By Grace Ricks
A quick walk from Liverpool station, past Brick Lane on Hanbury Street, you’ll find tucked away just the sort of place of literary genius that you’d expect to find in Hackney‘s niche little bit of Shoreditch. Contrasting with the ever-popular street art Shoreditch is known for, the crisp, matte black outer shell of Libreria will strike you as oddly inviting.
Step in an you’ll be greeted by yellow shelves stuffed with new stories and cozy cubbies inviting you in for further investigation. Be warned, however, this is a technology free zone, so you’ll likely be asked to turn off your laptops, tablets and phones.
Entrepreneurs and business owners Rohan Silva and Sam Aldenton hope that the decoupling of individuals from their devices will better allow them to engage with the surrounding literature.
Libreria has a smaller, but by no means more limited selection. Here, while there are a few mainstream labeled sections like “fiction,” “non-fiction” and “science” there are also more thought-provoking sections such as “space and time,” “wanderlust” and “disenchantment,” that encourage you to think deeply and try a taste of something new.
Perhaps that something new could be “The Bloody Chamber” by Angela Carter. On the other end of the spectrum, there are also decadent reprints of works by authors like Proust and Fitzgerald. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you can check out their Instagram for regular recommendations.
Additionally, Libreria also hosts several cultural programmes on the weekends and after hours. Take part in their monthly book club or dive into the world of zines or risograph printing. Resident specialists on staff host regular workshops on Zine and risograph art and for the price of approximately £50 in which you’ll be provided all the materials, hands-on guidance, a 10 percent off coupon, and a beer for inspiration.
Bibliophiles everywhere will be most impressed by what Libreria has to offer.
Location: 65 Hanbury St, London, E1 5Jp, UK
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street and Whitechapel