Bookstore: Any Amount of Books
Location: 56 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0QA
Two weekends ago, a friend and I arrived at the doorstep of Any Amount of Books bookstore on Charing Cross Road. It was a fine autumn day, and I was more than happy to forsake the sunshine to acquaint myself with some new books that I could potential house.
As I came upon the shop, its store front was covered by book stands luring passerbys with its one-pound book or five for four pounds deals.
After browsing through old Spanish dictionaries and Beijing guidebooks, I decided it was time to hit up the real deal caged inside.
There were not more than a dozen or so bookshelves, each filled and spilled over the brim with books ranging from contemporary fiction to cookbooks, with philosophy, history by regions and time periods, and niched books in between.
It was while I looked through the WWI, WWII and general history section that I saw it: all books downstairs for one pound each.
All I had to do was hand my bag over the counter to ensure I wouldn’t thieve away some.
So I proceeded down the steps, and into a chaos of books lying every way but upright.
There were three rooms of half-full half-empty shelves. I could not find one book which I have heard of. That either speaks volumes about my extremely limited exposure to books and authors, or these were books on such concentrated, specialized subjects that I could never get around to actually read them.
Whatever the case, I took a quick peek and returned upstairs to more familiar stacks.
The store is small in comparison to some of the second-book shops I’ve visited back in Canada. Its collection is likewise not very expansive. But it had enough range that I ended up purchasing two new books, both of which were of the contemporary fiction kind.
Despite its size, it is worth a visit due to its adequately-stocked shelves and lack of a crowd of visitors. Plus, once you’ve acquired a book, there are a great assortment of cafes and restaurants around to sit down and dig in.
I ended up at a charming coffee shop called Timberyard (7 Upper St Martin’s Lane, London WC2H), where the tea is served with an elaborate set of pots, cups, timers, and water jugs, and where the door slams hard to make itself known.
So I give Any Amount of Books 3/5 overflowing shelves!