One of my favourite things to do when shopping (I HATE shopping, it feels like work) is to escape from the fashion floor and find the nearest bookshop. On entering, one is overwhelmed by a lovely sense of calm and an air of subtle excitement as you anticipate the joy of escaping with a really good book. I love all bookshops, from the really scruffy and disorganised vintage ones you find down an alley, to the to the wonderful zen like, minimal shops, selling huge OTT coffee table books. I also love libraries, but sadly they are generally not the kind of places I particularly want to hang out in.
Selfridges have transformed their basement Ultralounge area into a library as part of their Words Words Words concept. Until the 1st of March they have create a place where the public can browse and buy a range of specially selected books and discover the joy of words through a series of lectures, events and worskshops, featuring writers in residence, story tellers and literary inspired products.
The library features floor to ceiling bookshelves displayed in ways that will appeal both to the anally retentive and the chaotically haphazard. There are lounging areas and no pressure to buy, with nice touches such as typewriters where you can leave a message, and a secret doorway which leads to a school classroom. Customers are encouraged to use iPads and Kindles as well as browse real books.