The top of Charing Cross Road is still undergoing a lot of building work, largely due to the forthcoming new railway line, and I did feel a little sad to see the deserted Foyles bookshop building. This has been a regular haunt for me, since my student days; a reliable source of Russian fiction, a Polish Linguaphone course, and piles of travel guides. Even its antiquated payment method was a pleasant quirk. The store was founded in 1903 by brothers William and Gilbert Foyle, first opening on Charing Cross Road in 1906 and moving to this now empty shop in 1929.
Bye Byes can be a bit blue, but the old shop signs have been given a cheery manipulation and, better still, a short wander down the road takes you to the replacement Foyles, which opened in 2014. The welcoming new store is brightly laid out, bountifully stocked, and serving gorgeous cake in its 5th floor cafe.
Foyle’s 37,000 square feet of retail space holds 200,000 different titles spread over four miles of shelves – the striking equivalent of stacking books along one bank of the Thames from Battersea Power Station to the Tower of London!
I was a very happy bunny by the time I had devoured my slice of delicious carrot cake and acquired yet more books from this award winning independent bookstore.
Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 20 April 2016
Part of Fun Foto Challenge