"Chatterbox" wrote:Depends on where I am and what I'm looking for!
The old Foyles in London -- used to be frustrating but fun. Now it's boring and less complete. So I've switched allegiance to Hatchard's -- I can combine that with a trip to the giant Waterstone's on Piccadilly (where Simpson's used to be) and get most of what I want/need.
Goodness, yes, Foyle's is boring now. Looks like a giant WHSmith. There's another Foyle's in St Pancras station, and the prices are ridiculous, no discount on anything. Hatchard's is really a Waterstone's in disguise, but it does have some different stock. I have had to avoid the Piccadilly Waterstone's since I've been trying to borrow books instead of buying them, which speaks well for them I suppose - I can usually find what I want there. If I can't, I'll go to the Borders on New Oxford St.
Daunt's on the Marylebone Rd is a lovely bookshop, though I haven't been in for ages as I rarely go in that direction.
For foreign language books, I like the European Bookshop in Warwick St. I also go to Grant & Cutler in Marlborough St. Waterstone's in Manchester used to have an excellent French section, but not any more (it's still there, just not as good in my opinion).
Also, in Oxford, Blackwell's. (There is a Blackwell's in the Charing Cross Rd, but it's not the same and I never go in it). Sadly a lot of the second-hand bookshops in Oxford have disappeared. If I am buying second-hand, it's usually from Amazon Marketplace or abebooks.com. I got the most beautiful copy of Nancy Hale's The Prodigal Women, complete with 1940s book jacket, for a couple of dollars plus shipping from a Florida bookshop via abebooks.com - one of my best buys.
In Paris, I find there are lots of excellent small bookstores, although they aren't as comfortable with people browsing. I usually pay a visit to the big Virgin bookstore in the shopping centre under the Louvre pyramid, as they have quite a lot of stock.