In 2003 the team behind the much esteemed literary publication, The London Review of Books, decided to open a bookshop.
They found the perfect location just around the corner from their Bloomsbury offices and a great deal of thought was put into getting the new shop to look and feel just right. The final, simple, open-plan style of the shop is the work of the late Peter Campbell who designed many of the covers for the London Review over the years, and the high shelves, large hanging ceiling lights and plain wood floors still look good today despite the wear and tear of many years of success.
David Lea has been one of the team of managers here since it opened and is acutely aware of the importance of atmosphere:
‘The key thing is making the physical shop a nice place to visit,
making it a different experience from shopping on the internet…
Here there are informed people to talk to and good books to look at and handle’
Manager Natalia De La Ossa and David work with four other full time booksellers to provide an excellent service with plenty of advice when required and a well chosen stock of fiction, history, biography, politics, travel and probably one of the best poetry sections in the country. The London Review of Books is one of the world’s leading literary publications, so it is no surprise that this shop is very aware of the latest releases and always has fascinating displays and recommendations. There is a great deal to keep the visitor entertained on the ground floor of the store, but it is worth remembering that they also have a large and well stocked basement which is sometimes missed by the uninitiated.
The bookshop hosts about two literary events every week including books signings, poetry readings and frequent book launches. The shop also has a wonderful café which is always busy and serves delicious food and an extensive choice of teas and coffee. The café is a favourite meeting place for London-based publishers and authors, and many books have been commissioned over lunch in these elegant surroundings. It’s a welcoming place to relax and peruse your bookshop purchases.