London for Book Nerds | Lifestyle Queen Bee

London for Book Nerds

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: Ever since I was a kid, I have loved to read. Being transported to different times, worlds and countries without ever leaving home is such a great escape from reality. But what if you get an opportunity to visit a place that many of your favourite novels are based out of? Today’s post from regular guest blogger, Christine Hill, is talking about all the hotspots fellow book lovers must visit if and when they are in London.

London for Book Nerds | Lifestyle Queen Bee

One of the reasons I love London is because London is a town that loves books as much as I do. For book nerds, London is a wonderland of beautiful bookstores, historic locations, and tributes to the authors that have created the fantasy worlds we’ve loved and shared. Here are a few of my favorite destinations and activities in London, and I highly recommend them for my fellow readers:

[ Bookstores ]

London for Book Nerds | Lifestyle Queen BeeIn the States, bookstores are dropping like flies. While a few stalwart Barnes & Noble bookstores survive through their huge gift shop inventory, independent bookstores tucked into city corners are anomalies. Not the case in London. You’ll find bookstores of every kind here, from multi-story stores with the newest releases to ancient walk-in closets full of first editions and rare antique books. As a special bonus for book-lovers shopping in England, you’ll find British copies of your favorites, which you might love for either the original British spelling, the different (and so often more tasteful) covers, or the more convenient shapes and sizes.

Here are a few of my favorite bookstores and book-shopping destinations in London:

  • Persephone Books
    This is something of a specialty store, which makes it a truly unique destination. Persephone Books is entirely dedicated to bringing to light previously undiscovered or underappreciated works by (primarily) 20th-century female authors. These curated books are collections of memoirs, fiction, short stories, and even cooking books. Persephone books are set apart by the graceful, intelligent writing, and the beautifully designed book jackets with matching bookmarks. Browse through the store to find a beautiful new copy of a favorite, or discover something entirely new
  • Daunt Books in Marylebone
    Daunt Books was built on the original site of a 100-year old antiquarian bookstore. What sets Daunt Books apart to the casual observer is the beautiful main gallery, a feast to the eyes of any booklover. However, when you take a closer look, you’ll notice that Daunt Books are organized by country rather than genre, which makes browsing it a special kind of journey
  • Hatchards and Waterstones at Piccadilly Circus
    Hatchard’s is the oldest bookstore in London, and it’s been at its original location in Piccadilly for over two hundred years! If you’re looking for volume, history, and a little bit of modern gloss on your bookstore, I highly recommend checking out both Hatchard’s near Piccadilly Circus and Waterstone’s just down the street
  • Charing Cross Road
    Any book lover has to take some time to browse through the old bookshops of Charing Cross Road, home of historic Foyles, along with some of the coolest secondhand and antique bookshops that you’ll find anywhere in the world

[ Monuments and Tourist Destinations ]

London for Book Nerds | Lifestyle Queen BeeSo, beyond the fact that London loves its bookshops, and it’s a great place to explore the settings and background of some of your favorite novels, London is also wonderful at recognizing and celebrating its authors. Monuments dedicated to notable authors abound, and the tourist trade knows plenty well how to cater to its literarily inclined clientele. As a bonus, most of the recommended activities below are free, so your wallet can take a bit of a break from expensive London. You can read for more tips to keep the costs down here.

Here are some must-see spots for shopping, browsing, and photographing:

