February 24, 2015 Eddie Shanahan


Foyles Bookshop London


High above the bustling crowds on London’s Charing Cross Road a giant flag summons one’s curiosity towards the institution that is Foyles .

Institution though it may be, it is certainly not institutionalised in its approach to engagement and delight. Foyles is more than a bookstore, it is retail entertainment par excellence, making magic in the marketplace !

Inside six floors draw you up and around like some gentle merry- go- round for the senses.

”…somewhere you want to tell your best friend about – an intriguing landscape built of paper…”

Here you encounter experiences from your past life and the many the possibilities of your future life – books of fables & fairytales, best sellers and business advice, fashion tomes and all forms of fiction, writing on medicine and music, guides to gardening and travel, introductions into the world of art and aerodynamics. There is poetry, comedy and all the great tragedies in countless volumes. There are cds and dvds, pens and paper, magazines and journals, birthday cards and the bric a brac of wrapping.

On a recent visit I discovered new sounds from Brian Eno and Jon Hassell. I found a place to eat. I found a gallery in which to stare and wonder. I discovered a performance space to enjoy the peculiarities of Chinese dance and singing. I saw an advertisement for jazz nights. I wished I could have stayed longer.

There were people moving, minds meeting with an energy that was spirited, enfolding. The twists and turns of a customer’s journey were thoughtful and thought out. This is somewhere you want to tell your best friend about – an intriguing landscape built of paper and thoughts, challenges and answers.

Foyles is probably certainly the best book shop in the world.