There has never been a better time to work your way through that never-ending reading list, whether you’re looking to discover the hottest new reads or brush up on the classics. And now you can do it while supporting local independent businesses, too, as a selection of London’s finest indie bookstores have just started delivering books to locals in self-isolation, in the face of having to close their stores. These are the bookshops keeping Londoners well read during the crisis.
With five locations across London, including the beautiful Edwardian bookshop on Marylebone High Street, with its long oak galleries and stained glass window, Daunt shops have swiftly become some of the city’s most beloved bookstores – as well as the purveyors of the smartest-looking tote bags in town. All of their London locations are delivering locally free of charge and shipping orders UK-wide.
Visit the contact page for the shop closest to you
This charming bookshop on Fulham Road, a short walk from Parsons Green, is making sure local residents have plenty of reading material by hand delivering books to those in the area or posting them to those further afield. Simply contact the store to let them know what’s on your must-read list.
Order via email or phone (020 7736 4000); 781 Fulham Road, Parsons Green, London SW6
South Kensington Books
Recently shortlisted as Indie Bookshop of the Year at The British Book Awards, this bookstore has been supplying South Ken locals with quality reads since the 1940s. They’re offering free delivery to those in the area via the shop bike and will deliver up to 1kg of books further afield for a fee of £2.50.
Order via email; 22 Thurloe Street, South Kensington, London SW7
This award-winning bookstore in West Dulwich has been serving the local community for over 30 years and is a particular favourite with children, who love their excellent kids’ section. They are currently offering free delivery within the area and can even arrange same-day delivery, as long as the book is in stock.
Order via email or phone (020 8670 1920); 6 Croxted Road, West Dulwich, London SE21
The Kew Bookshop
Situated in the leafy enclave of Kew Village, this local gem is currently offering free postage for anyone self-isolating at home, with orders over £10 going out in first class post and those under £10 via second class post.
Order via email; 1-2 Station Approach, Kew, London TW9
Herne Hill Books
The beautifully curated Herne Hill Books on Railton Road is now delivering books to locals – just drop them a line to order something specific or ask for a recommendation.
Order via email or phone (020 7998 1673); 289 Railton Road, Herne Hill, London SE24
The Word Bookshop
This indie bookstore near Goldsmiths University in New Cross is usually overflowing with students, but for now they’re focusing on delivering essential reading material to locals in isolation. Call the shop to order and they’ll deliver your books by bike anywhere within three miles, free of charge.
Order via phone (020 8355 9378); 314 New Cross Road, New Cross, London SE14
This award-winning Stoke Newington gem has been supplying locals with books since 1987 and is currently hand delivering books in the area as well as posting out to wider London.
Order via email or phone (020 7249 8983); 153 Stoke Newington High Street, Stoke Newington, London N16
Pages of Hackney
This treasure trove of a shop on Lower Clapton Road has closed its doors but is offering free home delivery by bike to Hackney residents as well as posting books UK-wide. If you’re looking for reading inspiration have a scroll through their Twitter feed, where some people are placing their orders.
Order via email or Twitter; 70 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, London E5
Burley Fisher Books
This literary haven in Dalston has been forced to close its doors for now, but it’s still keeping local spirits up by hand delivering books in the Hackney area and posting them further afield, as well as suggesting personal book recommendations – simply drop them a line on Twitter with the last book you read and enjoyed and they’ll choose your next read.
Order via Twitter; 400 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8
Brick Lane Bookshop
Nestled in the heart of Brick Lane and specialising in London-based books, poetry, travel and children’s literature, this local favourite is offering free delivery within Tower Hamlets as well as posting to anywhere in the UK. Fancy trying your hand at a spot of writing while in lockdown? The shop is encouraging those at home to enter their short story competition, where the first prize is £1,000 and the winners and long listed entrants’ stories will be published in the Brick Lane Bookshop Short Story Prize anthology in October 2020.
Order via email; 166 Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, London E1
This bookshop in Kentish Town is hand-delivering books to those self isolating and who live within a 20-minute walk of the shop and posting books out to anyone living further afield. They’re also running a special ‘takeaway’ option, whereby anyone can go and pick up their order at the shop’s door.
Order via email or phone (020 7485 7793); 207-209 Kentish Town Road, Kentish Town, London NW5
Moon Lane Books
Specialising in children’s literature, this enchanting store in Forest Hill recently won an Independent Bookshop Innovation Award for its work improving equality in children’s books. The shop is currently offering home delivery within two miles and postage for those outside the area.
Order via email or phone (020 3489 7030); 300 Stanstead Road, Forest Hill, London SE23
If your favourite local bookstore doesn’t happen to be on this list but you still want to support an independent bookshops, log on to Hive instead. This clever website gives hundreds of indie bookstores around the UK a chance to be seen online and supports them with every single sale they make. Simply pick the title you want to buy and choose the bookshop you want to support – a percentage of your money will then go directly to them.