LITERARY STOPS: LONDON
Literary Stops is a series of stories abour our encounters with places, people, or things that halt our routines, and made us think about books and stories. Some of them are planned, some just presented themselves in front of us and give us a moment of escapade from reality. First stop? We go to London.
It is very difficult to avoid bookstores in London. There are days, back when I was doing my graduate school, that I tried to avoid a road just because I know that a bookstore stands there, and I know I’m not that strong-willed of a person to do that.
Books, literacy, and stories, has been engraved to the history and culture of the English people, that made London – for me – is literally the capital of literary and storytelling. My agenda for doing bookshop-walk was proven to be too ambitious, I couldn’t decide where to start.
The London Bookshop Map app, which I expected could come and rescue me, only gives more ideas to base my bookshop-walk route. I would still recommend the app though, if you have a specific bookshop you’d like to find, have a specific genre of bookstore you’d like to spend your afternoon in, or in an area and you’re in dire need of a bookshop; The London Bookshop Map put together lists of independent bookshops, 113 independent bookshops to be exact. Another part of the app is the ‘Twenty-three million, five hundred and eight-six thousand, four hundred and ninety stories’ (2013 – ongoing) by Dora Garcia. The amount is the possible number of stories, generated from Garcia’s All the Stories, that users can generate when they press a button in the app.
After several attempts of structuring my stops, I decided that I wouldn’t want to structure it. The beauty of bookshop walking in London, is the beauty of bumping into one when you least expected it, because books is not only a commodity to live, it’s a need that it always be part of life.So, I started just walking aimlessly and stopped to the bookshop I passed.
These are the story of those stops.