I recently had a request from TBTP follower Bill C. from Oakland for a bookstore suggestion in walking distance from St Pancras International Station in London. Bill said that he expected to have an hour or two to kill before catching the Eurostar to Amsterdam (lucky guy) and wanted to browse a “quintessential” British bookshop. My first response was unequivocally Black Books. But since Black Books is entirely a fictional bookstore, I said that he would have to settle for Collinge & Clark Books, which stood in for the fictitious shop from the much loved Dylan Moran TV series Black Books.
These days, Collinge & Clark is owned and managed solely by Oliver Clark. The cozy small bookshop is packed with a thoughtfully curated collection. Clark’s specialties the last time that I checked were private press books, design, typography, literary first editions, and miscellaneous secondhand titles. Unfortunately, Clark seems to keep very limited weekday opening hours and is closed on weekends. So, I also suggested that Bill would be better off at Skoob Books, which is just a few minutes further walk from St Pancras. Skoob (which is just books backwards) has an enormous selection of secondhand titles in every conceivable specialty and is open daily.