Camden is known for being one of the best shopping experiences in London with its multiple street markets, high street shops, and pop-up retailers. Naturally, such a great place for shopping also extends to books. The Borough of Camden has some of the best small and independent bookshops that you’ll find in the city, and amongst the rows and rows of books in them, just about any bibliophile will find a tome that they’ll enjoy. We’ve identified five of the top book shops throughout Camden for you to consider and you can share your own favorites with us in the comments.
Black Gull Books can be found on the north side of Camden Market. While its interior may look disorganized, we can assure you that it is very much the opposite. Rows and rows of books (in some cases stacked on top of each other) contain new, secondhand, and rare volumes. As many books as you might think are here, there are even more if you know how to look. What’s more, whether it’s the last place you visit or the first, you’ll be in the middle of Camden Market where you can continue your shopping safari.
Not to be confused with the American retailer, Walden is a small bookshop found on Harmood Street that specializes in used and rare books, especially for literature and the performing arts. You could spend quite a lot of time perusing all the stacks of books in this shop. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you shouldn’t be disappointed, as Walden also sells a map of other bookshops throughout London that you can use to find that elusive text. They also buy used books if you have anything you wish to sell.
Owl Bookshop in Kentish Town is one of the best-regarded bookshops in Camden and for good reason. Its large space begets an equally large selection of books from all genres. Owl Bookshop is also known for having a large number of children’s and teen books, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion of ethnicities, disabilities, and social groups. If you need to buy something as a gift, you can find plenty of wrapping paper, gift bags, and cards to make your gift truly memorable.
One of the best-looking shop exteriors on this list, Primrose Hill Books is a bright blue storefront located not far from Primrose Hill and Regent’s parks, meaning you can visit before or after spending some quality time in that green space. You’ll find the interior is just as charming as the exterior and with quite a good number of volumes from all genres. In addition to new and old books, if you have a school-age child or teen with a summer reading list, Primrose Hill can help you find what they need to complete their assignments.
If you find yourself at Camden Lock Market, Mega City Comics isn’t too far away. Named for the primary location of the Judge Dredd stories, Mega City began as a mail-order service in 1981 before opening its store on Inverness Street in 1987. It’s unquestionably the best place to find new issues, back issues, and all manner of graphic novels. You can search through their current catalog online, preorder, or start a subscription, though nothing beats going inside and seeing what books they have for yourself. Additionally, they sell more than just Marvel, DC, and Image comics and you can find many a small, independent publisher’s work there.