Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) in the UK is a campaign run by Booksellers Association and its members to celebrate indie bookshops in the UK and Ireland1. It is modelled after the American campaign bearing the same name1, which was held earlier across the pond in 2016. The UK had theirs on the 18th to 25th of June in 2016, and on the last day, the campaign encourages people to do a bookshop crawl (if you can’t do it on one day, do it during the whole IBW!).
I did the bookshop crawl on the last day, and planned to visit ten bookshops. All the best plans do not go as expected sometimes, and I only managed eight. Still a respectable number I think, considering I started at 12 noon and finished by 5:30 PM! My first stop was Belgravia Books, and I’ve shared photos of it in a previous post.
My second stop was not so far away from Belgravia Books; Google Maps says it takes approximately 17 minutes walking from there to John Sandoe Books. I did not want to waste a lot of energy though (this was a crawl after all), so I took the tube and got off at Sloane Square. From there it was another 5-minute walk from the station to the bookshop*.
John Sandoe was founded by John Sandoe (duh) in November 1957, and his vision for it was to “to offer his selection of the best current books and to obtain any other books he might be asked for”1. The bookshop is able to trace a history of its current premises. John Sandoe is made up of three shops, number 10, 11, and 12 — number 10 was a ‘seedy little tobacconist’ before the war, then became occupied by a man that sold antiquities, then became a secondhand bookshop after the war; number 11 was a dress shop, and number 12 had a vet.
You enter through the door that was number 11 Blacklands Terrace, and you immediately feel that you are in a place where books are ardently loved. …