Time for a (long overdue) trip to the hipster’s paradise, Brick Lane, and this lovely little bookshop that lies just around the corner. I love it here: it’s homely, it’s friendly and it’s the perfect place if you just want to do some browsing.
In fact, browsing is at the heart of what Libreria is all about. Set up by the dreamer, ex-policymaker and booklover Rohan Silva- and his partner, Sam Alderton, who formed the company Second Home with him- the bookshop is all about getting back to basics, ditching technology in favour of a good old-fashioned browse (the Guardian called it a place where literature and lattes don’t mix).
Here, encouraging creativity is the name of the game, and the space is designed to make you think, from the gorgeous design of the bookstore itself to way in which the books themselves are curated, grouped loosely by themes that include ‘The City’, ‘Enchantment for the Disenchanted’, and even the slightly fruity ‘Mothers, Madonnas and Whores’. No place for getting what you want, this: it’s a place to pause, to browse and to make unexpected connections between themes, books and more. The bookshop itself has been designed to spotlight the works of independent publishers as well as established authors, so you could walk in and ask for Harry Potter alongside the latest works of experimental fiction, which is fantastic in a uniquely quirky way.
Another thing Libreria has going for it, apart from the fact it has books (of course)? It’s an absolutely gorgeous little shop: a friendly, welcoming, free-thinking oasis in the hustle and bustle of London. In the world of publishing, smaller really is better.
Find it at 65 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5JP