The uncertain, unprecedented climes of COVID-19 has transformed almost every aspect of our lives in just a matter of weeks. The publishing industry has not escaped unscathed: lockdown and social distancing have disrupted the distribution of books at indie presses, forcing many to close or rise to the challenge. Bookshops are creating innovative ways to get books into the hands and minds of its population, from offering home deliveries, online readings and ‘virtual shelf browsing’.
We’ve rounded up a list of London-based indie booksellers offering home delivery, so you can keep entertained during lock-down. Please post other good, local independents in the 'comments' section. Don't forget our list of architectural books' specialists as well.
As this North-London based indie proudly declares: ‘we have a shop full of books, a whole pile of Jiffy bags and this miraculous thing called a post box right outside! So as long as Royal Mail is running and the book you want fits in the post box we can post you anything we have as long as it’s already in the shop.’
Winner of the Regional Winner London Independent Bookshop 2020 award, BrOOKs are offering home delivery for single-purchase orders.
Not only is the Allgood bookshop delivering locally, it is also posting ‘virtual shelf browsing’ videos online. Perfect for those missing their bookshop visits and enjoying the books firsthand.
Based in East London, Brick Lane Bookshop has closed its doors and moved its trading online. They’re also offering free delivery to residents of Tower Hamlets (until May 1st) and can post titles out to anywhere in the UK. Brick Lane Bookshop’s virtual shelves are bursting with the latest releases and bestsellers along with children’s books, philosophy, and art history books.
South-London based Clapham books are processing orders placed through twitter, email or over the phone and shipping them out directly from their supplier. Their hand-picked selection encompasses fiction, children's & art books.
Sister-shop of Clapham Books, Herne Hill Books has also moved its trading online, and are fulfilling orders placed through twitter and email.
Based in East Dulwich, Rye Books are fulfilling orders sent to them via email, ensuring the residents of South-East London can get their fiction fix.
Over in West London, Kensington Bookshop staff are now working from home providing advice and reading suggesting by phone and email.
Hewson Books is made up of two independent bookshops: Kew Bookshop and Sheen Bookshop. Prior to the pandemic both shops hosted poetry readings and book signings and although those are now cancelled the easy-to-navigate website will bring the magic of the bookstore to you. The books are helpfully grouped into collections, so you can explore and search new titles. Hewson Books stock a wide variety of sub-genres within fiction and non-fiction, along with puzzles and activity books.