South east London’s cup runneth over with great independent bookshops, but which one’s for you? The Resident picks out the best…
1 Dulwich Books, West Dulwich
The multiple award-winning Dulwich Bookshop, most recently shortlisted for the British Book Awards 2017 Independent Bookshop of the Year, has passionate booksellers on hand to make recommendations for good reads. As well as championing local authors, the dedicated bookworms at Dulwich Books also host a number of literary events, from meet the authors to book festivals.
6 Croxted Road, Dulwich SE21 8SW; dulwichbooks.co.uk
2 Tales on Moon Lane, Herne Hill
This multi award-winning children’s bookshop makes us desperate to be young again. Celebrating its 14th anniversary this year, the bookshop has gone the distance, and with top-notch service, a cracking window display and a bright, fun display, is committed to inspiring a life-long love of reading. Visit its sister shop, Moon Lane Books, on Standstead Road in Forest Hill too.
25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill SE24 9JU; talesonmoonlane.co.uk
This great little bookshop, founded by local award-winning author Evie Wyld, is a great place to browse, with knowledgeable staff and an interesting selection of books that will have you leaving with more reads than you’d anticipated. Review, located on the rather lovely Bellenden Road – itself a day out – is also the driving force behind Peckham Literary Festival.
131 Bellenden Road, Peckham SE15 4QY; reviewbookshop.co.uk
4 Bookseller Crow, Crystal Palace
This well established independent bookshop is a great spot to pop into when wandering the Crystal Palace Triangle. Owned and run by Jonathan Main and Justine Crow, the bookshop has a great atmosphere and a huge range of titles, with plenty of modern fiction, American lit and crime, as well as a big children’s section, cookery titles, graphic novels and a healthy sprinkling of local history titles.
50 Westow Street, Crystal Palace SE19 3AF; booksellercrow.co.uk
5 Village Books, Dulwich Village
Another award-winning bookshop – south east London really is spoiled – Village Books is small but mighty, stocking plenty for adults and children alike. The staff will steer you through their carefully curated treasure trove of books towards writers they’re confident you love. They also stock cards, wrapping paper and book-related gifts, and they sell and redeem National Book Tokens.
1D Calton Avenue, Dulwich SE21 7DE; village-books.co.uk
6 The Bookshop on the Heath, Blackheath
The Bookshop on the Heath, founded in 1949 when Jameson Benbrook opened an antiquarian bookshop, stocks a wide range of books from everyday page-turners to collectable modern first editions. The shop also takes pride in its location, stocking postcards and greetings cards of old Blackheath & Greenwich, as well as some original art by local artist Tony Lord. You’ll also find original and high-quality reproduction maps and prints, plus a selection of original film posters.
74 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath SE3 0BW; bookshopontheheath.co.uk
Chener Books on Lordship Lane opened in 1978 and retains that pre-internet approach to book selling with a charming, unique character and a very intentional lack of cards, gifts and calendars. The also have a well-stocked children’s room at the back with around 8,000 titles. This is a great one for browsing, and a place where you’re encouraged to take your time.
14 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich SE22 8HN; facebook.com
8 Rye Books, East Dulwich
This dog-friendly independent bookshop, which opened in 2011, takes a modern approach to literature, hosting regular events such as book signings and Q&As with authors, and serving up a mean cup of coffee and a brownie. The staff here are friendly and forthcoming with insightful book recommendations, and the service is great.
47 North Cross Road, East Dulwich SE22 9ET; ryebooks.co.uk
9 Greenwich Book Time, Greenwich
This remainder bookshop is a great place to bag a bargain. The remaindered book (one that hasn’t sold well and so thus is shifted by the publisher at greatly reduced prices) might be the fear of the author, but it is the joy of the reader, who can pick up a handful of reads they might not otherwise have discovered. There are classics, plenty of maritime inspired reads and a timeless selection of children’s books from Peter Rabbit to Peppa Pig.
277 Greenwich High Road SE10 8NB; twitter.com/GreenwichBookT