Saturday, 21 January 2017

Bookshop Bucket List

If you followed my Bout of Books updates earlier on in January then you'll know that I returned to one of my favourite bookish books: The Bookshop Book. I was looking to get lost in a book, in a story even, and cosy down after a long day; nothing was grabbing me until I decided to delve into many stories, the stories of hundreds of bookshops from around the world.

Author of The Bookshop Book, Jen Campbell, literally covers the world in this book with some very remote and unique booksellers all over, however it is the Europe and North America sections that interest me most. I love reading all the stories, especially those who have fought to keep selling books as they have such powerful messages, as do books themselves, however it is the Europe and North America sections that I connect with most as they include some of the bookshops I was already aware of and would love to visit someday.

Here in the UK, there are a good number of independent bookshops, however personally I've never visited any. I now live in a location where my nearest bookshop is a high street store, Waterstones, and takes over 30 minutes to get to on a bus, however I kick myself when I think about having lived in London for 21 years and never stepping foot in a single independent bookshop.

Today I wanted to share with you a few bookshops, that are featured in The Bookshop Book, and that I'd like to visit myself some time. I've put serious thought into this list, and I've compiled a list of places that are feasible and tangible destinations.

At the top of my bookshop bucket list is actually a bookshop town - Hay-on-Wye. Not only is this little town at the top of my list because there is an abundance of bookshops, but because Hay-on-Wye is the National Bookshop Town of Wales (and in case you didn't know, I now live in Wales). The town itself is a small market village, and along with the books being a draw, there appears to be some lovely landscape and walking routes within the town. Given that we're less than 50 miles away from Hay-on-Wye, and that it seems quite easily accessible without a car (neither me nor my partner drive), I think we'll be sure to take a little break here in the future.

Edinburgh is a city I've wanted to visit for a good while now, and it is definitely on our travel bucket list as a family. Something I'm sure we'll do when we visit is wile away some time in the many bookshops dotted in and around the city, especially seen as collectively we are a book loving family. Featured in The Bookshop Book is The Edinburgh Bookshop, however there are many other bookish gems to be found also.

In the world of books and bookshops, Foyles is an iconic independent bookstore with an extensive but interesting backstory. Starting out as the one shop on Charing Cross Road, London, Foyles now has seven shops across the UK and is known as being a progressive company within the book industry. If, and when, I get round to visiting a Foyles store it'll likely be in London or Birmingham.

I feel like Shakespeare and Company is a bookstore that needs no introduction really. The independent bookstore, based in Paris, is renowned within the bookish community and I'm sure on the bookshop bucket list of many fellow bookworms. Paris is also high on our travel bucket list, and so I think this a feasible addition to my list. As well as Shakespeare and Company, Paris is known for a great number of bookstores and a thriving literary community - I imagine it would be an amazing atmosphere to be enveloped in.

POWELL'S, Portland
Across the pond from me, over in the US, is Powell's - an independent bookstore predominantly based in Portland, Oregon. There are a number of large cities across the US that I'm keen to visit in my lifetime, and Portland is high up there (not just because of Powell's). Regarding Powell's, the famous flagship store, Powell's City of Books, is the store I have my heart set on visiting.

I'd love to know what books would feature on your own bookshop bucket list, as well as any independent bookshops you think others should know about.



  1. Great list! I've been to two bookshops in Edinburgh when I went there a few years ago, but of course now I can't remember their names!

    1. Haha - well I hope you enjoyed them, and made a cheeky purchase or two whilst there!

  2. I hope you get a chance to go to all these! There aren’t many bookshops near me. I either have to drive a long way or order books online. I’d love to go to Shakespeare and Company someday. Actually, I’d just love to go to France someday. The bookstore would just be a bonus.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Ah, what a shame there aren't any bookshops close by! I'm with you on France - high on my general travel bucket list also.

  3. Hay-on-Wyle sounds awesome, and I'd love to explore Edinburgh and find all the good bookstores. :) And of course Shakespeare & Co. - I'd be one of those people that misses half of PAris lol because I'd be stuck in all the bookstores!

    1. There are so many great bookshops world wide to see and explore! Haha - I like your comments regarding being stuck in the bookstores!

  4. This is a fun idea for a post. I've been to Foyle's in London, but somehow missed visiting Shakespeare & Co., even though I've been to Paris twice. I got a chance to visit the Strand in New York City a couple years ago, and that was awesome! Hay-on-Wye is probably number one on my bookshop bucket list, but it's a little bit farther away for me to get there. :) Hopefully I'll make it someday!

    1. It sounds like you've visited some great bookshops, Julie!

  5. How fun! I always love to visit book stores when I travel :)


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