Road bordering Covent Garden & Soho, London

For individual shop details, see p2ii The name Charing Cross Road gets bibliophiles’ pulses racing. Together with offshoot Cecil Court see left, it is London’s main centre of new, secondhand, specialist and antiquarian bookshops. Check out the commemorative plaque on the site of the defunct Marks & Co, whose address gave its name to the book and film 84 Charing Cross Road. Recently refurbished, the famous Foyles stocks everything from popular fiction to academic texts on its five floors. It now also houses London institution Ray’s Jazz – a music shop, with a cafe attached where you can dig the tunes – and renowned women’s bookshop Silver Moon. There’s also an art gallery on the premises. Even if you’re not buying for children, go and have a look at the live piranhas in the children’s department. Across the street is a massive branch of Borders with the chain’s usual allembracing selection of magazines, books and CDs. It has a cafe and comfy chairs for lounging in, too. A large branch of Blackwell’s bookshop is at No. 100. Of the second-hand bookshops on Charing Cross Road, many are appealingly ramshackle emporiums, where the pleasure comes from rooting out treasures from the packed, dusty shelves. Quinto at No. 48A and Henry Pordes at Nos. 58-60 are well reputed. For coffee-table art tomes and scholarly subjects, visit Shipley at No. 70. Its sister shop, Shipley Media, at No. 80 specializes in photography, film and fashion. Any Amount of Books great bookshop Kilsfl 56 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 020 7836 3697 Open io:3oam-9:3opm daily This bookshop sells second-hand books from around the world – in fact it is not unknown for the owners to take trips to far-flung places to find exciting titles. Some books can be found for as little as £1 right up to rare editions worth hundreds. Once inside you’ll be there for hours – the range of books is absolutely fascinating.

Road bordering Covent Garden & Soho, London Photo Gallery

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