Libreria is not your average bookshop.
Back in the days before Amazon, we had these things called bookstores. They were pretty wonderful places filled with the best books humans had ever written, and you could easily spend hours wandering around one. If you’re too young to remember these mythical places, then you need to get yourself to one of London’s finest examples: Libreria, out in Spitalfields.
Libreria is that rare bookshop that isn’t trying to also be a cool coffee shop, vinyl store, or hipster hangout. Here, the only aim is to find you the perfect book, and it’s a job the place does rather well. With bright yellow shelves stretching as far as the eye can see, and books of all different subjects and genres, it’s a crime if you can’t find the book for you.
The inspiration for Libreria came from Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges, who once wrote that “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” Libreria rather took this to heart when setting the shop up, hence the on point decor. Quite aside from the colourful shelves, clever use of mirrors extend the space, and cute reading nooks provide a perfect place for you to hideaway with a novel.
There’s only one rule in Libreria: no phones. Their refreshingly alternative approach to bookselling continues with their organisation system. Gone are the traditional sections like crime, poetry, and fiction – in their place, Libreria have sections such as “enchantment for the disenchanted” and “mothers, madonnas, and whores”.
Libreria also runs a fantastic range of events and workshops (including the occasional all-nighter). Meanwhile, the basement hides their in-house risograph printer for anyone looking to get creative – that’s if you can tear yourself away from all the books though.
Libreria really might be the perfect place to stumble upon your new favourite book, but if you’re worried about the effects of all that book learning, remember that Netflix isn’t going anywhere…
Location: 65 Hanbury Street, E1 5JP. Nearest station is Shoreditch High Street. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 11am-6pm (Tuesday to Wednesday), 11am-9pm (Thursday to Saturday), 12-6pm (Sunday), closed on Monday.
More information: visit their website.
Featured image: @librerialondon
Take a look at some more spiffing spots: