I love to visit book stores when travelling, and London has a lot of great book stores.
This time in London I visited Daunt Books in Marylebone, a book store I have never visited before but was recommended by one of the readers of my blog.
I have to say I was quite impressed, Daunt Books might just be my new favorite book store.
The main room is a huge room, two storeys tall with book lining all the walls. A balcony is build to access the books on the second floor. The ceiling is made of glass letting natural light illumunate the room. Thousands of books line the walls. In addition to the main room there is a huge lobby, a side room and a basement. The store is massive, and it would take hours, if not days, to go through all the shelves.
Daunt Books is a travel book store, and the books are sorted by country. All you have to do is find the country you are interested in and in front of you will be a huge selection of guide books, travel writing, non-fiction and novels from that country.
I quickly found the Japanese section, two whole shelves, grabbed a few books and found a wicker chair to sit down and and browse through the books. There are placed chairs and tables all around the store for customers to sit down and flip through the books in.
I spent two hours in the store, but did not get to look at all the books I wanted. In the end I had to force myself to leave before I spent all my money on books and with not enough room in my luggage to bring all of them home.
I was very impressed by their selection. I could find books about every country I looked for, although I was a bit disappointed by their Bosnian Selection. I wish it would have been bigger.
I purchased five books in total. Three books about Japan, one book about sushi and a travel anthology about the Balkans.
The books were:
Trevor Corson: The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice. Read book review here.
Robert Whiting: Tokyo Underworld: The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan. Read book review here.
Paul Ham: Hiroshima Nagasaki: The Real Story of the Atomic Bombings and Their Aftermath. Read book review here.
Andrew Hammond (ed.): Through Another Europe: An Anthology on Travel Writing on the Balkans
Daunt Books is an awesome book store. I totally fell in love with it and it is reason enough for me to return to London. I could spend hours there exploring the book shelves, sit down in one of their comfortable chairs to browse through books. The atmosphere there was great, the selection of books huge, it looked fantastic and the employees were really helpful.
If you like to read, and love book stores, you should visit Daunt Books as soon as possible.
Daunt books is located on 83 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone in London. To get there take the Bakerloo line to Marylebone Station. Take a left when exiting the station, toward Madame Tussaud. After a few hundred meters take a left down Marylebone High Street and you will fine Daunt Books down the road on your right. It is open every day from 9 am to 7:30 pm, sundays 11 am to 6 pm.
I am currently in the process of reading the books I bought, and book reviews are forthcoming.