  • Baker Street
    This is a no-brainer, even for casual Sherlock fans. Baker Street is right there on the tube map, beckoning you to explore the home of our favorite fictional detective. Check out the Sherlock statue right outside of the station exit, head down Baker Street to see some great shops and a Sherlock-themed museum, and then grab a bite at Speedy’s (which has nothing to do with the books, but will be fun for fans of the BBS television show)
  • Peter Pan in Hyde Park
    Remember when Robin Williams wakes up in the snow after his Neverland adventures in Hook? He looks up and sees a beautiful bronze statue dedicated to the boy who never grew up. That statue can be visited in Hyde park right by the waterside. It makes a beautiful photograph and gives you a great opportunity to explore the expansive Hyde Park
  • Platform 9 3/4 - London for Book Nerds | Lifestyle Queen BeePlatform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross
    Although the architectural wonder is actually St. Pancras station next door, Potterheads everywhere gravitate to King’s Cross Station. Not to take a train somewhere, (if only the Hogwarts Express was at the station!) but to check out the tribute to J.K. Rowling’s modern classic. A cart laden with trunk and owl sits halfway through the entrance to the secret platform, making for perfect pictures. Fans of Harry Potter should also check out the nearby store. You might even consider a Harry Potter walking tour while in London, which will take you through sites of inspiration and sets from the films
  • British Library - London for Book Nerds | Lifestyle Queen BeeBritish Library
    The contents of the expansive and famous Reading Room in the British Museum was transferred to the relatively newly-established British Library. It houses the largest collection of books in the English language, and it’s a current, working library. Check out the Treasures to see amazing original manuscripts, and current exhibits which bring out items of interest from the library’s archive. The British Library also has a great gift shop, and really fun benches and artwork.
  • Charles Dickens Museum
    Doughty Street is where Dickens wrote some of his most famous works, and first gained notoriety for his masterful storytelling. Step into Dickens’ time as you walk through his home and look over original handwritten manuscripts. You can learn more about the context and inspiration for novels like Pickwick Papers, Oliver, and A Tale of Two Cities
  • The Globe
    Love Shakespeare’s plays? Well, even if you don’t, you can’t miss the Globe. Seeing these classic works performed live will bring you a whole new appreciation. 5 Pound tickets will get you standing room in a world-class performance, and you’ll get closer to the actual experience of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan era in a historical reproduction of the theater that started it all. I’ve seen a lot of shows here, and not a single one fell short of amazing
  • Poet’s Corner in Westminister Abbey
    You know how people used to take pilgrimages to various holy sites and cathedrals to see the remains and gain the blessing of a patron saint? Well, this is the closest I’ve ever felt to that while visiting ancient cathedrals and churches in Europe. Literary nerds can visit their own personal saints in the Poet’s corner of Westminister Abbey, full of tributes to the likes of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Spenser, and Dickens.

[ Recommended Reading ]

I love getting a feel for a place before I go there, so if this is your first time to London, and you’re also new to British literature, here are some books to really get you in the mood and make the sites even more exciting:

  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Interested in being a guest blogger?
Share your ideas with me via the Collabs page!

What is your favourite travel destination as a book lover?

Must Have Beauty Items For Your Next Vacation | Lifestyle Queen Bee

Must-Have Beauty Items for Your Next Vacation

Must Have Beauty Items For Your Next Vacation | Lifestyle Queen Bee

From celebrities to the average girl on the street, we have all witnessed what bad makeup looks like and just how obvious it becomes in natural lighting. Most of us don’t possess mega windows, hence we can’t have much Continue reading “Must-Have Beauty Items for Your Next Vacation”

Old is Gold: Keep Your Home New & Maintained With These 5 Simple Rules

Old is Gold: Keep Your Home New & Maintained With These 5 Simple Rules

Old is Gold: Keep Your Home New & Maintained With These 5 Simple Rules

Have you rented a rather old home and worry whether you’d have to keep seeking professional help often? Or have you been living in a family house for what seems like ages but it’s starting to weather, and you just don’t know what to do? Worry not, because we’ve got you covered! You simply need to make sure you nip the problem in the bud!

[ Faucets & Furnaces ]

Faucets & Furnaces - Old is Gold: Keep Your Home New & Maintained With These 5 Simple Rules | Lifestyle Queen BeeYou need to make sure everything is up and in running condition. A monthly inspection by a plumber, cleaning of the water softener, faucet aerators, and shower-heads saves from bigger troubles down the road. Make sure the sink drainers are unclogged, and no debris is choking up the pipes.

Furnace filter must not have dust build-ups; not only does it cause a problem but also skyrockets the utility bills.

[ Hood Filters & Fire Extinguishers ]

Hood Filters & Fire Extinguishers - Old is Gold: Keep Your Home New & Maintained With These 5 Simple Rules | Lifestyle Queen BeeI bet you didn’t think of cleaning the range hood filters, did you? And it’s not even difficult – degreasing it with some hot water and a regular degreaser from auto parts store will do the trick. The first time you try it, you’ll be surprised by how much cleaning the range hood needed. Another important thing is to keep the fire extinguishers in check for any signs of wearing out and make sure to put it in easy

Another important thing is to keep fire extinguishers in check for any signs of deterioration and make sure to put it in easy access location – otherwise, it clearly won’t prove to be of much use.

