Once upon a time, London’s Charing Cross Road was a haven of specialist art bookshops. Famously there was Zwemmer’s, celebrated from the 1930s as one of the world’s leading art bookshops and a meeting-point for a fascinating cross-section of the art world. Zwemmer’s spawned several branches nearby before closing in the early years of the new millennium. And then there was Shipley, a much-loved fixture on Charing Cross Road for almost 30 years: the street’s tiniest, most chaotic bookshop, crammed floor to ceiling with desirable art books all intimidatingly out of reach. Its closure at the end of 2008 marked the end of an era as the online retailers swooped in.
But as we celebrate Independent Bookshop Week, there is news of an encouraging trend. Independent bookshops are surviving and thriving, reports The Guardian. What of the art bookshop, that more elusive of species?
We want to hear from you – our readers, authors and art-world aficionados. Which bookshops do you frequent to browse for art books? Where can you linger to turn an art book’s beautifully printed pages and enjoy its sensory appeal?
Nominate your favourite UK art bookshop this week by emailing email@example.com or Tweeting @LHArtBooks (#IBW2015) before Sunday 28th June. We’re keen to hear about art bookshops of all shapes and sizes, whether attached to a gallery or surviving on the high street, in obvious or unlikely locations. Tell us why you love them! All those who submit will be added to a prize draw to win a signed copy of Cate Haste’s acclaimed book Craigie Aitchison: A Life in Colour. Watch this blog for news of the top nominations next week.