Archive Bookstore 83 Bell Street, Marylebone, NW1 (071 402 8212). antiquarian general; which also describes the owner.

Ash Rare Books 25 Royal Exchange, EC3 (071 626 2665). Primarily prints and bindings. Red braces welcome.

Atlantis 49a Museum Street, WC1 (071 405 2120). Extremely esoteric, and that's just the customers.

Ballantyne and Date 38 Museum Street, WC1 (071 242 4249). Known as the B&Q of art and industry.

Bayswater Books 27a Craven Terrace, Bayswater, W2 (071 402 7398). Small, keen on comics and romantic poetry. Almost a description of the owner.

Bell Book and Radmall 4 Cecil Court, WC2 (071 836 5888). Firsting for literature.

Bloomsbury Bookshop 12 Bury Place, WC1 (071 404 7433). More like an institute of advanced studies than a bookshop with special interests in chaos theory and practice.

Bookpedlar 148 Charing Cross Road, WC2 (071 836 3032). Academic, scholarly,and thorough. Downstairs but definitely not downtrodden.

Charing Cross Road Bookshop 56 Charing Cross Road, WC2 (071 836 3697). Helene Hanff's Nightmare.

J. Clarke-Hall Ltd 7 Bride Court, EC4 (071 353 4116). Johnsoniana and Johnsonian.

Collinge and Clarke 13 Leigh Street, WC1 (071 387 7105). History and private presses.

Dillons 82 Gower Street, WC1 (071 636 1577). Academically sound, if not financially.

Eurobooks 39 Woburn Place, WC1 (071 436 0027). Worst-named bookshop in Britain; fortunately the books are a great improvement.

Farringdon Road bookstalls

For gladiators only, but worth seeing just for the Saturday morning fights.

Fine Books Oriental 46 Great Russell Street, WC1 (071 636 6068). Just what it says.

Stephen Foster Books 95 Bell Street, NW1 (071 724 0876). Well worth a visit, despite being recommended by Len Deighton.

Gay's The Word 66 Marchmont Street, WC1 (071 278 7654). Where they take homosexuality extremely seriously.

Heywood Hill 10 Curzon Street, Mayfair, W1 (071 629 0647). Literature, children's and antiquarian. The waiting room for Coutts.

Paul Hilton 12 & 14 Cecil Court, WC2 (071 379 9825). Almost the only genuine antiquarian bookshop in Britain; deals mostly in post-1945 books.

Judd Street Books 102 Judd Street, WC1 (071 833 1900). The soft underbelly of the prickly ones above.

Maggs Bros. Ltd. 50 Berkeley Square, W1 (071 493 7160). The Rolls-Royce of antiquarian bookshops. Heavy men in heavy overcoats spending heavy money.

Marchmont Bookshop 39 Burton Street, WC1 (071 387 7989). General literature.

Marchpane 16 Cecil Court, WC2 (071 836 8661). For elderly children.

The Museum Bookshop Ltd 36 Great Russell Street, WC1 (071 580 4086). The name more describes the atmosphere than the archaeology books.

Pickering and Chatto 17 Pall Mall, SW1 (071 930 2515). Antiquarian economics and literature. Not a place to pick and chat.

Pleasures of Past Times 11 Cecil Court, WC2 (071 836 1142). It is not just the window which is entertaining, the entire stock is performance art.

Porcupine Book Cellar 5 Caledonian Road, N1 (071 837 4473). Left politics and history. A branch of the indoor revolution.

Pordes 58-60 Charing Cross Road, WC2 (071 836 9031). The Safe way of secondhand bookselling.

Quinto 48a Charing Cross Road, WC2 (071 379 7669). Over thought quinto was the size of a book. It's more like a stockyard than a bookshop.

Remington's 18 Cecil Court, WC2 (071 836 9771). Travel and exploration.

Roe and Moore 29 Museum Street, WC1 (071 636 4787). Primarily conceptual art. Completely conceptual atmosphere.

St. James's Art Books 15 Piccadilly Arcade, SW1 (071 495 6487). 20th-century art books and catalogues.

Skoob Books 15/17 Sicilian Avenue, WC1 (071 404 3063). Largely for the students, especially keen on the backward.

