A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)It has been two months since I posted my last A Tour of London Bookshops post, when I visited Daunt Books, Marylebone. Oops! But have no fear because over the next two weeks I will be writing about three bookshops I visited in Hampstead and a little bit about literary monuments in the surrounding area. I’m not too familiar with Hampstead. I’ve of course heard of Hampstead Heath, but all I know is that I cannot possibly afford to live there on my own! Fortunately, I have a friend who lives there with flatmates and so I put it upon her to give me a tour of Hampstead bookshops. First up, we have West End Lane Books.

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
West End Lane Books is a much loved bookshop within the Hampstead community. As soon as you walk in, there’s a splash of colour from faceout books, including new releases and staff recommendations. It’s clearly effective as my friend found a birthday gift for her Dad here!

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
West End Lane’s bookshelves are beautifully similar to Daunt Books’. If I were lucky enough to have a personal library, I’d have white bookshelves, but in a large room, darker bookshelves look wonderful – and inviting!

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
Here’s the view of the bookshop as you walk through the door. As well as books, postcards, gift tags and greetings cards are also scattered around the shop. West End Lane rightly recognise that books are often purchased as gifts – especially in wealthy communities – as well as for personal enjoyment. Also take note of the brilliant Children’s Books banner in the children’s section, but more about that later!

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
And here’s the view from the back of the shop. West End Lane hosts several author events throughout the month, which you can find out more about on their website.

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
I particularly enjoyed browsing the travel island (I have made this term up, but I think it’s appropriate!). North America, as I’ve mentioned briefly on Pretty Books before, is at the top of my hypothetical travel list.

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
I also really liked these tiny bookshelves at the front of the shop, home to a selection of teeny books. I’m not going to lie, I also wanted to test out the DSLR’s ‘blurred background’ option. It was my first time using one and I don’t think I took advantage of it as much as I could have, but hopefully I’ve still given you a helpful overview of the shop!

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
At the back of the shop, they have a selection of what I like to call pretty books, like the Virago Modern Classics Designer Collection. It’s hidden away in a little nook among some non-fiction titles. They also had a selection of these Penguin Classics, which I was glad to see get some shelf space as they usually are not seen around as much as the clothbound classics.

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
I think it’s become tradition in my A Tour of London Bookshops posts to mention the children’s section and West End Lane Books has a particularly impressive one, with a very large selection of picture books to young adult. I had a chat with the booksellers before leaving (to explain why I was taking so many photos!) and they mentioned that the children’s section is a extremely important part of the bookstore for them, and it’s easy to see that.

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
On Mondays and Thursdays, the Children’s Buyer hosts story time sessions for young children. Check out these cute little stools! I wasn’t going to attempt to sit on them, but if I were six again I would have wanted to take them home with me…

London Bound: A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)
Say goodbye to Tedgar Allan Poe!

West End Lane has existed for nearly 20 years and it’s clearly very much a community bookshop where everything on display is specifically for people in the area. It highlights just how important the shop is for Hampstead residents, as they do not just come to purchase books for their own enjoyment, but is a source of gifts for friends and family, a place to bring their children to have fun, and a place to hear a little more from favourite authors.

Tube  West Hampstead | 277 West End Lane, West Hampstead, NW6 1QS
Follow at welbooks.co.uk@WELBooks

Go here to see more A Tour of London Bookshops posts.

7 thoughts on “A Tour of London Bookshops – West End Lane Books (Hampstead Part #1)

  1. I loved your previous post and am super jealous of your camera skills. I think it’s important that bookshops have good children sections because this is an ideal age to get people reading and then they’re guaranteed customers for years to come. I know I wouldn’t be the same if I had not liked reading when I was younger.

    Thanks for sharing with us! :)

  2. I like how they have displayed a lot of books facing out – I think it’s quite effective. I’m looking forward to the next post on Hampstead!

  3. Brilliant Children’s Books banner painted by local scenic artist and friend of West End Lane Books – Michael May. His work also features at chic West End Restaurant Brasserie Zedel as well as a on a myriad of TV shows. West Hampstead is lucky to have such a fantastic bookshop in its midst.

  4. This looks like a wonderful shop. The children’s area looks especially awesome and I’m glad that it’s quite big. That cat stall is charming, I’d want to steal it too.

  5. Those of us who live here absolutely LOVE West End Lane Books – which is in WEST Hampstead, not actually in Hampstead!!! We are fortunate in that West End Lane still has not only an independent bookshop but still has a Public Library!!

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