‘A completely enchanting bookshop, Slightly Foxed (previously The Gloucester Road Bookshop, owned by Graham Greene’s nephew) is an independent bookshop gem. Little square windows, breezy awning and a tiny and unintrusive bell over the door that alerts you to your entrance into a book tardis. Small but perfectly stocked and formed.
Slightly Foxed is also a quarterly literary magazine, which took over the shop as an extension of their aim to introduce people to good books, both in and out-of-print. The shop is one of the few left in London that sells a combination of second hand and new books, but it was the second hand portion that really grabbed my attention. Prices range from £1 to £5000. They’ve got shelves of orange Penguins, green Penguins and blue Pelicans, rare and beautiful books from William Morris’s Publishing Company, first editions including signed by Artemis Fowl, and a signed copy of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black. Manager Tony tells me he makes house calls to pick up large amounts of books, which results in their eclectic selection.
Tony and his team are real book enthusiasts and have every base covered. Jane, who deals with the new titles, is an author herself who writes for the National Trust. She compiles newsletters of new books that customers may enjoy to go with the shop catalogue, and is responsible for the ‘Charming’ area. This is exactly what it says on the tin, charming books with lovely illustrations, print and bindings. I’ve never seen this in a bookshop before, but it fits perfectly and provides a great section for people seeking gifts for book lovers.
While upstairs is a combination of new and old, with a large children’s section near the door for pram purposes, downstairs is solely second hand books. Organised in a cunning spiral, you can find an array of non-fiction books to suit anyone. There’s also a little fox door-knocker hanging from the office door, overseeing his territory.
As well as being a local bookshop for local people, there is an ordering service on the website. You can order any book they don’t have for the next day anyway as long as it’s available, but the website deals with orders from further a field. Offering a service where they find out-of-print books for customers in this country and abroad, thanks to the internet they can be your local international bookshop.
This is a bookshop you never want to leave. Beautiful, welcoming, intriguing and intelligent, I can’t recommend you visit this shop enough. It could easily be the romantic little bookshop in a squishy old film. ’