I’ve lived in London now for a year and a half and haven’t visited nearly as many libraries and independent book stores as I should have. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent a lot of time in Waterstones, but they are everywhere and it’s not the same as having a good nose around an indie bookstore.
This summer – and autumn, because yay, no tourists – I’m committing to visiting way more indie bookstores in London. It’s got to be done. Who knows what they’ve got hidden away in there? Plus, and perhaps most importantly, supporting small local businesses needs to be more of a thing. In my life and the life of everyone who isn’t already buying all their fruit and veg at the market and their cool nik-naks on Etsy.
So far, I’ve been to one cool indie bookstore in London called The Atlantis Bookshop which specialises in magic, the occult and tarot. They’ve got some awesome stuff in there. Epically illustrated tarot cards, cauldrons and wands, and of course, loads and loads of books on the craft.
Allegedly, I have no idea how true this is but I assume it’s factually correct, The Atlantis Bookshop is the oldest occult bookshop in London and has been family run for nearly 100 years! That’s a pretty cool thing to be able to brag about. Not sure when this bookstore turns 100 but as soon as they do, we’ll probably be able to read about it on the website.
There’s loads of different takes on magic in this store. Some of the books are fiction, most of them are non-fiction and one of them, just one, is about Scientology. That one had me stumped, I mean, whut? Anyway, the perspectives on magic in both fiction and non-fiction, so there’s no one way to cast your first spell.
The Atlantis Bookshop is an absolutely tiny bookshop, but it does share the same region as The British Museum so here’s betting that the rent is astro-freaking-nomical. So it doesn’t take long to look at all the stuff, but it’s a really cool little store.
I really hope to visit a few more indie bookstores in the next few months and discover London’s hidden gems. I’ve already stumbled on some pretty good libraries but bookstores have the edge here – you get to adopt those books and take them home for good!
If you want to check out The Atlantis Bookshop, it’s on Museum Street in London and they also have a website and a newsletter. Turns out they do quite a few events with experts in the field and people with new magic-related books.
Thanks for reading!