Happy Birthday, Foyles


It’s the 110th birthday of Foyles Bookshop, one of London’s great bookstores. I’ve been lucky enough to spend half an evening wandering its aisles, and even luckier to have helped launch Books to Die For at the store last autumn. Here’s an excerpt from the Foyles Manifesto: 110 Years and Counting.

‎We are the bookshop that’s played host to George Bernard Shaw and Charlie Chaplin, Bertrand Russell and Enid Blyton. We are the bookshop from which Elizabeth Taylor stole and Nelson Mandela shopped. We are the bookshop that used copies of Mein Kampf to protect our walls during the Blitz.

Here’s to the next 110 years.

(Photo: Me and my buddy Nancy Freund Fraser, looking dreamy after getting lost for an hour in Foyles.)

4 responses to “Happy Birthday, Foyles

  1. Some day! Some day, I, too, shall wander its aisles.

  2. Hey! What did Elizabeth Taylor steal?

  3. Love that manifesto excerpt. Wonderful!

  4. Ah, Foyles. I read many years ago an article in which Foyles was described as the closest thing to a Russian department store in the free world. I’m probably exaggerating the wording, but I did find the experience novel. The last time I was there (10 years now?), a buyer selected her purchase, went to the “pre-buy” window for a chit, which was then taken to another window–only steps away–to actually hand over the cash. Also–are the stacks still organized (mostly) by publisher?

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