This Is What A Bookshop Should Look Like



People always go on about London’s admittedly wonderful Daunt Books (which I visit a lot) but their frankly perverse cataloguing system prevents easy location of their stock, and the middle-class clientele who haunt the enquiry desk with oblique questions about Vita Sackville-West and the like do sometimes give me inexplicable shudders of horror.

Recently I went to Sotherans in Piccadilly for the launch of ‘OxCrimes’, an anthology to raise money for the charity Oxfam, featuring twenty seven stories of crime and mystery by a roll-call of terrific authors. This hefty tome retails at £9.99 from Oxfam and all good bookstores, (and before I get grief from anyone saying that Oxfam detracts from independent bookshops, I think raising money for children through Oxfam via books that anyone can sell is a pretty good idea.)

Sotherans is the longest established antiquarian booksellers in the world – it opened in York in 1761 – since then it has been offering opportunities to collectors and enthusiasts, including the purchase of the libraries of Laurence Sterne in 1768 and Charles Dickens in 1870. It’s also ineffably cool inside. Here are the details for the launch, courtesy of The List.



4 comments on “This Is What A Bookshop Should Look Like”

  1. Dan Terrell says:

    I have the book and it is a very good read so far. I’ve read the first 6/7 stories and they are well-written and somewhat unusual; I’m reading the stories in order and not skipping ahead to the Bryant & May tale; well trying hard not to pounce ahead..
    I bought it for my Kindle because it won’t be published in the States until late this year. Note: it appears several pages are missing from a couple of the stories, so I’ll have to report this to Amazon.
    I find I have trouble enjoying a novel on the Kindle, but have also found that short stories do very well, so that is what I mostly download. (Also very old books 1910, 20 and 30s, mainly early mysteries and SiFi.)
    May I second Admin and suggest you buy the book which seems to have all stories penned by writers of novels.

  2. Vivienne says:

    Wandered into a Daunt shop in Marylebone one evening and heard I voice I recognised – oh, yes, Anne Widdecombe – and fled.

  3. Helen says:

    Have you ever been to Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath? It is my favourite bookshop in all of the world. The staid are lovely, incredibly helpful and extremely knowledgeable. They understand book joy 🙂

  4. Brian says:

    Passing through London several months ago I dropped into Daunt Books to buy some Fowlers. Not being able to find them on the shelves I sought assistance from a gent at the counter who denied having ever heard of Fowler or B&M. He consulted his computer to check the stock then checked the internet to see what this Fowler chap had written then was able to assure me that the shop had never stocked this author which left me rather flat footed.

    Apart from that I found it to be excellent in meeting all my other requirements as it has quite comprehensive back lists of authors that I was unable to find elsewhere.

    A little later Foyle’s met all my Fowler needs so I had a rather weary walk back to my digs laden with purchases from Stanford’s, Daunt’s and Foyles.

    However, I did wonder if I may have been mislead by the bloke in Daunts – surely Admin would be stocked there seeing as he always writes positively about that shop?

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