Inspiring Older Readers
Judd Books : Bloomsbury, London
I don’t get to London too often these days but when I used to visit more often I would always make a point of finding time to get to Judd Books in Marchmont Street, Bloomsbury. Finding myself in London a few days ago and with time on my hands before a meeting at the British Library there was only one place I was heading for.
I was delighted to discover it hadn’t changed much at all since I was last there. On the shop pavement apron there are tables with some very cheap stuff in boxes – not especially desirable but it does its job because it stops people and they start browsing.
The shop dates back to the early 1990s and has a ground floor and basement – and it’s absolutely packed. The shop is sometimes described as an ‘academic’ bookshop but that sounds way too stuck-up because it doesn’t have a stuffy feel at all. Because space is limited and it is piled high with books it doesn’t need to have too many customers before the place feels like its heaving.
The real specialism of the shop is remaindered non-fiction – although there is classic and literary fiction to be found here too. They have an amazing section of literary criticism and a whole section given over to books about books. Heaven in my eyes. The prices are great – especially if you’re familiar with the pricing of academic or books targeted at libraries.
If you’re a lover of art and photography books this is the place to make for. I’m always limited with what I can buy because carrying these big, heavy books is a bit of a nightmare but if I lived within striking distance of this shop and didn’t have to worry about lumping bags around the streets of London, I’d end up spending serious money.
Next time you are anywhere near the British Library or maybe heading for Euston station, take a five minute detour and check out Judd Books – you might find yourself deciding that you’ll switch to a later train.