Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Plaque of the Week No.53

Lost in a Good Book(shop)

Commemorating: Great writers, great writing and great lunches
Issued by: Foyles
Street: Charing Cross Road
Postcode: WC2
Borough: City of Westminster

Sometimes plaques are located in such out-of-the-way places that it’s difficult to see them – such is the case with this series of plaques positioned around the famous bookstore Foyles. To view them one has to go inside the shop – no bad thing.

The plaques commemorate both “The World’s Most Famous Bookshop” (quite right, too) and feature quotes from fabled Foyles’ Literary Lunches of yore. The one pictured here draws on the great John Mortimer (famed creator of Rumpole of the Bailey).

In days gone by, Foyles was fabled for the operatic intransigence of its staff. In addition to this the shop used to operate an erratic filing system – so much so that it is said one would often emerge from the shop unable to find what one wanted, but having purchased what one didn’t know one wanted having been forced into some delicious browsing. These days the filing is impeccable: the hidden bonus of shopping here now comes from these lovely plaques dotted around the store.

The world’s most famous bookstore, indeed. Maybe even the world’s best.

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