[ Is the Garage Door Running Smooth ]

Garage Door - Old is Gold: Keep Your Home New & Maintained With These 5 Simple Rules | Lifestyle Queen BeeYou need to make sure garage doors are working fine. Simply put a 2 x 4 piece of wood on the ground; the door should immediately go back up after hitting it. If the door happens to have those photo-electric sensors, try leaving an object other than your own self in front of them. If the doors don’t reverse, you’ve got a problem on hand. Make sure to practice this every month.

[ Gutters & Drainage ]

Gutters & Drainage - Old is Gold: Keep Your Home New & Maintained With These 5 Simple Rules | Lifestyle Queen BeeYou probably need to take care of this bi-annually, at most. But it is still important to make sure that all the rain water flows away from the house instead of flowing towards it. If the water stays around for more than 24 hours or moves to foundations, look for any loose connections in the drainage system. If cleaning doesn’t solve the issue, you can resort to grading the area around the whole house with dirt. And make sure to clean that gutter all too well, especially after Fall as the gutter might end up accumulating fallen leaves.

[ Keep The Exterior Looking Tiptop ]

Keep the Exterior Looking Tiptop - Old is Gold: Keep Your Home New & Maintained With These 5 Simple Rules | Lifestyle Queen BeeMake sure the exterior of your house looks good or before you know, you’ll be living in something that resembles a haunted house.

Look for any paint chipping and any holes in the walls. Make sure all the window screens are intact and don’t just resort to duct tape – or at least don’t consider it a long-term solution.

Be prepared to have to clean up the weed and shrubbery.

With simple tips, you can keep your home maintained and looking new! Also, always keep a hybrid saw at home for little fixings whenever required.

Do you have an idea for a guest post?
Submit your work via the Collabs page!


Guest Blogger: Emily Floate | Lifestyle Queen BeeAuthor Bio: Emily is obsessed with home machinery and gadgets. She loves home decor as well and enjoys the sunset.

She regularly posts at http://www.protoolguide.com/

5 Bedtime Habits That Women With Great Skin Swear By | Lifestyle Queen Bee

5 Bedtime Habits That Women With Great Skin Swear By

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: Having a nightly routine is beneficial to ensure you are regularly maintaining not only your health but your hair and skin. I wrote about developing a nightly skin routine (you can check that post out here if you missed it) but today’s post highlights the Continue reading “5 Bedtime Habits That Women With Great Skin Swear By”

Signs You're Depressed & Not Just Sad | Lifestyle Queen Bee

Signs You’re Depressed, and Not Just Sad

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: We all have those moments where life doesn’t seem to be going the way we want and we feel stressed, angry and even sad. It’s normal to feel this way but feeling sad all the time? Not feeling interested in the things you used to or even care about your appearance? That might be a red flag there’s more to your feelings than just ‘being sad’. My Guest Blogger, Alex Sabin, compares the nuances between Continue reading “Signs You’re Depressed, and Not Just Sad”

Modern Ways to Decorate Your Kitchen | Lifestyle Queen Bee

Modern Ways to Decorate Your Kitchen

Modern Ways to Decorate Your Kitchen | Lifestyle Queen Bee

Kitchen carries a special significance and weight in the décor of home especially when it’s an open kitchen. We often confuse and restrict kitchen just for eating and cooking purpose whereas the case is different.

Being a woman and a house wife most of our time is spent in the kitchen preparing lunch and meals for the family. You have got such a busy time in the kitchen that you even Continue reading “Modern Ways to Decorate Your Kitchen”

Introducing More Fish into Your Diet

Note from Lana | Lifestyle Queen Bee: Can I be honest for a sec? I HATE seafood. I can eat tuna 1-2 times a year and every so often can pop a few popcorn shrimps into my mouth but that’s as far as it goes. Bring the daughter of a woman born in St. Lucia with 4 of my 5 older siblings being born there + being HUGE seafood lovers, I definitely was the odd (wo)man out. Given the fact I am anemic (iron deficiency) and I don’t eat seafood or eggs (both which are great sources of the iron I need), let’s just say it’s been a challenge to maintain my iron levels. While I am not a huge fan of seafood, I know I’m in the minority. Aside from the great intake of iron you get from consuming fish, there are other great health benefits. My guest, Ian, is giving you all some ways on how you can Continue reading “Introducing More Fish into Your Diet”