Bookshop of the Month goes hip this November with the Brick Lane Bookshop. The only bookshop located directly on East London’s most famous street, the Brick Lane Bookshop has been trading for over thirty years, first as Tower Hamlets Arts Project, then Eastside Books, before finally settling on their current name.
The shop has a particularly large stock, with a wide, varied and, most importantly, good quality selection. Everything from East End cookery books to ‘cult Sci-fi’ can be found at the Brick Lane Bookshop, and along with up-to-date shelves the bookshop also hosts boxes filled with discounted books, so there is sure to be something to suit every need. The shop has a lively poetry section and actively participates in London’s poetry community by hosting readings, panel discussions and other events. Combine this with regular writing workshops and a book group, and the Brick Lane Bookshop has all the makings of a real literary hub. A strong sense of fun also seems to be in evidence: the shop is infamous for hosting the Alternative Booker Prize, with the tagline ‘We’re not bitter. Not at all’. As the publishers of the award-winning Margellos World Republic of Letters series, it’s always very heartening to find a bookshop with a special section for fiction in other languages, and this one allows the discerning reader (in their words) to ‘come for Camus, find Allende and discover Tuelle’.
The shop’s location close to Shoreditch High Street station, means that it is very easy to find, and that a trip can be combined with visits to other Brick Lane legends like the Beigel Shop (open-24 hours a day since 1855), and Rough Trade East, one of the last record stores left in East London. So, next time you find yourself in the area why not take a walk on the East Side?
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