"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Travel Report: Black Gull Bookshop & Bindery – Camden Town, London.

Visit Black Gull Bookshop and bindery Camden Town London.

May 2019. I really enjoyed my recent afternoon in Camden Town, because the place seemed to be on a mission to reconnect me with a few of my lost loves. After a spell leafing through records, music magazines and pop culture memorabilia at Rock ‘n’ Roll Rescue, it was now over to Black Gull Bookshop & Bindery to remind me how much, once upon a time, I loved reading and being in cosy, traditional bookshops.

Black Gull Bookshop and bindery Camden Town London.

Black Gull Bookshop and Bindery, Camden Town.

May 2019. Black Gull Bookshop & Bindery is a no-nonsense type of place in many ways. You won’t find much in the way of airs and graces, at least not on the day of my visit where the lady behind the counter seemed very well practiced in the art of grimacing and one word answers. It was amusing to watch how a few excited customers tried to converse with her for a bit and got nothing back. “Just buy your book and **** off!” shrieked her thunderous expression.

Black Gull Bookshop Camden Town London.

Black Gull Bookshop and Bindery, Camden Town.

May 2019. But happily any customer service shortcomings are more than compensated by Black Gull Bookshop’s beautiful and often playful design. It’s a tiny little place where the limited shelves are jam packed, so you’ll often see wonky staircases of books piled up on tables, stools… even the floor.

Black Gull Bookshop and bindery Camden Town.

Black Gull Bookshop and Bindery, Camden Town.

May 2019. Elsewhere there are freaky, wall-mounted masks that look like they’ve been around the block and surely have an intriguing backstory. I was half thinking about asking Queen Miserable about them but then I thought better of it.

Antique clock Black Gull Bookshop and bindery Camden Town.

Black Gull Bookshop and Bindery, Camden Town.

May 2019. Gaze up at the ceiling and you’ll see Black Gull Bookshop’s large antique clock that looks like it was lifted from a Victorian train station. A sticky note plastered onto its face states that: “This clock refuses to accept the concept of British summertime”.

London Calling by Barry Miles Black Gull Bookshop & Bindery Camden Town London.

As much as I was enjoying my Black Gull experience, it also made me feel a little sad for my lost book collection. Especially when I got to the biographies section and the shelf with all my favourite bands and singer-songwriters. I used to devour these kind of titles, but there isn’t much time for that in the life of a full time blogger. One of these days I need to get myself out to a desert island and take a book with me.

Black Gull Bookshop and Bindery Camden Town London.

Black Gull Bookshop and Bindery, Camden Town.

You can find Black Gull Bookshop & Bindery at 70 Camden Lock Place in London’s Camden Town neighbourhood. They’re open seven days a week from 10:00-18:00. They don’t have a website!

For more on my home city, why not delve through my many travel reports from across London.

Or maybe search further afield with my articles from all around England.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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  • carllbatnag

    Wow. What an amazing place. I always love bookshops. They have a special place in my heart, especially the ones selling used books. Who knows what treasure you’ll find. 🙂

    June 20, 2019 - 2:23 pm Reply
    • leightonliterature

      Glad you share this love for old bookshops! A few more cool bookshop posts coming over the next month.

      June 20, 2019 - 3:36 pm Reply
  • David A Lockwood

    Old world books shops with items purchased and rapped in brown paper & string. But like customer service, gone forever in seems in UK now.
    After 30 odd years away and getting served tea or coffee or even just the proprietors attention on arrival, is sadly missed: returning here even a good morning/afternoon seems to shock people in London.
    I have obvioudly been away and missed the decline in common courtesy.
    An interesting and as you can see, thought provoking post ?

    June 20, 2019 - 3:03 pm Reply
    • leightonliterature

      Hi David, I feel your despondency in something ‘lost’ from our culture and values. It does still exist though I assure you, sometimes it just takes some finding! Have a look at my article on Richard’s Kitchen as an example: Anyhoo, thanks for reading and I look forward to checking out your own blog.

      June 20, 2019 - 3:35 pm Reply
  • Bushara Bostan

    Nice article. Camden Town is probably my favourite part of London, the eclectic mix of markets and peculiar shops….you can easily spend hours just wandering through the many weird and wonderful places there.

    June 21, 2019 - 11:07 pm Reply

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