The Best Independent Bookshops in Shoreditch & Brick Lane

Books | Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash
James Gunn

Shoreditch and Brick Lane have become synonymous with everything that is young, fast and exciting in London. But, if like some of us Culture Trippers, you like to take your hobbies at a slightly slower pace, here is a list of some of the best independent bookshops in the area you can browse at your leisure.

Brick Lane Bookshop

Either someone was very fortunate, or they were very smart when they chose the eponymous name, the Brick Lane Bookshop. The street has always been iconic in London, but it has shot to stratospheric heights of late. Brick Lane Bookshop is centre of literary activity as well as being a stellar bookshop, so drop in for one of the best book clubs in London, or for feedback on some of your own writing!

Libreria Bookshop

Closed on Mondays and not opening before 11am, ensure to plan your visit to Libreria Bookshop. But you definitely should visit. Libreria hopes to return book browsing from the ‘narrow algorithmic recommendations of Amazon’ and instead encourage creativity and innovation in a setting designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano.


The home to work of over 1,000 artists and publishers, Bookartbookshop is a haven for the emerging artist or writer. You can bring them your own works for sale or just go for a quick browse on your way from Old Street to Hoxton.

Artwords Bookshop

Walk into Artwords Bookshop and what you find is an incredibly simple but effective store presence. Established in 2001, Artwords is a hub for quality publishing in the contemporary visual arts and visual culture. And, as you would expect for a shop which stocks some of the best titles and magazines about design, the interior of the shop is also delightful.

Freedom Press

The term ‘anarchist bookshop’ is not used very often, but if you do hear it, it is likely that Freedom Press might feature in the next breath. Radical and anarchic has emanated from Freedom Press since its beginnings in Whitechapel in 1886. Though it is hidden away down an alleyway off Whitechapel Highstreet, head there to experience a bookshop that might well change your mind about the way you live your life. Not bad for a lunch break.

Paper and Cup

Cheap books, scrumptious treats and wonderful coffee are all contained in this wonderful not-for-profit social enterprise. This would go down as a winning combination in most people’s day and you only need go to Paper and Cup to get some for yourself. This is the stuff of dreams for most bookworm students.


Blackstone is a leading Islamic bookshop which helps equip the Whitechapel population with all they might need. As well as books, Blackstone also stocks Islamic clothes and delicious food.


Just a few doors down from Blackstone, Al-Furqan’s roots lie in Dubai. Established in 1990, Al-Furqan stocks a range of Islamic books, clothes and other goods including perfume.

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