Books Can Take You Places: London

Already this year, we’ve taken a trip to 11 different cities and our journey around the world is far from over!  This month let’s londonexplore all that London, England has to offer.

I had my first visit to London when I was eight-years-old. I remember reading Michael Bond’s A Bear Called Paddington and so wanted to visit Paddington Train Station. Now as I prepare for my umpteenth trip to England, I have just finished reading Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. I so want to visit the London Below. I just need to find the Floating Market.

With over 2,000 years of glorious history under its belt, London’s influence on the English language, world literature and Western culture in general is impossible to overstate. From Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens to Lennon, McCartney and Jagger, enough legends have lived and worked here to fill a few dozen double-decker sightseeing buses.


music-note-21 Abbey Road, The Beatles • book Bleak House, Charles Dickens • slate_film-512 Blow Up slate_film-512 A Clockwork Orange book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling • book High Fidelity, Nick Hornby • book The Importance of Being Ernest, Oscar Wilde • music-note-21 The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society, The Kinks • music-note-21 London Calling, The Clash • slate_film-512 Mary Poppins book Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf • slate_film-512 Notting Hill music-note-21 Quadrophenia, The Who • music-note-21 (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, Oasis • book White Teeth, Zadie Smith



  • The Pillars of Hercules pub dates to the 1730s and has been frequented by Martin Amis, Ian McEwan and Charles Dickens, who mentions it in A Tale of Two Cities.
  • The Charles Dickens Museum is located in the house where the novelist and social critic lived from 1837 to 1839.
  • Shakespeare’s Globe, a faithful reconstruction of the Elizabethan-era Globe theatre, includes exhibits dedicated to the Bard and his era.
  • Potterheads will enjoy a photo op and souvenir-hunting at the Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4, located in the western departures concourse of King’s Cross Station.
  • When Aldous Huxley taught French at the prestigious boarding school Eton College, one of his pupils was a young George Orwell.
  • The iconic cover photograph for The Beatles’ Abbey Road was shot in a “zebra crossing” near the Abbey Road Studios. Today the crosswalk is a must-see (and must-walk) for Fab Four fans.

If you don’t want to miss a stop on this journey, join the Half Price Books Booklovers Survey Club and we’ll send you an email each month with a new city alongside a quick survey. Plus, you’ll receive coupons to save throughout the year when you travel to your favorite Half Price Books.

Susan is Creative Coordinator at HPB Corporate in Dallas TX.


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