May 2019. I really enjoyed my recent afternoon in Camden Town, because the place seemed to be on a mission to reconnect me with a few of my lost loves. After a spell leafing through records, music magazines and pop culture memorabilia at Rock ‘n’ Roll Rescue, it was now over to Black Gull Bookshop & Bindery to remind me how much, once upon a time, I loved reading and being in cosy, traditional bookshops.
May 2019. Black Gull Bookshop & Bindery is a no-nonsense type of place in many ways. You won’t find much in the way of airs and graces, at least not on the day of my visit where the lady behind the counter seemed very well practiced in the art of grimacing and one word answers. It was amusing to watch how a few excited customers tried to converse with her for a bit and got nothing back. “Just buy your book and **** off!” shrieked her thunderous expression.
May 2019. But happily any customer service shortcomings are more than compensated by Black Gull Bookshop’s beautiful and often playful design. It’s a tiny little place where the limited shelves are jam packed, so you’ll often see wonky staircases of books piled up on tables, stools… even the floor.
May 2019. Elsewhere there are freaky, wall-mounted masks that look like they’ve been around the block and surely have an intriguing backstory. I was half thinking about asking Queen Miserable about them but then I thought better of it.
May 2019. Gaze up at the ceiling and you’ll see Black Gull Bookshop’s large antique clock that looks like it was lifted from a Victorian train station. A sticky note plastered onto its face states that: “This clock refuses to accept the concept of British summertime”.
As much as I was enjoying my Black Gull experience, it also made me feel a little sad for my lost book collection. Especially when I got to the biographies section and the shelf with all my favourite bands and singer-songwriters. I used to devour these kind of titles, but there isn’t much time for that in the life of a full time blogger. One of these days I need to get myself out to a desert island and take a book with me.
You can find Black Gull Bookshop & Bindery at 70 Camden Lock Place in London’s Camden Town neighbourhood. They’re open seven days a week from 10:00-18:00. They don’t have a website!
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