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I recently traveled to the London Book Fair, and I stayed in Bloomsbury, the area in central London that over half a century ago was the heart of British publishing. Over the course of four days I visited the crisp and well-appointed London Review of Books bookshop across from the British Museum, as well as three other independent shops that still exist in that part of the city: one gay, one magic and one socialist-related. In addition to the energy at the fair itself—which was substantial—all of this walking around in the midst of books made it possible to close my eyes and believe that publishing was robust again.

London Review of Books Notebook

London Review of Books · 19 January 2017

etruscan books are book makers, rather than orthodox poetry publishers. Many of their titles are sold at the London Review of Books Bookshop, and Tom Leonard's, at Edinburgh's Word Power. Yet to get them, if you want to read them, you often have to declare an interest and order them, as they are not available in bookshops.

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The LRB has made inroads in other areas – there is a nearby London Review of Books bookshop, and a popular cake-shop that serves rosebud tea and gluten-free pistachio cakes – but even these, according to Spice, are only "near to breaking even".

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