P L A C E || Foyles
Gone are the days where bookshops are dark, dusty and cramped. With most readers using the Internet to browse, read recommendations and find the best prices, the classic bookshop now has to work that little bit harder. It's a shame really as alongside many others, I love the smell of new books and physically being able to browse through the shelves. But our lives are fast evolving, we crave convenience - our shopping to arrive when we want, how we want and at the price we've decided it's worth. Less is more and time is money are commonly lived by values. So how on earth will bookshops survive when they are essentially based on encouraging us to love books, maybe start our own little library at home or just wile away the afternoon lost in stories, facts and fantasies? Foyles has found a way to lure the avid reader back into the physical world.
Foyles has recently moved premises - to the building next door to its original home in Charing Cross. Why move a perfectly working bookshop? Because the team clearly had a vision to get more than just the hardcore-bookshop-worms back into their store. A new lease of life where the bookshop experience is sensory, enjoyable and relaxing rather than overwhelming. As soon as you enter the new building, you are met by an open, airy space - a lovely atrium flooded with light. It doesn't feel cramped or intimidating. You are met by friendly faces, knowledgeable staff that genuinely seem to like reading and the bookshop feels like your oyster, ready to be explored.
The collection on offer is vast - not only in terms of subject matter but also style and audience. You could get lost in the place, in a good way. I headed for floor three to browse the marketing books and even here every nook and available seating space was taken up by hungry learners. Asad met me here and after a quick browse [and locating my desired book] we decided to head up to the café. On floor five, the space suddenly opens up into a sort of art gallery slash coffee hangout space. Beautiful lights, carefully selected furniture and a cake selection to go ape over. I went for a coronation chicken sandwich [it was pretty fancy, served in a focaccia, and delicious] and a flat white which had the creamiest crema - a bad boy combo which hit the spot just right. Asad disappeared for a little while and came back with a pack of the prettiest cards and we just chilled. My kind of bookshop, a gem waiting for your [and my] next visit.
until next time, have a great week.