Yesterday, I went with a friend for our first bookshop crawl to visit one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world located in Marylebone: Daunt books. The pictures I had seen were already very impressive but going in person is an experience of its own! The architecture of the place is spectacular and designed in a particular way: the bookstore is divided into sections with the name of continents/countries that are split in a precise order of shelves : the first one is specifically dedicated to travel books, the second one to the major works of the regional literature, the third one is a more contemporary shelf that displays modern writings and finally, the last one presents important tools to learn the local language from beginners to advanced.
My favorite one was the section North Africa/Middle East, not necessarily because of my culture but because the richness of the literary heritage from different countries and times was substantially inspiring. Khalil Gibran, Mahmoud Darwish, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Driss Chraïbi, Amin Maalouf,Edward Said, Mohamed Choukri, Tayeb Salih, these are just a few names whose works were presented in unique paperback and hard-cover versions. The Asian section was also very interesting both in terms of travel guides for prospective journeys and the rich legacy introduced in a variety of ways: signed copies, original maps, old and new books, fiction, non-fiction, biographies…
As always, I ended up leaving with more books : The investigation of Meursault by Kamal Daoud, Khalil Gibran’s Little book of love as well as V. S Naipaul’s Beyond belief.
A must-see that I highly recommend!