Sotheran's 2 Sackville Street, W1 (071 439 6151). Literature, architecture and sets. The Castle Howard of British bookshops.

Bernard Stone 36 Great Queen Street, WC1 (071 405 6058). Poetry and pose.

The Travellers Bookshop 25 Cecil Court, WC2 (071 836 9132). More Baedecker's than Baedecker. More countries than the UN.

Travis and Emery 17 Cecil Court, WC2 (071 240 2129). Enough music books to intimidate Wagner, but they could do it without the books.

Ulysses 31/40 Museum Street, WC1 (071 637 5862). Modern firsts, art and travel. Bloom and boom.

Unsworth Rice and Co 12 Bloomsbury Street, WC1 (071 436 9836). Academic and remainders.

Watkins 19-21 Cecil Court, WC2 (071 836 2182). The occultists' and esoterics' favourite.

Wildy's Lincoln's Inn Archway, Carey Street, WC2 (071 242 5778). Legal history and textbooks. A law unto themselves.

Zeno 6 Denmark Street, WC1 (071 836 2522). Not all Greek, but primarily so.


Bookmongers 439 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 (071 738 4225). More hard edge than hardback. Iron in the soul.

Books and Lyrics 6, The Apprentice Shop, Merton Abbey Mills, Wimbledon, SW19 (081 543 0625). Large general stock haphazardly unsorted. Shelfless devotion needed.

Books Bought and Sold 68 Walton Road, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 (081 224 3609). Children's and illustrated. The archetypal children's bookshop owner, known as Mein Fhrer.

Books Bought Bookshop 357 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW3 (071 352 9376). Round the bend at World's End.

The Bookshop Blackheath Ltd. 74 Tranquil Vale, SE3 (081-852-4786). As flat as the Common.

The Camberwell Bookshop 28 Camberwell Grove, SE5 (071-701-1839). More artistic and beautiful than the local butterflies.

Chelsea Rare Books 313 Kings Road, SW3 (071 351 0950). Artistically antiquarian.

The Constant Reader 627 Fulham Road, SW6 (071 731 0218). So called because it is so dark it takes forever to see the titles.

Paul Foster 46 Church Road, Barnes, SW13 (081 748 1858). Small, sedate and specially selected. The suburbley's special.

Elizabeth Gant, 52 High Street, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 (081-398-0962). Early children's and illustrated books.

Anthony Hall 30 Staines Road, Twickenham, TW2 (081 898 2638). Eastern European literature, western European prices.

Houben's 2 Church Court, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 (081 940 1055). Basement bargains and worth it for the smell.

Kirkdale Bookshop 272 Kirkdale, Sydenham, SE26 (081 778 4701). The books aren't great but you have to congratulate them for surviving in south London, where they think literature is something you drop in the street.

Marcet Books 4a Nelson Road, Greenwich, SE1O (081 853 5408). A bookfair sabbatical.

Maritime Books 23 Nelson Road, Greenwich (where else?), SE10 (081 853 1727). Everything maritime from a submarine warfare expert to a luxury liner.

My Back Pages 879 Balham Station Road, Balham, SW12 (081 769 4851). Primarily remainders and review copies. Dylanesquely rambling.

Old Town Books 30 Old Town, Clapham, SW4 (071 498 0998). The Clone Rangers' special. Byron (Robert) to Yeats (Francis)

Rogers Turner Books 22 Nelson Road, Greenwich, SE1O (081 853 5271). Science and technology with Teutonic thoroughness.

Ian Sheridan's Bookshop 34 Thames Street, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 (081 979 1704). Large and rambling, open Sundays and eves, only the coffee isn't camp.

South London Antique and Book Centre 11-17 Stockwell Street, Greenwich, SE10 (081 853 2151). An everlasting bookfair.

Spread Eagle 8 Nevada Street, Greenwich, SE10 (081 305 1666). The BBC's idea of what a secondhand bookshop should look like.

John Thornton's 455 Fulham Road, SW10 (071 352 8810). Catholic in all senses of the word. Covets the Vatican library.

Tlon Books 1929, The Apprentice Shop, Merton Abbey Mills, Wimbledon, SW19 (081

540 4371). Large general stock haphazardly shelved. Shelf satisfied.


