I’ve been meaning to visit some of the big bookshops of London for a while now. A few months ago I went to Oxford and visited Blackwells – mum and I both came out well weighted down with books!
I’d heard a lot about Foyles recently since they’ve just moved to a new premises, next door to their old shop on Charing Cross Road. It’s dead easy to get to – Exit 4 from Tottenham Court Road tube, turn right and follow the hoardings of the Centrepoint building site round onto Charing Cross road itself, then you’ll walk past the old Foyles shop on the right before reaching the new one.
It’s really well laid out – they’ve crammed in as much as they can whilst still having nice display points, and the floors are alternating with stairs and lift shafts in the centre. So you come in at ground level at the front of the shop, then 1st floor is half a level up at the back of the shop, 2nd floor another half level up at the front and so on. This means you always feel like you have a view across the full width of the shop and despite the rows upon row of shelves, it has a open feel.
They also realise that it’s a nightmare if you’re looking for something in particular, so there’s lists of departments everywhere, plenty of staff on hand to help and they even have a shop search on the free WiFi network, which is supposed to guide you to a specific title. Unfortunately when I tried to use this, although the title was in stock, it didn’t know the location!
There’s also a cafe and art gallery on the top floor, with comfy seats, low tables and bench seating. Even at 6pm on a Saturday, it was full of people reading, note-making, and tapping away on ipads or laptops. It seems like a great communal space and will definitely be going in my little black book of hideaways in London.
So in the course of collecting the above, I visited pretty much the whole store, added to browsing the Fantasy/Sci Fi, Craft and Fashion sections.
From Foreign language study, I picked up the Chinese reader and Benny’s Fluent in 3 Months book. This is what I’m reading first and I don’t agree with everything he has to say, but there’s no doubt he’s enthusiastic about learning languages and has gathered some great resources.
The Circle is one from new fiction, it’s a dystopian genre book that seems to draw on 1984 themes, but we’ll see when I read it!
Flappers I spotted a few weeks ago – it’s from the history section and charts the lives of six ‘dangerous women’ who exemplified the 1920s.
Marc Levy’s ‘Sept Jours pour une éternité’ I’m hoping is another Guillaume Musso. I’ve read through the two recent Musso’s in quick succession so this could be another author to add to my list. I also think if my friend Emma who is currently obsessed with Supernatural could read French, she’d like this since it’s about God and Lucifer each sending an agent to earth with the aim of putting a final end to their feud. Lucas and Zofia have seven days to complete their mission…but of course neither God nor Lucifer remembered to ensure the angel and the demon would never meet…!
Finally, Superteams came from the Management section, I hope it will give me some inspiration in my new Team Leader role at work. It takes examples from some pretty high flying teams, but I think the principles should still apply and it’ll be a good read.