Foyles

113-119 Charing Cross Road
Soho, London
WC2H 0EB
Tel: 020 7437 5660 Tottenham Court Road 0.1 miles

One of London's most famous stores, Foyles on-going re-development has ensured it stays relevant. Still great for out-of-print books.

Foyles

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Foyles reviews



My first visit was over 20 years ago. It was a memorable place. Yes, it was messy, but there were all kinds of treasures buried under the mess. Last month I took my 10-year-old daughter there. The place looks new and not much different from any modern book store. My daughter loves the place. The sales assistants are very helpful and friendly. Although I miss the old Foyles, I guess it wouldn't have survived the last decade if they had kept to their old way of running the store... A wonderful memory for my daughter and me.

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 by NWportland, 26 Jul 2012
Don't bother going to Foyles if you are Scottish. On numerous visits to London over the last 15 years, my Scottish money has never been refused anywhere... until I tried to buy a book in their South Bank branch yesterday. Over the years I have spent a lot of time and money in Foyles. Never again.

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 by gardennat, 13 Sep 2011
If there is a heaven on earth, Foyles is it's front gate. There's nothing I would rather do on a rainy London day (and there are many of those...) than wander through the stacks of this beloved shop. I've never walked out empty-handed. And I doubt I ever will!

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 by fremmy (4 reviews), 12 Feb 2011
What great service. I bought The Sun Sharer and A Path Too Long here by Jack George Edmunson, and they helped so much. Fantastic fiction too. Thank you Foyles.

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 by namdnop, 02 Dec 2010
I love Foyles, I built up my library from that store. True, the world does not stand still, things change; so it is with Foyles. However, it is a popular landmark in London and must continue to stock rare old books - we need them for reference and continuity.

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 by udoayara_5, 28 Jan 2010
Foyles is amazing and a million times better than Waterstones.

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 by victoriagpearson (2 reviews), 31 Mar 2009
My husband and I went to London in March 2009 and made a visit to Foyles. For years I had been telling him about this marvelous store of incredible books and the maze of rooms they were stored in, only to find that since my last visit (and the death of the grand old dame who kept Foyles in character) it has become just another Borders wannabe.

The staff were helpful - a greeter pointed us to the area of books we were looking for, another staff member looked up the availability of a recently published book I was after. The new books looked shiny. The place was spotlessly clean. But upstairs there's only one room of used and out-of-print books - the wonderful maze of old rooms is closed off, along with all those great old books. A clerk told me that things had to be modernized and that they were thinking of adding a few of the "better" used books and placing them side-by-side with the new ones on the shelves, but they hadn't gotten to that yet - perhaps sometime in the future.

Still, in the used book room I did find a copy of Mrs. Beeton's Book of Jams and Preserves! Sadly though, my heart just wasn't into a day of book prowling now that the old books are limited to that one room. I miss the old Foyles and I'm sorry I went back this time.

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 by truestarr, 12 Mar 2009
I was recently in London and visited this bookstore. A great collection. Foyles is fantastic!

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 by kantewa, 24 Oct 2008
We love Foyles! My dad went often in the 1950s, and now my husband and I have been going since the 1990s. Every time we are in London, Foyles is a must. A very unique bookshopping experience. I agree that the messed up look is part of the charm, especially on the upper floors - it gives you a feel for 'book treasure hunting'!

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 by SNBD, 19 May 2008
Haven't been there for 20 years but it was a browser's paradise. Untidy? Not what I would say. Instead: many a treasure waiting to be found. I was stunned by the lack of sales terminals (everything was done by hand on little slips of paper) and having my purchase hand wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string.

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 by colonial, 27 Aug 2007
I have 'hovered' over many a book in Foyles, it used to be a great place back in the 50's and 60's. It was said that if you couldn't find it in Foyles you wouldn't find it anywhere else - very true! I think some of your 'visitors' miss the point when comparing Foyles against other shops or complain about the untidy state of the floors - THAT was Foyles, it was part of their charm - too many places are the same - they weren't, THANK GOD!

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 by Speedy, 16 Nov 2005
I used to visit Foyles very often when I was attending Faraday House Engineering college in the late 60s in Southampton Row. Then Foyles for me and all my friends was the place to go and spend some of our spare time checking out old engineering books and books on Maths and electrical engineering.

I am now looking for another old book called "A shilling arithmetic" and I will contact Foyles today (15/08/05) as none of the other book stores could help. Foyles was and still for me a London icon.

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 by Satyanand, 15 Aug 2005
I like their collection of Chet Baker CDs and books on mathematics.

As for the girl who got dumped (see below), too bad. I think Foyles would be a cool place to fall in love in. He must be a complete idiot. If that guy ever reads this, let's hope he gets hit by a truck, hey?

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 by Ted Ripley, 02 Aug 2005
I met the love of my life in Foyles and then he dumped me two months later, so Foyles is the worst place in the world for me. It had good coffee though.

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 by Anonymous, 02 Mar 2005
It used to be the best book shop in London for a certain type of book worm. You could spend many happy hours lost in different sections scanning books you simply couldn't find anywhere else before the days of Amazon. The staff were always a little surly, which often meant you learnt a thing or two about medicine, warfare or nuclear science while tracing down the latest Frederick Forsythe yourself! It's still a great place for finding that elusive book, but since it's been modernised I think some of the old magic's been lost. It didn't suit everybody, as the previous review attests to, but it's lost that individuality and has become another of the big commercial bookshops in the centre of London now. And the staff are now quite helpful; it's not the place I was used to!

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 by Anonymous, 02 Feb 2005
I've never understood the attraction of Foyles. It's always been a mess, but it is a large commercial venture, not some tiny shop like the ones lower down Charing Cross Road. So it lacks the right appeal to be a messy place. It feels uncared for and unkempt, and only a step away in atmosphere and quality from those bookshops where everything is one pound. I don't see the virtue in just being lacklustre.

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 by macaonghus (4 reviews), 21 Jan 2005


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