Welcome to my tour of Hampstead, Part 3! This is the last post about my little day trip to north-west London. I was taken to Keith Fawkes, a charming secondhand bookshop. I’ve also included photos of Hampstead itself, which is rather pretty.
I adore this! Yes, it is perhaps unnecessary because, indeed, one does expect to find books in bookshops, but it reminded me why I enjoy visiting secondhand bookshops. It’s quirky, cute and did not even deter my friend, who has a hatred of pink, from going inside.
Old Penguin Classics are an excellent way to draw people in, as we’ve seen with Skoob Books. These bookshelves are literally the first thing you see as you step through the door, which you can barely do as it’s tiny and cramped and cluttered, but I love it – it’s the exact opposite to most of the other bookshops I’ve visited on this tour so far.
Keith Fawkes has that old book smell as soon as you step inside, which is wonderful, even though if I had to pick, the ‘new book’ smell would be my choice. It’s a treasure trove of unexpected finds. I particularly enjoyed the London section, which was home to titles such as The Great Plagues of London and The London Encyclopaedia.
And here’s the children’s section! I also loved the sections dedicated to secondhand Folio Society editions, which are beautiful and Faber & Faber poetry (despite not being a huge fan of poetry!). As you can see, it’s a very small shop (an [ shape) but full to the brim with books. Just mind your step.
I was unexpectedly given a tour of some relevant literary places in Hampstead, First up, the beautiful Keats House, which isn’t too far from Daunt Books.
John Keats lived here from 1818 to 1820 and it inspired some of his poetry: ‘While living in the house, Keats fell in love with and became engaged to Fanny Brawne, who lived with her family in the adjacent house. Keats became increasingly ill with tuberculosis and was advised to move to a warmer climate. He left London in 1820 and died, unmarried, aged 25, in Italy the following year.’
And here is Keats Community Library, which I also want to come back to.
That is it for my tour of Hampstead/West Hampstead! But it’s not the end of A Tour of London Bookshops – I’m hoping to visit many more this year! As I also love coffee/cake shops, I’m also tempted to blog about ‘Places to Eat & Read in London’. Perhaps?