The Aviation Bookshop 656 Holloway Road, N19 (071 272 3630). Primarily new but reserve secondhand.

Bookmark 67 High Street, Edgware, HA8 (081 905 6993). SF and football.

Boutle & King 23 Arlington Way, Islington, EC1 (071 278 4497). The Guardian's favourite bookshop. They buy all their review copies.

Browsers 9 Station Road, Epping, CM16 (0992 572 260). Owned by ex-bank manager. Brings new meaning to book keeping.

The Fantasy Centre 157 Holloway Road, N7 (071 607 9433). The leading SF bookshop in Britain. It is so normal it is suspicious.

Keith Fawkes 1-3 Flask Walk, Hampstead, NW3 (071 435 0614). The frottagers' and critics' paradise (often the same thing).

Fisher and Sperr booksellers 46 Highgate High Street, N6 (081 340 7244). Large reserve stocks, you are welcome to it but I don't think I am.

Gabriel's Bookshop 47 Walm Lane, Willesden Green, NW2 (081 451 2047). A paperback paradise.

Martin Gladman 235 Nether Street, Finchley, N3 (081 343 3023). Like all military history bookshops it is a very pacific place.

Just Westerns Camden Lock, no phone (a phone in a Western bookshop?). Cowboy paperback fiction.

Ripping Yarns 355 Archway Road, N6 (081-341-6111). Children's and illustrated. A William Brown special.

Robbie's Bookshop 118a Alexandra Park Road, Bound's Green, N10 (081-444-6957). Paperbacks and hardbacks.

The Sporting Bookshop 97 Wood Street, Walthamstow, E17 (081 521 9803). More for dogs than hunting, shooting and fishing.

The Two Jays Bookshop 14 Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, HA8 (081 952 1349). The best general bookshop in Britain.

Upper Street Bookshop 182 Upper Street, Islington, N1 (071 359 3785). The Guardian's least favourite bookshop. It is not within walking distance, it hasn't got a pub next door,and its owners do not fit the stereotype.

Walden Books 38 Harmood Street, Chalk Farm, NW1 (071-267-8146). Carefully considered clutter


Barnards 11 Windsor Street, Uxbridge, UB8 (0895 258054). Much recommended by the Samaritan who has moved in across the road.

W. Foster 183 High Road, Chiswick, W4 (081 995 2768). Good at producing more than offspring.

Gloucester Road Bookshop 123 Gloucester Road, SW7 (071 370 3503). The longest opening bookshop in London: from 9am until 9pm and all weekends. But it has to

be to fit in all the journos who puff their Graham Greene collection, like a lot of their stock, unsold after five years.

Hayes Bookshop 6 Glebe Aveune, Ickenham, UB10 (08956 37725). Prototype for the Ambridge bookshop.

The Osterley Bookshop 168a Thornbury Road, TW7 (071 821 6544). The last bookshop before Heathrow. The first back into civilisation.

The Oxfam Bookshop 1 The Green, Ealing, W5 (081-567-2152). So bad are things in the Western Desert that only Oxfam has the resources and determination needed to open a secondhand bookshop.

Portobello Road On Saturdays only there are several very upmarket bookstalls, primarily aimed at tourists. They can, however, produce bargains for serious browsers but remember: every pitcher tells a story. Near the junction with Westbourne Grove.

Bernard J. Shapero Ltd 80 Holland Park Avenue, W11 (071 493 0876). Plate books and Travel atmosphere of a Manhattan souk.

The Two Jays Bookshop, Edgware

The king and queen of all London bookshops, and of all the other less sceptered part of this isle, is the Two Jays in Edgware. Here they have more interesting books than a university library in a carrel that would make the British Library wilt. They have a knowledge that exceeds the wealth of the books. Other dealers are the main customers and they always complain bitterly when I praise this bookshop on the grounds that the owner puts up the prices every time I do so. I have been in most of Britain's second-hand bookshops and this is the one where I still encounter most book dealers. It puzzles me greatly why so few Londoners visit these Treasure Islands, where time and patience are more useful than money.

14 Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, HA8 (081 952 1349)


The Boutle & King bookshop does not buy review copies from the Guardian as reported on Monday.

(Photograph omitted)