1. RIBA Bookshop, Portland Place W1
You could spend a whole day here. Books on architecture, books on design. Magazines. Cafe. Beautiful building.
2. V & A Shop, Cromwell Rd SW7
Not the largest selection, but well edited. There are lots of gorgeous gifty things here too, great cards and, oh, you could lose yourself in the galleries for at least another day!
After the V & A, you could head down to…
3. South Kensington Books, Thurloe St SW7
Discounted books, with an emphasis on art and design.
4. PS Books, Brighton
More discounted books, although it doesn’t feel bargain-basement at all. Hamilton knows a lot about everything, so ask if there’s something you are looking for. Some real gems here.
5. Blackwells Art & Poster Shop, Oxford
Maybe it’s the layout – a very architectural mezzanine holds the art and design books – there’s something very pleasing about browsing here. Visit a college or two whilst you are in the area!
6. Koenig Books, Charing Cross Rd WC2
Feels like it’s been there forever. Full to bursting with glossily tempting tomes. Heaven.
7. Lutyens & Rubinstein, Notting Hill W11
Not specifically a design books shop, but so beautiful I had to include it. Great for poetry, children’s books and, of course, designey tomes. If you have any money left, and are so inclined, pop round the corner to the legendary Books for Cooks.
8. Pallant Gallery Bookshop, Chichester
More Art than Design, but no less inspiring. And it’s a fabulous art gallery. Check out the temporary exhibitions.
9. Aye Aye Books, CCA, Glasgow
After a visit to Glasgow School of Art (you get a guided tour from a real live student at certain times of the year), pop over to the CCA for arty filmy performancey stuff and this wonderful bookshop.
10. Books for Amnesty, various locations
Second hand books, often with a good art and design section. Well laid out and unmusty.
You can never have too many bookshops in your address book (well I can’t), so if you know of a gem, let me know. I like browsing, so don’t really buy glossy books online.