Off topic: second-hand bookstores in London
Thread poster: Marcela Orcali

Marcela Orcali  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:04
English to Spanish
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Aug 4, 2006

Hi, all

My brother is going to the UK and stopping in London for a few days... and, of course, I was "forced" to give him quite a long list of books to buy

Now, since there are 11 books on the list and I´m not particularly wealthy at the moment because I´ve been decorating my new home, I wanted to know some good second-hand bookshops in London. I´m not talking about dictionaries this time, just cookbooks, decorating books and things like that.

I read in another thread that Charing Cross Road and Cecil Court have a wide variety of bookshops, but I want some other options and specific names, if possible.

Thanks!
Marcela


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:04
English to Hungarian
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There are sooooo many second-hand bookshops in London... Aug 4, 2006

It would be wise to concentrate to the Charing X Road area, including Cecil Court, and the area he is going to stay.

Here is a website, listing a large number of bookshops, but you would have to pick out the second-hand bookshops from there: www.geocities.com/athens/4824/uk-lond.htm

Charity shops are very good sources of books, and every one of them have some shelves with esoteric collections. Some display them by their themes to make it easier to browse, some don't.
Anywhere he goes, he will find a number of these shops, often grouped within a few hundred yards of each other, so it is worth popping in for a few minutes.

Oxfam has specialist bookshops as well, where they only sell books. These are very good.
Here is a brief list, from central London:
91. Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RB
34. Strutton Ground, SW1P 2HR
and I believe there is one in Portobello Road, where there is a famous antique market on Saturdays.

There are bookseller stalls on the South Bank, under Waterloo Bridge, by the National Theatre. (Unless the weather is bad.)

I am risking of repeats, but here is another good list to look at:
books.guardian.co.uk/shoptalk/page/0,,1398384,00.html

One word of warning: apart from the Charing X Road, Cecil Court, Covent Garden, Soho and Bloomsbury areas, which can be visited on foot in a day, and the Oxfam Bookshop in Marylebone High Street, not far from Oxford Street, the rest are only worth visiting if your brother has other reasons to go to that area. London is just too big to hop from one bookshop to another.
Good luck.

Judith





[Edited at 2006-08-04 19:07]

[Edited at 2006-08-04 19:08]


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
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British Museum Aug 5, 2006

There are a handful second-hand bookshops near the British Museum, in the small street that runs to the entrance. Mostly art history and travel.

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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:04
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Map it out... Aug 5, 2006

Csaba Ban wrote:

There are a handful second-hand bookshops near the British Museum, in the small street that runs to the entrance. Mostly art history and travel.


That's Bloomsbury, see the list. On foot from Charing X Road. A number of shops are on Museum Street and Great Russel Street, and Southhampton Row to the East, but plenty others around.

By the way, Foyles has secondhand department as well.


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Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 16:04
German to English
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... Aug 5, 2006

Has anyone else noticed that all the Charing X bookshops seem to have the same short-statured bloke in his late thirties with a ginger moustache and an elderly tweed jacket behind the counter? I think we should be told.

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Marcela Orcali  Identity Verified
Spain
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TOPIC STARTER
thanks! Aug 5, 2006

Thank you all for your suggestions.

It´s definitely going to be Charing Cross Rd. then. I was browsing through the bookshops that appear on the article from the Guardian, though, and they either don´t have the books I´m looking for (mostly decorating books and cookbooks), or they are more expensive than what I found at Borders UK (a.k.a. Amazon).

Of course, I´d looooove to browse through second-hand bookshops if I was the one going to London, but life is unfair like that and the one that´s going is my brother who doesn´t even speak English hahaha

So what I´m probably going to do is send him to Charing Cross Rd. to browse around a little, and then go to the Borders Store at Charing Cross Rd. to buy what he hasn´t been able to find at the other stores.

Do you know any bookshops specializing in cookbooks?
I saw a touristic tv show once about London and they went to a specialized bookshop like that, but it never ocurred to me to jot down the name.

Don´t worry, even if he does end up heading straight to Borders despite all of your tips, all this information is stored for my future trip to London... hopefully next May

thanks again,
Marcela


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skport  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:04
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Books for Cooks Aug 5, 2006

This shop is cool:

http://www.booksforcooks.com/

it is in Notting Hill. To get there by tube from Charing Cross, i would suggest walking up to Oxford Circus and taking the central line, that way you get to have a walk instead of loads of underground changes!


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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Gloucester Rd bookshop Aug 5, 2006

This is on Gloucester Rd (!), to the south of Gloucester Rd tube station. It opens late (until 10pm I think) which can be useful. It has a very good selection of all kinds of things (including some interesting old cookbooks, if I remember correctly).

hope he has a good time and brings you back lots of nice things!


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juvera  Identity Verified
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Buses in Central London Aug 5, 2006

The 390 runs all the way from the top of Charing Cross Road to Notting Hill Gate. Much more fun, and doesn't take much longer.
It is a very good idea to get a daily, 3 day or a 7 day travel card.

Tickets are dreadfully expensive, but an off-peak (valid from 09:30 to 04:30 of the next morning) travel card is a much better deal. Sat-Sun. cheaper, so the number of days has to be worked out. (like a 3 days card, then a weekend card may be better, than a 7 days card.)

They are available from the tube station ticket offices and railway stations. They have Central London or local area tube and bus maps and ticket informations too.

The travelcard is valid for the zones it is bought for, (there are 6 concentrical zones) for UNLIMITED travel during its validity for ALL tube lines and London buses, so it is possible to criss-cross all over the place, and not worry about tickets for the day.


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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:04
Member (2006)
Russian to English
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Amnesty International bookshop... Aug 6, 2006

... near Mornington Crescent Underground Station (Northern Line), in between Euston and Camden Town... is truly excellent as a source for interesting bargains. And if you're there, ask for Peggy behind the counter (that's my mum!

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juvera  Identity Verified
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Must visit... Aug 8, 2006

Daniel Brennan wrote:

... near Mornington Crescent Underground Station (Northern Line), in between Euston and Camden Town... is truly excellent as a source for interesting bargains. And if you're there, ask for Peggy behind the counter (that's my mum!


I didn't know about this shop.
And I also have a son called Daniel.


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Marcela Orcali  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:04
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
books for cooks Aug 9, 2006

That was definitely the one I was looking for!!! Unfortunately, it is closed in August, but I´ll go myself when I visit London.

I got some magazines and brochures from the British Council, so that coupled with your suggestions, is helping me get a better idea of how to get around London, the different areas worth visiting, and so on.

If I can get enough work to save and go in May, I´ll definitely take advantage of my newfound knowledge about bookstores and buy like a maniac!

So I´m warning you: I´ll come back for more tips and advice when my trip is booked.

In return, I can help you with your translations, your recipes, or to get around Buenos Aires if you come to the BA Proz Conference later this month

Thanks again,
Marcela


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