6 Must-visit Indie Bookshops in East London
It will come as no surprise that I love a good indie bookshop. I lived in East London for my first 5 years in London, and managed to spot plenty of gems in that time. Working in publishing I know how incredibly important it is to support your local indie bookshop, as they provide such an amazing service to the neighbourhood and you can always pop in for a browse and some excellent book buying advice. And with that thought in mind, I thought I’d share some of my favourites in East London with you. Want to go see them all yourself? It can totally be done in one day (just watch the video at the end of this post to see my adventure) and would be a great intro to East London or just a lovely walk on a sunny day.
Pages of Hackney (Lower Clapton)
Probably the smallest, but also my favourite of the bunch. It was pretty close to my first ever flat in London, so I used to visit it whenever I could. I love the blue exterior and they always have an incredible selection, with a big recommendation shelf from the staff. I also love that part of Hackney, so when you’re in the area drop by Lele’s or The Black Cat for a break and a vegan lunch.
Broadway Bookshop (Broadway Market)
This lovely market street, with a great market on Saturdays, has an excellent bookshop. It can get a bit crowded on the narrow staircase, but it has a fantastic atmosphere and you can’t lose with a market + bookshop combo. They’ve got a good selection of classics, wrapping paper and postcards too. Pop by the Pavilion bakery a few doors down for the most beautiful sourdough loaves.
Burley Fisher Books (Kingsland Road)
I’m not super familiar with this area, but there’s a great canal walk between Broadway market and the Burley Fisher Bookshop. This shop focusses on small press books, which I didn’t even realise until I looked it up! I love how bright and open this shop is. Their selection is incredible, the people working there are super helpful and they now have a little cafe too.
Brick Lane Bookshop (Brick Lane)
This used to be my local bookshop when I was living in Aldgate and it was also where I ordered books into. Don’t forget that if you have a local Indie bookshop that doesn’t stock the book your looking for, you can almost always ask them to order it into the shop for you! It can get a little bit crowded, especially when the market is on, but they always have good display tables, a section on East London and plenty of beautiful bookish totes and mugs.
This shop is a yellow dream just off Brick Lane. I always get confused when i walk in because of the massive mirror in the back of the shop. They’ve displayed their books beautifully and you're able to browse the books by very specific collections rather than just fiction or non-fiction. There’s also an adorable nook with all the children’s books and graphic novels. Definitely don’t miss this one!
Last one! It’s a 5 minute walk from Libreria and the Brick Lane Bookshop and it’s a French and English language bookshops and event space. It almost feels a bit like a museum, but in the best way possible. It’s bright and even though I can’t read half of the books in the shop, it’s really fun to browse.
Want to see the full tour? Here’s the video I did with my friend Lucy, where we visited all of these shops (minus Caravanserail, as it either wasn’t their yet or we hadn’t found it at that point) in one day.
P.s. All You Read Is Love, the first shop in the video, sadly shut down earlier this year. Don’t forget to support your local indies, to make sure they can survive.
Any I missed or request for other bookshops tours in different areas? Leave ‘em below!