Celebrate World Book Day with a visit to some of the hidden literary gems of St James’s.

 

Tucked away among the elegant shops, restaurants and art galleries of the area, find some of Britain’s finest books.

So why not treat yourself to a quiet moment at one of these high quality libraries and booksellers?

 

The London Library

Haunt of a string of famous writers, The London Library in St James’s Square houses more than a million books and periodicals.

Works include books by the famous names who once frequented its beautiful rooms.

These include world famous thriller writer Agatha Christie and Bloomsbury Group founder member Virginia Woolf.

The writings of poet Edith Sitwell and Harriet Martineau, dubbed the first female sociologist, also feature on the library’s shelves.

The London Library, St James’s Square

Hatchards

St James’s oldest bookshop, Hatchards started as a bookseller’s street trolley and has been on its current site since 1797.

It is perhaps best known for being the Queen’s bookshop of choice.

Hatchards set up the library at Sandringham and now bears three Royal Warrants, from the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.

The store at 187 Piccadilly has run book signing events with famous names such as Mary Berry, the food writer and presenter.

Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and historian A.N. Wilson, who has written about Queen Victoria, have also visited the store.

Hatchards, 187 Piccadilly

Maison Assouline

Enjoy Maison Assouline’s latest releases and rare first editions whilst enjoying a cup of tea or a cocktail on World Book Day.

The store at 196A Piccadilly provides the perfect refuge for a bit of quiet reading.

It is filled with Assouline Interiors furniture, limited-edition gift items, and antique collectables.

Founded by Martine and Prosper Assouline, it offers style, culture and art de vivre.

Maison Assouline, 196A Piccadilly

Daniel Crouch Rare Books

Fantasy lovers should head over to Daniel Crouch Rare Books at 4 Ebury Street.

Here you can find books with illustrations of sea monsters and hilltop forts.

Discover an array of antique atlases, maps and sea charts.

Learn about historic voyages from the 15th to 19th centuries.

Daniel has been selling and collecting books since he was 16 years old and has handpicked this quirky and fascinating collection.

Daniel Crouch Rare Books, 4 Ebury Street

The Institute of Contemporary Arts’ Bookshop

Visitors are welcome to enjoy the day at the The Institute of Contemporary Arts Bookshop on The Mall.

Located by the gallery entrance, the store stocks an ever-changing range of books and magazines, focussing on independent publishers.

The bookshop echoes the Institute’s radical art and culture which is showcased through its vibrant programme of exhibitions, films, events, talks and debates.

The ICA was founded by a collective of artists, poets and their supporters, and has a history of over 70 years.

The Institute of Contemporary Arts Bookshop, The Mall