The cultured traveler has a
solemn duty to take advantage of
London’s spectacular bookstores.
For art books, Valerie Hoyt, vice
president and head librarian of
Christie’s auction house, suggests Duke Street in St. James,
near many fine galleries. “Thomas
Heneage has a wealth of knowledge, and is always eager to
show visitors interesting titles,”
Hoyt says. “sims Reed offers rare
illustrated books and is a great
source for older, more difficult-to-locate catalogues raisonnés
and monographs.” ( heneage.com;
simsreed.com; Duke Street)
For more literary works, wander over to Cecil Court, a short
pedestrian walkway that connects Charing Cross Road and St.
Martin’s Lane (near the venerable
Salisbury pub). The storefronts
are Victorian and the shops
are tiny and well-stocked. First
editions, rare editions—they’re
all here. Rumor has it that Cecil
Court was the inspiration for
Diagon Alley, from J. K. Rowling’s
Harry Potter books. It’s an ideal
place to while away an afternoon.
ARe VICToRIAn AnD
THe SHoPS ARe TIny
THey'Re ALL HeRe.
A PIn T And A s TRoLL
The Coal Hole, left, and Cecil Court,
right, offer excellent ways to get
acquainted with London life.