Interview

Books are my bag

Books Are My Bag is the biggest ever nationwide campaign to celebrate bookshops. In this feature we ask Vintage authors to share their favourite haunts. Does your favourite feature?

D J Taylor

My favourite bookshop is my local independent, The Book Hive in Norwich, for all the usual reasons - personal service, great efficiency at finding obscurities, excellent advice, good events, and a real sense of a literary community with the shop at its centre.

Irvine Welsh

Word Power is everything a book shop should be. It has a local bias, puts on interesting events, and is in a cool part of town. I like book shops who have an underlying educative/political mission - they are the small business compliment to the public sector library. Both are institutions that corporate consumer capitalism seeks to destroy. Therefore they should be given love.

Alison Weir

My favourite bookshop has to be Hatchard's in Piccadilly. The service is so personal, the ambience so special.

Deborah Moggach

I have THREE favourite bookshops: Daunts in Hampstead, London, which always has exactly the book one wants, and also the books one didn't realise one wanted. Jaffe and Kneale at Chipping Norton and Rossiter Books at Ross-on-Wye are two stupendously friendly and successful independent bookshops, loved by their community and which give hope to us all.

John Burnside

Three excellent booksellers from my top ten are in the UK. The first is Lutyens and Rubinstein, on Kensington Park Road; the second Topping and Company, currently of Bath and Ely, (with a branch in St Andrews soon to open) and, of course, I can't overlook the marvellous London Review of Books bookshop on Bury Place. I love these three for the simplest of reasons: when I walk in the door, I immediately sense a love of books and an enthusiasm - when called for, though never forced upon me - for good writing, past and present.

Lewis Dartnell

My favourite bookshop is Waterstones in Angel. It’s right by Islington Green which is a perfectly compact park for reading outside, and they have a great selection of books to entice the mind...!

Sara Wheeler

From my bedroom window I can see Daunts bookshop in South End Green. I look forward to going in whenever I have an excuse, and often when I don’t. When my children were smaller I parked then in the gorgeous kids’ book cave at the back of the shop, so I could browse at my leisure, and be certain that I was blocking their escape route. The staff always come to my rescue when I need a gift - ‘My eighty-five year-old father likes sport and gardening . . .’ Daunts is a haven for me when the words don’t come and I need a sympathetic refuge. I think of it as a mental health farm.

Marie Phillips

I will always love Daunt Books, where I used to work as a bookseller. They are the perfect bookshops: beautiful spaces, thoughtfully stocked, with friendly and knowledgeable staff. Marylebone High Street is the loveliest and most famous, but my heart belongs to the cosy Hampstead Heath branch where I spent most of my time.

Lauren Owen

My favourite local bookshop is probably the Waterstones in York. Sadly it's the only big bookshop left in the city (there are smaller indie and second hand shops, but nothing of comparable size), so there's a lot riding on its continued existence - I was so happy to see it's moved to a new location recently, I think the shop has really benefited, it's a very welcoming place, and perfect for a browse.

Xiaolu Guo

Broadway Bookshop in Hackney E8, by London fields, is a beautiful and warm hearted place!

Related articles