26 The Pavement Clapham, London SW4 0JA
It is claimed by the ‘This Is Clapham’ website that Clapham Books were established in 871, which renders theories about the beginning of print questionable. Located opposite a large, ancient paddling pool on the Common, this delightful shop is small but has an eclectic mix of books. “We order what we like,” we are told.
There is a wide-ranging Mind, Body & Soul section as well the latest hardbacks – Jeanette Winterson’s Frankisstein along with Kate Atkinson’s Big Sky. The window display changes frequently to encourage regular buyers.
On the mezzanine level of the shop there is an excellent Children’s Books section. Clearly a good source of revenue. The left hand window display of the shop is given over to the latest books for children. The right hand window reflects the tastes of the owners and the latest TV blockbusters. We were unfortunately a little too late to sample the joys of their free weekly picture story time (starts at 11am).
We were given a business card which stresses their hand-picked collection, next day ordering, as well as sourcing out of print and US titles. The bookshop is open every day of the week from 10am to 7pm on Saturdays 10-6 and Sundays 12-6pm. They do not do author events or book club meetings, possibly because of the size of the shop, but their diverse ordering philosophy guarantees a few surprises when you browse. Herne Hill Books is their sister shop.
Address: 626 The Pavement Clapham, London SW4 0JA
Phone number: 020 7627 2797
Facebook: Clapham Books
Nearest tube station: Clapham Common, Clapham High Street (overground)