Tuesday 27 May 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Real Bookshops AND Top Ten #MyIndieBookshops

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I wanted to do a post celebrating the brilliant #MyIndieBookshop website that was set up last month (check out my post on it a few days ago - , but then I decided that with the current terrible behaviour of Amazon, it would also be well worth drawing attention to some of my favourite real bookshops. So, two top tens instead of just one!

Top Ten Real Bookshops

Gay's The Word - I love reading LGBTQ fiction and this is a brilliant place to find more obscure stuff, including some books published in America but not here. Well-stocked and very reasonably priced second hand section as well as the new books, and some great events!

Big Green Books - Slightly out of the centre of London but well worth the journey, Big Green Books has a massive selection of books including a good YA section, and free wi-fi so you can tweet your purchases straight away! (Addicted, me?) Tim and Simon are two really knowledgeable people when it comes to books and I love talking to both of them. There's also a superb amount of events there and they do some really interesting things like their 'book club subscriptions'.

Tales on Moon Lane - There's not enough children's bookshops around these days - I was really sad to see Under The Greenwood Tree in Clapham close recently - but this is a truly gorgeous shop. Beautiful displays and really knowledgeable staff.

Foyles Charing Cross Road - Foyles is fabulous, of course, with a great YA section which is the best place to get imports. It also has a massive amount of really brilliant staff - even with the departure of Kate for pastures new a few weeks ago! Jen, Jo and Joanne are all great.

Waterstones Piccadilly
- I'm trying to avoid chain stores, but how can you NOT mention one this size? Between the colossal massiveness, the free wifi, and the gorgeous bar where I met chaletfan a few weeks ago before #picnicYA, this is a stunning shop.

Foyles South Bank - I was going to limit it to one Foyles, but I absolutely adore the South Bank. It's my very favourite place in London - nothing beats sitting in the Southbank centre relaxing with a drink and a book to read, and the brilliant stock in Foyles just downstairs means you never have to worry about not having a book to read!

Booka - Back near my home town, Oswestry's Booka is a gorgeous shop with a lovely cafe and a small, but really high quality, YA section.

Slightly Foxed - I've only been here once or twice but it's a really great atmosphere, a beautiful shop, and great staff.

Mr B's Reading Emporium - I feel that I should probably stick to bookshops I've visited myself, but how can I resist the AMAZING looking Mr B's? Check out this fab video from Lucy at The Bumbling Bibliophile - it looks like a wonderful shop! And they do reading spas!

Watermark Books - This would be on here just for having hosted the fabulous party a few months ago where I got How I Live Now signed by MEG ROSOFF, but it's also got a good selection of YA books and friendly, knowledgeable staff.

Top Ten #MyIndieBookshop shops

James Dawson Books - James is one of the most knowledgeable people around when it comes to YA LGBTQ fiction - I can't wait to read This Book Is Gay. I've read about half of his recommendations already and really loved many of them, with 3 featuring in my bookshop too, so I definitely need to get my hands on the rest!

Pretty Books - I think one of the best things about this year for me so far has been reading more MG, and reading more ABOUT MG as there seems to be a surge of interest from bloggers. Stacey is one of the best people at writing MG reviews so I was thrilled to see that she'd devoted her bookshop specifically to MG. I've read 7 of her 12 and liked them all, loving several. (Eight Keys is one of my favourite ever MGs, while Sesame Seade: Sleuth on Skates is in my shop as well.) Loved her Anne of Green Gables rec. "BECAUSE ANNE." - it got me to finally read AoGG, which I ADORED.

Adults Read YA - In addition to her own shop, Stacey is kindly maintaining one to keep track of what we're reading for the book club we both belong to. This is awesome, as it's a handy place to check when I forget what I'm meant to be reading! And you can all see our fabulous taste.

The Book Zone - For more MG adventure, Darren at Book Zone for Boys always has brilliant suggestions, so it's great to see his shop! I've somehow only read three of these, but Ironheart is very good, Wild Boy is a favourite of mine, and Department 19 is perhaps my very favourite ongoing series. I'll definitely have to check the rest out soon!

The Pewter Wolf's Store - Andrew is a great blogger who hosted a great guest post on the Countdown to 5th June tour a few weeks ago, and his taste in books is awesome. This is a really varied shop, featuring YA, MG, and adult crime. I've read 3 of his and 2 would be very close to making it on my shelves (1 actually did.) Loved his Pantomime rec, "Unlike anything I have ever read" - couldn't agree more! Oh, and Howling For A Good Read may be my favourite tagline so far!

Swan's Best YA Coming of Age Novels - I stumbled on this shop when browsing and was immediately hooked, as I love coming of age stories! 7 I've read here, including a few of my absolute favourites, with Non Pratt's Trouble on both of our shelves. Of the ones I haven't read, Solitaire, in particular, sounds amazing!

Brigid's Shop for Book Addicts - The name alone sells me on it, but it's a massively varied shop featuring crime, fantasy, YA and romance, and I'm a huge fan of the first three, in particular. 6 that I've read here, including one of my favourite ever series, The Dark Is Rising, and one of the best books of the last 10 years, Code Name Verity.

UKYA Books - Keris, along with fellow authors Susie Day and Keren David, has run the fantastic UKYA site for several years, so it's unsurprising that she's curated some brilliant UKYA titles here. I've read six - most would be close to my shelves, with You Don't Know Me making it on.

Word Urchin's Discoveries -  There's only 3 I've read here - including one of my own picks, Laura Lam's stunning Pantomime - but I'm definitely going to try and find the rest!

Dear Reader - I was going to stick with shops with 12 books picked but made an exception here because there are only six but I've read four and loved ALL of them! Amazingly good taste.

So, what bookshops have I missed out? Real life ones or #myindiebookshop picks - hit me with your recs below! And if you've done a Top Ten Tuesday, let me know so I can take a look!


  1. Apart from the obvious - Waterstones Piccadilly and Foyles on Charring Cross Road the only other that I've actually visited is Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights - I mean when I last visited they had a bath in a bookshop in Bath - a brilliant little shop with plenty of knowledgeable staff on hand :)

  2. I hope you know I have my little pad out and have written every one of these down! When I move to London I'll be heading straight to these places! Awesome list :)

  3. ooh, Tales on moon Lane! I really, really need to go there. I've seen a lot of pictures on Twitter and it's so gorgeous! Mr B's is so great- I visited it during the Bath festival last year. Definitely worth it. It's such a pretty store!:D And, Waterstones Piccadilly obviously is amazing:D

    I've seen a lot about the MyIndieBookshop site but I've never actually checked it out before... I just had a look, though, and that website is so cool- so are the stores you've listed!
    Gee :)