Spotlight: John Sandoe

Spotlight: John Sandoe

We celebrated World Book Day on 3 March, which means there’s no better time to spotlight our much-loved local bookstore, John Sandoe. If you’ve never stepped inside the beautiful black-lacquered storefront, now’s certainly the time.

The independent bookshop has stood proudly on Blacklands Terrace since 1957 and now occupies three adjacent shops over three stories, stocking over 30,000 titles. Started over 50 years ago by John Sandoe and Felicite Gwynn (who famously used to hurl books at customers she deemed “foolish”), the shop has certainly grown since its humble beginnings where books teetered on a few planks of wood in lieu of shelving. But step inside the rabbit warren interiors and you’ll see instantly that it still carries the same personal ethos and magical experience it did in the beginning.

The shop has always been famed for its eclectic selection – little known indie gems nestle near to famous bestsellers, while the book-loving team in-store delight in categorising new and exciting reads in their Remarkables section, or their seasonal catalogue round-ups. Books are crammed in everywhere, piled on tables – even on the stairs – and the staff (five full time and five part-time) will always endeavour to source any book for you, even if it’s out of print.

If you’ve ever stayed at The Cadogan, a Belmond hotel, on Sloane Street, you’ll also have spotted the carefully curated selection of reads on your bedside table – sourced and delivered by the team at John Sandoe for a truly special and personal touch.

Find John Sandoe at 10-12 Blacklands Terrace, open 9.30am-5.30pm Monday-Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sundays.

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