Libreria is a beautiful destination bookshop that appears to go on forever thanks to a stunning mirrored wall and ceiling. Coupled with gorgeous yellow shelving throughout – the colour of happiness, optimism and creativity – you can’t help but feel inspired from the moment you walk in the door. Libreria also offers a unique browsing experience “designed to help you discover new books and ideas.” Books are not organised by genre or author rather by a theme, topic or idea to encourage serendipitous finds so you’ll leave not only with the book you wanted but with many more too. You will also find artists prints on the shelves often made on the risograph machine they have downstairs – you can attend a workshop and have a go yourself if you fancy! We recently attended a book launch here and had a great night, their entire cultural programme is impressive, including regular Beer & Browse nights where you can grab a drink, buy some books and catch a classic movie. So, if you’ve not yet been get down to East London soon – we challenge you to leave Libreria without buying something!

These are just some of the reasons we have chosen Libreria as our Bookshop of the Month for August. We caught up with Paddy Butler, Creative Director/Curator, to congratulate the team and ask a few questions:

1. Congratulations on winning Bookshop of the Month! How would you describe Libreria in three words?
Discover, Create, Reimagine

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
Oh, at present it has to be our Utopia shelf near our big mirror at the back – It has so much in there including fiction by Tom McCarthy, Kafka, Laline Paul, political/philosophy by Peter Singer, Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia (of course), Erik Reece’s Utopia Drive, Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine, and lots on architecture; Stephen Graham’s Vertical, Geoff Manaugh and Dejan Sudjic to boot!

3. Where do you like to read?
Great question – in winter, well mainly in bed or the British Library, in summer it’s gotta be Brockwell Park, on the hill overlooking London, very beautiful. When I’m back there, those old Joycean pubs in Dublin (Mulligans of Pool Beg Street and the Grave Diggers, Glasnevin (Glasnevin Cemetery is where Bloom goes to Paddy Dignam’s funeral at the beginning of Ulysses) and then there’s the West of Ireland; always pretty special, wild and inspiring.

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
Either an artist, or an advertising canvaser like Leopold Bloom; for is he not gifted with a creative mind of the most endearing, wondrous kind?

5. Excluding Libreria – What is your favourite bookshop?
Skoobs second hand bookstore; an Aladdin’s Cave in Russell Square, and then there’s The Long Room in Trinity, Dublin, hallelujah, a bookstore in the old sense I guess…

You will find Libreria at:
65 Hanbury Street
London E1 5JP

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Photograph by Iwan Baan
Photograph by Iwan Baan

BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | QUEENS PARK BOOKS

Bookshop of the Month image

To celebrate the final day of Independent Bookshop Week, we have chosen a wonderful indie for our July Bookshop of the Month: Queens Park Books! 

Queens Park Books is everything an independent bookshop should be. Their wonderful window displays make it virtually impossible to not go in and when you do it’s a place where you can happily lose yourself in the bookshelves. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming with a traditional look that makes you feel like your home away from home. We especially like how they use the feature tables to showcase genres and themes with a focus on the book covers – it’s such a lovely touch to have the books facing outwards showcasing the designs.

Now that’s just the shop – all bookshops would be nothing without it’s booksellers and Lisa, Laura and the team are the best of book champions. You can tell they love books (good thing too considering their day job) and getting them into the hands of readers is something they do so well. They know their customer and are always on hand to get the right book to the right person.

This is a short summary of why we have chosen to award Queens Park Books our first Bookshop of the Month award. Many congratulations to you all from all of us at Abrams and Chronicle Books.

We caught up with the lovely Laura from the shop and asked her some very important questions:

1. Congratulations on winning Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe Queen’s Park Books in three words?

Creative, energetic, attention-to-detail.

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?

The children’s and sci-fi reading areas.

3. Where do you like to read?

My favourite place to read is on holiday. I go back to my parents house a few times a year, who live in Stratford Upon Avon. I go for a few days and will take loads of books to read while I’m there!

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?

Some kind of writer – I used to be a fashion journalist.

5. Excluding Queen’s Park Books – what is your favourite bookshop?

I have a payday routine where I go to Foyles on Charing Cross Road, I get a hot chocolate and then head for Forbidden Planet. I couldn’t choose between the two!

 

You will find Queens Park Books at:

87 Salusbury Road
London, NW6 6NH

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