French speakers now have their very own second-hand bookshop in Hammersmith – titled La Librairie.
Sited in former restaurant premises at 377 King Street in Stamford Brook, it opened on February 20 to satisfy an unquenched demand for books in the French language.
“We decided to set up the shop to exclusively offer secondhand books in French, for anyone who needs or wants to read in French,” said owner Marine Raynor, who lives in Brackenbury Village and arrived in London in 2012.
“The idea started with the realisation that it wasn’t easy to find many books in French in London, unless ordering online.”
The shelves cover everything: classic and contemporary fiction, non-fiction, children’s, technical, cookery, comics, graphic novels and manga, crime, thrillers and collectables.
“We have a full range of books, mostly appealing to French-speaking families in the area, anyone interested in the French language and those wanting to help their kids learn French at school,” said Marine.
The stock includes many books which arguably should only be read in French, such as Tintin and BD (Bandes Dessinées) graphic novels, which form a huge part of contemporary francophone culture.
On the ‘collectable’ shelves, the old spines and aged volumes include some dating back to Victorian times. The shop is keen to buy good-condition books.
To assist literary digestion, La Librairie also stocks Haribo sweets and biscuits from France, to take away or eat on site with a hot drink (tea and coffee £1.50, comfy armchairs provided), all squeezed into a compact 577 sq ft.
It is also a London point of sale for Bleu Carmin Design, stocking the Animo collection of folded metal sheet objects including lamps, shelves, pegs and jigsaw puzzles for children.
Most recently, the shop – sandwiched between the Moroccan restaurant Azou and And Hairdressing – was a small office, but in a past incarnation has also been a Colombian restaurant.
La Libraire is located at 377 King Street, W6 9JT, opens Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm. For more details, visit: www.lalibrairielondres.com.