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Five of the best quirky London bookshops

January 2012

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Resolved to read more this year? Ianthe Butt finds much to tempt in London's quirkiest independent bookstores
The Victoria & Albert Reading Rooms

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FOR THE FOODIE

Books for Cooks, W11
Take thousands of tasty cooking titles, mix in a kitchen-cum-café 
to test them in, sprinkle with a 
cosy sofa and the result is Books 
for Cooks in Notting Hill. Nibble on a three-course lunch menu from Tuesday to Saturday while thumbing through tomes to inspire your own culinary experimentation. booksforcooks.com

FOR THE COLLECTOR

Daniel Crouch Rare Books 
and Maps, SW1 Channelling a pared-down contemporary library, this shop in St James's is the place to find a beautiful collection of atlases, maps and rare books in a relaxed environment. It's the stuff cartographers' dreams are made of. crouchrarebooks.com

FOR THE TRAVELLER

Daunt Books, W1
Globetrotters can take a journey back to the Edwardian era at the Marylebone branch, with its beautiful panelled walls and wooden floors. Daunt has six branches dotted across London, which offer the best in authentic travel writing and guidebooks. Perfect for fuelling your wanderlust. dauntbooks.co.uk

FOR THE SOPHISTICATE

The Victoria & Albert Reading Rooms, SW7
Those who like to be a little 
different will love browsing the eclectic mix of titles covering everything from fine art to vintage at the V&A's off-site bookshop in South Kensington. Settle down 
with a book while nibbling quails' eggs and sipping Prosecco from 
the in-store wine bar. vandareadingrooms.co.uk

FOR THE BOOKWORM

The School of Life, WC1
Feel overwhelmed by the choice 
of books out there? Drop into this store, set up by philosopher Alain de Botton, and book in for a consultation with a bibliotherapist who will create you a personalised reading prescription for £70. It also runs interesting talks and classes to 'help you live wisely and well'. theschooloflife.com

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Posted by Ianthe Butt

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