A Tour of London Bookshops – Daunt Books, Marylebone

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone

Last month I visited London Review Bookshop, but what I didn’t tell you is that after leaving, my friend and I jumped on a bus and headed to another bookshop, this time Daunt Books, Marylebone. Daunt Books is a bookshop you absolutely must visit if you’re a book lover in London. As with most of the book shops on this tour, I only visited for the first time last year, but I’ve been encouraging other people to go ever since. I’m not sure what a proper bookshop feels like, but I’m pretty certain this is it.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, MaryleboneA Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
Daunt Books is an ‘original Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries and graceful skylights’ and it’s absolutely beautiful. As soon as you walk in, you notice that there’s something very special about this bookshop. I knew about it for quite a while before visiting – I’d seen a lot of photographs – and one feature it’s best known for is the balconies (which seem much higher when you’re on them!).

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone

I particularly enjoy how some of the bookshelves are covered in pretty patterns (especially this blue one!). It makes the bookshop feel very homely.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
And if you have a pretty bookshop, you have to fill it with pretty books! You can find designated bookshelves for hardback books, Everyman’s Library editions, Penguin Clothbound Classics, picture books, and more.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
Daunt Books is known as a ‘travel bookshop’ and so I immediately assumed it would just be filled with travel books. ‘How can travel books be so popular?’ I wondered. But Daunt Books has a wonderful – and large – selection of fiction, non-fiction and travel guides alike. It doesn’t feel like an extremely large bookshop and yet you’ll probably find the book you’re looking for. I feel obligated to mention the children’s/YA section of every bookshop I visited now and pictured above is the ‘children’s corner’. It also has a couple of bookshelves dedicated to teenage fiction. As you can see, it’s incredibly well-stocked. I always judge a bookshop and how necessary it deems children’s books to be.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
And here’s the ‘adult’ fiction section, which spans a large area of the bookshop. They had an excellent collection of matching Margaret Atwood books! I picked up two John Wyndham books here.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
Daunt Books would probably save a little more space by not having books face out, but I think it’s much more effective. It’s quite a nice feeling to walk past them in the little corridor because they’re not just alphabetised products, but curated displays. It’s the same for their table displays.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
And onto even more unique displays: at the back there’s dedicated bookshelves for each country. I had, again, seen pictures of this before visiting and assumed that these would house all of the travel guides, but if you look closely at France, you’ll see the Penguin Clothbound edition of Les Miserables. In each section, there’s a mixture of fiction and non-fiction set in, relevant to, or about its respective country. I think this is a fantastic way of organising books, and not only for travellers.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
And here’s one of my favourites: USA! I picked up In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, a non-fiction novel describing the 1959 murders of Herbert Clutter, a successful farmer from Holcomb, Kansas, his wife, and two of their four children.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
Obligatory photo of the staircase going downstairs to the basement, where more books are arranged by country.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
Take a seat downstairs and read a few pages of your new purchases!

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone
I noticed much too late that I didn’t manage to take a photo of the entire bookshop (I assume this is because it was full with people and I didn’t want to get in the way ), but you can get a glimpse of how the whole bookshop is arranged – with displays absolutely everywhere – in the above picture. I hope, regardless, that I’ve convinced you to take a trip to Daunt Books, Marylebone. Visiting bookshops is about more than just buying a book to read: it’s about the experience, and I left Daunt Books feeling very happy indeed, even though I’ve visited three times now, and I’m definitely going back.

Daunt Books also has shops in Chelsea, Holland Park, Cheapside, Hampstead and Belsize Park.

A Tour of London Bookshops: Daunt Books, Marylebone

Purchased: The Day of the Triffids & The Chrysalids by John Wyndham and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. They also included a cotton bag and bookmarks! Fabulous.

Tube  Baker Street, Regent’s Park | 83/84 Marylebone High St, W1U 4QW.
Follow at dauntbooks.co.uk@dauntbooks

Go here to see more A Tour of London Bookshops posts.

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24 thoughts on “A Tour of London Bookshops – Daunt Books, Marylebone

  1. Oooh this one is so pretty! Love it!

  2. Gosh, wish I could find these kind of bookstores here.

  3. Oh wow! That looks amazing and I’m so jealous that you got to go there! Book shops near me aren’t as exciting as that. :)

  4. Reading your book shop posts make me jealous now, at the start of 2013 I vowed to visit more of the independent book stores in London… But I have recently moved to another city now… And they just don’t seem to make them here like they do in London. I now have to live vicariously through your posts. Haha! Thanks for sharing your visit with us :-)

  5. I’ve been looking forward to you doing Daunt Books! So pretty.

  6. I’ll try to visit this one soon! I love this series, especially since I moved to London a month ago. I already visited the other two bookshops you recommended!

  7. I really have to go there sometime. The balconies make me think of old libraries, and I love the sound of designated areas for different types of books, in the way you’ve suggested. Lovely post!

  8. I love this idea! And I love seeing how bookstores are made up and the reading corners. I will go around my city and see if I can find some Indies here too.

    • I’m really enjoying the experience. It’s so easily for me to spout support of bookstores on Tumblr, but I only really begin to appreciate the need for them when I actually go and visit.

  9. I am loving your book tour posts! So great. You have awesome taste in books by the way. x

  10. I have never seen a bookstore like that in the United States. That is a beautiful store. I’ll be booking my trip in a moment…

  11. Oh wow, they don’t really do bookstores like that in Sweden, this is absolutely beautiful. I wish I could have a store like that.
    I love The Day of the Triffids btw, fantastic book! Have yet to read The Chrysalids though!

  12. […] has been two months since I posted my last A Tour of London Bookshops post, when I visited Daunt Books, Marylebone. Oops! But have no fear because over the next two weeks I will be writing about three bookshops I […]

  13. […] be talking too much about Daunt Books itself as I already wrote a post on the Queen that is Daunt Books, Marylebone, so it’ll be photo-heavy […]

  14. Great review, will check that out!
    Why don’t you pop down to the BIG Waterstone’s at Piccadilly and then visit Hatchard’s next door at the same time. Both supposed to be London legends and may interest non-Brits who read the blog. as they are right on the tourist trail near Fortnum’s. Personally I also recommend Foyle’s on Charing Cross Rd and my local Waterstone’s in Richmond

  15. girlwiththehankie

    I want to visit there SOMEDAY !!! :D

  16. I have been to Daunt Books and it is as beautiful as shown. It is a showcase for literature. Many books are organized by country. You need to be a knowledgeable and proficient patron of the arts before entering. Not pretentious. Lovely and sophisticated.

  17. […] to non-fiction reminded me a little of Daunt Books in London, where every space is made use of and there’s always something new for you to […]

  18. […] Source: A Tour of London Bookshops – Daunt Books, Marylebone […]

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