Tuesday 11 December 2012

Shopping locally for books this Christmas

Ethical Consumer suggests alternative shopping options to Amazon for those wishing to challenge their tax "efficiency":
"The Guardian ran a series of articles on Amazon’s approach to tax in April this year. Evidence showed that the company which sold one in four books in the UK, and generated £7.5bn from sales here in the last three years, did so without attracting any corporation tax on the profits from those sales."
 Here are my suggestions for bikeable bookshops for readers in the area:

Kennington Book Shop at 306 Kennington Road, SE11 4LD, has a good stock (new and second-hand) and can get books in at short notice. The cycle parking on this TfL managed section of Kennington Road remains very poor (see my post from 2010) to the detriment of the retailers and our local economy. If I was a retailer there or a local Councillor I'd be screaming at TfL to sort it out.

A truly fabulous second-hand bookshop I stumbled across last week that has cycle parking bang next door to it is Bookmongers at 439 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LN.

To support a charity, sling a few books in a pannier and take them to the Oxfam Bookshop (opposite a remainder bookshop) in Victoria at the end of Horseferry Road (34 Strutton Ground, SW1P 2HR) then fill your pannier with books you've bought. Unsurprisingly, for this is Westminster, convenient cycle parking is lacking here but there are railings on the other side of the roundabout.

The National Theatre has a performing arts bookshop and there's a branch of Foyles on the river side of the Royal Festival Hall; and the second-hand book tables under Waterloo Bridge. Then there's The Book Warehouse remainder bookshop at the corner of Baylis Road and Waterloo Road (with good cycle parking, thanks in part to Lambeth Cyclists pushing for it). Railway, Aviation and Military enthusiasts may find what they're after nearby at Ian Allan in Lower Marsh.

We mustn't omit the 56a radical social centre and bookshop / exchange in Crampton Street (no. 56a) with good cycle parking and a DIY cycle repair centre to boot, or the Calder Bookshop and Theatre at 51 The Cut.

Then of course there's the Charing Cross Road and Cecil Court bookshop; Waterstones at Trafalgar Square  and on and on.

As a planet friendly alternative or addition to giving a book, why not give membership of Lambeth Libraries? It's free and provides the recipient with access to more books than they could ever read! Nearest is the Durning Library at Kennington Cross with cycle parking opposite (though it's also worth hopping on the bike to check out Lambeth's brand new Clapham Library, and maybe also have a swim at the shiny new Clapham Leisure Centre.). Don't forget Southwark's Newington Library on the Walworth Road too.

Where should I have included but haven't?