London Review Bookshop

Yale Representation’s March Bookshop of the Month is keeping us close to home. The London Review Bookshop lies just around the corner from the Yale office and is a regular haunt for staff and authors alike. Not least, we suspect, because of the excellent cafe attached to the shop. We sat down with David Lea, Deputy Manager of the London Review Bookshop, to hear more about what makes the shop such a success.

  • Space

Could you describe your earliest memory of reading?

I learned to read far too young by making my brother read The Beano to me while I followed the words with my finger.

Which author would you most like to appear at a LRB event?

Living: Thomas Pynchon in conversation with Kazuo Ishiguro

Dead: Elizabeth Bishop in conversation with Turgenev

Independent bookshops pride themselves on their ability to connect with their customers, the readers. What advice would you give to authors who want readers to find them?

Write the best book you can; be patient.

In an ideal world, what improvements would you like to see made to the bookselling industry?

Next day delivery from all suppliers; returns magically to evaporate from the shelves to be replaced by credit notes; all invoicing to be made electronic; a ban on discounting for 12 months after publication.

The LRB is famous for its café, what’s your favourite drink / cake / book combination?

Some days, tisane de tilleul, a Madeleine and Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu, on others a cup of strong black tea, a treacle tart and an Eric Ambler.

Aside from your own, could you name your favourite bookshop anywhere in the world?

Can I name two? Strand Bookstore, 12th Street and Broadway in New York, because they always seem to have everything I want, even if it takes an age to find it; and Dom Knigi, Nevsky Prospekt – I can’t actually read Russian, but being there makes me feel intelligyent.