The Best Independent Bookshops in Leicester Square

Leicester Square | © Paul Hudson/Flickr
Leicester Square | © Paul Hudson/Flickr
Photo of James Gunn
4 October 2017

Leicester Square may be known popularly nowadays for the red carpet and the M&M store, but along a small strip of Charing Cross Road to its east are some of the most fiercely competitive independent bookshops out there. So bounteous are these establishments that it will be hard to believe how close they are to each other. But we’re not lying; see for yourself.

Henry Pordes Books Ltd

Bookstore, Shop
Map View
In what begins a seemingly never-ending list of spoils on Charing Cross Road, Henry Pordes Books sets the bar for what one should expect from one of these shops. A wide range of contemporary titles matched by a wealth of rare and antique books. The shop specializes in, among other topics, art, history, science and medicine.

Any Amount of Books

Bookstore
Map View
This could be the most extensive selection of second-hand titles in Central London, sat next door to Henry Pordes. Any Amount of Books stocks over 55,000 titles, which it also vends online. Books start at £1, and, for those with more discerning tastes rare, books are also on offer.

Pleasures Of Past Times

Bookstore, Shop
Map View
Cecil Court
Cecil Court | © VasenkaPhotography/Flickr
If you do one thing today, check out the website for Pleasures of Past Times. If that is not enough, and you want to see this shop in the flesh, go. Cecil Court, as you will soon see with the following suggestions, is something of a Mecca for independent bookselling. Pleasures of Past Times deals in all things Popular Culture in the last three centuries. It’s whacky, it’s zany and it’s worth a visit.

Marchpane

Bookstore
Map View
If the leafy window displays don’t tempt you in, Marchpane is a high-caliber antiquarian book dealer like many others on the list, yet it has a niche. It has become known as something of a specialist in children’s literature, being most popular for its illustrated books from the 18th century to the present day.