Best Bookshops Near CIEE London
CIEE London has its headquarters in London’s ‘most learned quarter’, Bloomsbury. In the heart of London’s university district and with literary neighbours that included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes and E. M. Forster - all members of the ‘Bloomsbury Group’ - it is understandable that we have some wonderful book shops in the area.
Here are some of our favourites:
‘Just a Rosetta Stone’s throw’ from The British Museum, the London Review Bookshop is the physical home of the London Review of Books, the most successful literary publication in Europe. A bustling intellectual hub with an even more bustling café equipped with rosebud tea, gluten-free pistachio cakes and a ‘crostini’ if you arrive at Apéro Hour. Twice a week they also offer evenings to meet authors, engage in debate or even watch a film. They also have an excellent podcast.
- 14-16 Bury Pl, London WC1A 2JL
The world’s oldest LGBTQ+ bookshop with one of the largest collections of queer books in the UK. Their borrowing collection has also been known to provide literature for teachers and academics, whilst also combining forces with ‘Educate & Celebrate’. It is an excellent resource and very close to us at CIEE.
- 66 Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AB
Found at the bottom of the Brunswick Centre, Skoob Books has the biggest collection of second-hand books in London. Due to its proximity to the heart of London’s academic scene, many lecturers and students source out-of-print textbooks and texts here. It has provided books for the National Theatre, ITV and James Bond to name just a few. It is a particular delight to find notes scrawled in margins of textbooks.
- 66 The Brunswick off, Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AE
Running since 1890 and a leading source of books from the Victorian period, this bookshop recalls the name of the court case at the heart of Dickens’ Bleak House. Jarndyce is a highly specialised shop but has an excellent collection of some of the finest books from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. If you can’t quite stretch to a first edition, you can stock up with some of their beautiful greetings cards.
- 46 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3PA
[Link to all of the locations in one place, here]
Honourable Mentions: Persephone Books
Although Persephone Books is no longer a resident of Bloomsbury, they have an excellent cause that we would love you to know about. They reprint previously ‘lost’ out-of-print fiction and non-fiction books, mainly by female writers. They offer free book consultations and have a blog announcing all of their recent and impending publications for those interested.
CIEE students in London often call our city home, and they’re not the only ones – London is the home address for some of the finest examples of art and artefacts in the world. London has nearly 200 museums, and one of the delights of living in this cultural capital is the fact that many of these collections can be seen for free.