One of the best book-shops I have come across, and an antidote to the increasingly dominant hell of many Borders and Waterstones stores.
The stock caters for eclectic tastes, and is surprisingly broadly chosen for a relatively small shop. The real highlight though is the superb knowledge of the staff, their ability to suggest alternatives (or order in stock they don't have), and their positioning of the bookshop as a West End Lane 'destination'.
The late opening, well-planned and topical displays, generous discounting (without encouraging the 3 for 2 mentality of their bigger competitors), and hosting of events are all major plusses.
It's a foolproof way to pass a spare 20 minutes and stock up on thoughtful gifts. They've got a great selection and are helpful and friendly.
Really top-notch bookstore. I used to stop in all the time when I lived around the corner, and was just back in yesterday. It's not big, but not too tiny, and is independently owned and operated.
They carry all the latest fiction and non-fiction, and not just the best-sellers, either.
They do special topical displays. Yesterday was a rack of about 10 books about finance and the global economic crisis.
They have a large section of Jewish books, catering to the local demographic.
Their sale/discount section is one of the best I've seen. It's a couple of shelves near the back, and one right under the cash counter, but they're not the typical cheapo books you see in those sorts of bins. I picked up books like The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (amazon.co.uk/Lost-Search…) (marked from £25 down to £9), The Rolling Thunder Logbook (amazon.co.uk/Rolling-Thu…) (£14 down to £7), A Hedonist in the Cellar: Adventures in Wine (amazon.co.uk/Hedonist-Ce…) (£14 down to £7, I think), and more.
West End Lane Books is everything a book store should be. The only trouble is they were playing Bob Dylan when I arrived. I can not stand Bob Dylan.
This store had a nice artsy sort of selection of the type of books people read who live in the NW postcodes, meaning NW3,NW5, NW6. I think this is not a bad thing at all.
W.E Lane Books also had an impressive sale selection. I found the Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt reduced from 15.99 to 5.99.
You look around and see Penguin Titles mugs and 5 pounds of the Mighty Boosh Book (not sure if this is a desirable book to acquire or not, you decide). The staff also shows your their favourites, in a section.
A good shop but can the Dylan. Yikes!
How could anyone not love this wonderful independent bookshop located in the heart of West Hampstead in North West London. There's a great range of books on the shelves and the friendly, knowledgeable staff are happy to order in any titles they don't have in stock. I much prefer this independent book shop to the big chains.
Next time you want to buy a book, make sure you go to West End Lane Books (welbooks.co.uk) and support the local West Hampstead bookshop!
Few would have predicted that a local independent book store like West End Lane books could survive the double whammy blows of Waterstones and Amazon.In fact, WHB has not only prospered, it has flourished into the kind of cultural meeting place that is a book retailer's marketing dream.
This is due to a great deal of hard work by the owners who host all manner of evening readings and "meet the author" style events.There is also a notice board where select adverts can be placed by locals, which adds to the community feel.
The shop itself has a very wide-ranging selection and is particularly strong on new fiction.It is a pleasure to browse there-the interior is kept beautifully clean and polished and half the staff seem to be aspirant authors themselves.This can lead to loud and rather artily self -conscious debates across the shop floor, which can seem a bit precious sometimes.
No matter, it is all great atmosphere, and very mood -inducive.
One of the shops cleverest tricks is to have a constantly changing thematic and topical window display.They can move at the speed of lightning-Harry Potter on Halloween was replaced within only a few hours by sombre religious matter for All Souls Day.Now and then they will throw in a wittily irreverant addition such as, in this case, "Dead Man Walking". After 7-11 the window was full of books on terrorism and-surely no coincidence?-a guide book to London's best bus routes!
The shop stays open until an amazing 9 pm these days-and it is rarely less than half -empty.
A great local eccentric.
Oh I just love this bookshop, it has such an excellent collection of books that I always find myself in there when I need to get a gift for someone as they also have a good selection of cards and gift wrap. There's a little chair where you can sit and browse some books so I always leave buying more than I came in for! They also have a monthly book club which I've been meaning to join for a while. The staff are friendly and happy to recommend you something to read. Love it.
Great small bookstore! The staff knows their books and can tell you why you might like them. We mentioned a couple of mystery authors we enjoy and they came up with a some "If you like _____ you'll probably like _____" recommendations that we enjoyed a lot. Super selection of children's books, and a nice assortment for adults as well. Beats the BIG BOX stores for knowledgeable staff.
I love this bookstore. Such a gem. The only decent shop in West Hampstead as far as I am concerned. I have truly spent hours in there in the last few years. Reminds me of the bookstore in "I've got mail". Children section very good.
While comfortable, welcoming independent bookshops may be a London fixture, I've found few that add discounts and sales alongside these personal touches. The owner and all the staff are friendly, helpful and really know their stock.
I happened to be in the area and this shop caught my eye. It's fairly small, but well and interestingly stocked, with friendly and helpful staff.
Wonderful bookstore with a wide selection of many different books. Great place to wander into without a book title in mind, and see where your feet take you. Ask the friendly assistants for recommendations!
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