There are clearly many reasons to head to an art bookshop, especially on a Sunday morning, to have a cup of coffee and sit down to read a book. But I mean the term “art-related bookshop” expansively – it includes independent bookshops that are great for those interested in art and all its issues.
Yet, this is not a conclusive list, just a top 3 among my personal favorites. But if you are stuck for more shops near you, check out the lovely map created by The London Bookshop Map.
Words: Lei Fu
Subeditor: Julia Tsilman
Best curated bookshop: Tenderbooks
6 Cecil Ct, London WC2N 4HE
I love this place. Partnered with the next door gallery Tenderpixel, this small bookshop sells some more unusual art magazines and artists’ prints. More than just a bookshop, Tenderbooks creates a reading list to compliment the shows at Tenderpixel and host a series of readings, events and performances. They also have a monthly exhibition section focusing on different artists or small independent press.
Best for books and cake: London Review Bookshop
14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL
This place always wins for me because their staff are so knowledgeable. Their art selection is not the best, but I don’t really know any art enthusiasts who solely own art books anyway. Their poetry selection is great, with a wonderful collection of cultural and literary essays, and their fiction recommendations are spot on. The LRB café has one of the best chocolate Guinness cakes in London, and you can borrow a copy of the London Review of Books to browse while you sit and eat—and maybe even fall in love.
Best for art book collectors: Peter Harrington
43 Dover Street Mayfair, London W1S 4NU
If you’re the kind of person who needs a first edition, and has money to spend, Peter Harrington has a rare selection of artists’ monographs and the occasional artists’ books. You can pick up a first edition, first print copy of Warhol’s 1968 novel—a hard to follow rambling transcription of 24 hours in his life—for a mere £275, which is the least expensive Warhol work available.