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!
The first bookshop I visited was Belgravia Books, which has been open since September 20112. They’re very easy to find — just get off Victoria station and it’s a 5-minute walk to get to the shop*.
I currently reside in north London, so Belgravia Books is nowhere near my immediate vicinity. It is a lovely modern-looking bookshop, and they have a large collection of the Pocket Penguins on their shelves, as well as beloved classics. I even found a Boddington Penguin Classic book, which I immediately grabbed and bought!
Belgravia Books also specialise in Gallic books (French books translated to English) and they have a whole shelf for that.
On top of books, they also sell lovely cards, a nice small selection of children’s books, and other book and literature-related items. It’s the first place in London I found that sells the V&A book jackets! The first time I even saw those was in Bangkok!
If you live around the area, you would be proud to have and call this your local indie bookshop. I would! They have lovely stocks of various books, and you can even check what they have online. I’m also sure they would not be averse to taking phone calls to place orders for any book you want that isn’t on their stock. This is why I love local indies!
Belgravia Books is at 59 Ebury Street, London SW1W 0NZ, open from Mondays to Fridays at 09:30 AM – 06:00 PM, and Saturdays at 11 AM – 05:00 PM. Visit their website, or call them at 020 7259 9336.
I’ll be posting about the other bookshops I went to soon, so do visit the site again if you want to see which ones they are!
*If getting off Victoria Underground station, find the Victoria Street exit and turn left, then at the first intersection (Buckingham Palace Road), turn left again. Cross the street at the stoplight in front of the Grand Imperial, then head left. The Lower Belgrave Street will be on your right, which you should turn to, then turn left at the first intersection (Ebury Street). The bookshop will on your right.