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London by the Book

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London by the Book

If you are a book lover, you will require no incentive to lose yourself inside the world of new and used bookstores wherever you travel. For the merely curious, however, London’s bookshops and extraordinary libraries can offer a respite from the often grey and rainy weather and an opportunity to broaden one’s understanding of the city. Each shop is a unique treasure trove, highlighting common and obscure topics of interest.

Although there are bookshops scattered throughout London and its suburbs, Charing Cross Road – considered the literal center of London – became the hub of the book trade in the early 20th century with the establishment of Foyle’s bookshop. The story goes that “writers…would stagger from the nearby Soho drinking dens into the bookshops, no doubt calculating the royalties from their books on the groaning shelves.” It is a haven for some of the world’s finest thematic specialty shops and antiquarian booksellers.

There are iPhone apps for discovering literary London in two distinct ways: the first, via the physical bookshop locations, and the second, through London locations found within works of fiction.

The London Bookshop Map was founded in 2011 to promote independent books and new work by artists and writers. It currently lists 116 independent bookshops, including those on Charing Cross Road and its offshoots: Cecil Court, Lisle Street and Earlham Street.

Find the nearest bookshop on the website or by downloading the free iPhone app. The app shows users the nearest independent bookshop to their current location in London, and allows users to search by specialties such as graphic novels, travel, cooking or antiquarian.
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Get London Reading App  Explore London’s literary heritage for free with the Get London Reading app.

According to the website: Find books on your street, on your way to work, or in places of interest by clicking the map to find books in your area. Use augmented reality to see exactly where the books are in 3D. Add books to your favourites, and search more then 500 books in the database.  

Click here to download the app.

It’s an intriguing way to bring any place to literary life.

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Below, the color-coded map, Bookish Places in London, incorporates all things literary, including select bookshops, bars/restaurant with a book, library or literary theme, historic libraries and auction houses, all shown in relation to nearby Magellan Luxury properties. It is possible to experience literary London simply by stepping outside one’s hotel door.

Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:

The Savoy - Magellan Luxury Hotels

The Savoy’s reputation as one of London’s premier hotels isn’t without merit. Many of the 260+ rooms feature breathtaking views of the River Thames and are as comfortable as they are stately. For over 100 years, the stylings and service at The Savoy have set the standard – it is considered London’s first luxury hotel.

Belgraves London - Magellan Luxury Hotels

Belgraves brings a much-needed hip factor to London’s luxury hotel scene. Its bohemian vibe brings a modern, funky look to life through both the public areas and the 85 rooms and suites. Located near some of London’s best shopping, it’s a perfect home base for on-the-go travelers who enjoy the luxury lifestyle and modern art, architecture and design.

Sanderson London - Magellan Luxury Hotels

This self-proclaimed “urban spa” certainly lives up to its moniker. It is a fantastical, whimsical hotel created by Philippe Starck that flows from the dream world into a gorgeous reality. It’s modern, it’s timeless, it’s simple yet intricate. The Sanderson combines comfort and luxury with fun and imagination for an unforgettable stay.

See all of our London Luxury Hotels

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