This is a guest post from The Almighty Custard, a bookshop crawler since the very first event in 2016. She's sharing a little about her past crawl experiences and what to expect from this years' event.
A few years ago I stumbled upon a tweet about International book swapping. As a lover of both books and receiving parcels I signed up and got swapping. This in turn led me to follow a number of bookish folks on Twitter and this led me to being involved in the first Bookshop Crawl a couple of years ago.
My partner and I are both big readers and adventurers so the idea of investigating bookshops across the capital sounded like a perfect day out for us so we signed up. Feeling slightly nervous at the idea of spending the day with a lot of folks we didn't know we headed to the meeting place - Foyles Cafe and there were a lot of other booklovers feeling equally nervous! The first crawl was a great day out (although quite exhausting). We explored parts of London I had never been too. My Highlight was the talk at Persephone books and my partner loved Orbital Comics store - there is something for everyone on the crawl! My partner also live tweeted the whole day #LondonBookshopCrawl
Sadly we missed out on the summer crawl and so our next opportunity for adventure was the second crawl last year. A slightly different set up - lots of groups off adventuring but we met up with some familiar faces along the way. There were new and familiar bookshops on our tour too as well as plenty of coffee and cake. Our highlight was Word on the Water, a floating bookshop. We have been back a couple of times since the crawl as there is always plenty of great second hand purchases to be had.
I loved the idea that there were lots of people exploring bookshops all over London at the same time as us - I love being part of a bigger picture.
Not sure about how we are going to tackle the crawl this year - guided or self guided. Whatever we decide to do I am sure it will be a great day of adventures and new books (not that I really need to add to my TBR pile...)
So general thoughts on the London Bookshop Crawl are -
There are lots of interesting book loving people to meet who are just as nervous as you!
There are lots of bookshops to visit (and sniff!)
There is a great online community that is part of the crawl - follow the #londonbookshopcrawl tag on the day even if you can't make the crawl
It is something to look forward too on the cold dark January nights
Comfy shoes and a good rucksack (to carry your haul) are vital
There are still a few spaces in our guided groups or alternatively free downloadable route maps are coming later this week - sign up to our mailing list or grab a free ticket via Eventbrite and we'll email them to you directly as soon as they're ready.