Did you think that the Wandsworth area just amounted to Clapham Common and student nights? Think again. Indeed, the area has so many fine independent bookshops that it’s a must-see on any self-respecting book-lover’s literary tour of London.
Ash Rare Books
Specialising in antiquarian, rare and fine books, this bookshop is a true gem in South London. It was established in 1946, and carries a wide range of volumes on subjects from poetry to crime fiction. Stop off here to find one-off first editions, plus antique maps and prints for lovers of all things vintage.
Nestled in Clapham Old Town, Neil Pearson Rare Books is a bookshop dedicated to unusual, hard-to-find and first edition books. A specialist in 19th and 20th century literature, Neil Pearson founded the shop as place to house his extensive collections of rare books. Although the shop is by appointment only, it is well worth organising a visit if you’re a literature aficionado.
Located on the fringes on Clapham Common, practically on the park, Clapham Books offers a great hand-picked selection of fiction, children’s books and art books. It’s perfect for perusing after brunch and before a walk on the Common. If you’re in the area, Clapham Books also holds many literary events, including children’s storytime and book launches.
For fans of the literature and art of East, South East and Central Asia, Hanshan Tang Books is a must-visit destination in South London. It’s by appointment only, but the bookstore stocks a wide range of antiquarian, new and second-hand books. From Chinese art to Japanese sculpture, this should be the first stop for devotees of the field.
Small but wonderfully characterful, 30th Century Comics is an independent store dedicated to comic books and cult fiction. It specialises in vintage publications, including old, vintage American & British comics, annuals and books. With well over 100,000 items in stock, this should be the first port of call for all comic book lovers.