In the current climate, books are going to be more important than ever, reading is something we can do to while away some time, and maybe learn something new in the process. If novels and fiction are not quite your thing, then maybe you could try something non fiction, like the fascinating range of London guides from ACC Art Books. These books, a mixture of photography and print, of lists, and interviews, offer you the chance to explore the City of London from a completely different perspective – in terms of its vinyl record shops (Vinyl London), it’s literature (Writer’s London) and it’s art (Art London).
Vinyl London By Tom Greig
Record shops have always been a special place in the heart of the city, with vinyl holding that same special place for music lovers. No CD or download could ever take the place of 33s and 45s, and now they are beginning to have a resurgence. Tom Greig’s book is a great guide to the capital’s record shops, talking about what they specialise in, whether they sell new vinyl, second hand, or both, opening hours, address and then a general information piece about the record shop.
Writer’s London by Carrie Kania and Alan Oliver
This is a real treasure trove of a book for literature lovers. It splits London into areas, and then talks about the places that have inspired writers, their haunts, the key book shops and museums dedicated to writers. You get to learn about the cemeteries where great writers are buried, and are given a list of suggested reading for each area of London.
Writer’s London features so many wonderful authors, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, Martin Amis, Oscar Wilde, Lord Byron….the list is endless. If you love books and want to learn about the people who wrote them, this is full of stories and even little titbits of gossip. I don’t mind admitting that I could lose myself in this book.
Art London By Hettie Judah
From the National Gallery to the Tate Modern, from the Fourth Plinth to the Pre Raphaelite brotherhood, London has lots of people and places that have a unique place in the history of Art. This book is a guide to all this and more.
The book features the photography of Alex Schneideman. He photographed a range of contemparary artists including Anish Kapoor, Grayson Perry, Mona Hatoum, John Akomfra, Rasheed Araeen, Sunil Gupta, Tracey Emin and Yinka Shonibare at work in their studios.
This book is a great way to read about your favourite artists and galleries, and then discover some new ones.