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You enter through Soho Books – one of those bargain bookstore on London’s venerable Charing Cross Road that seem like a thin disguise for the adult section in the basement. Go up the stairs, though, rather than downstairs, and you’ll get to Claire de Rouen, arguably one of the best photography bookstores in London, if not the whole of Europe – no kidding.

Run by the namesake French Mme de Rouen with an appropriately French hairdo and her trademark dog, it’s a tiny space that is cramped to the ceiling with books, books, books. Eastern European gritty reportage, obscure Japanese volumes from the 60s, American new photography, fashion and bling, rare items that have been long out of print – you name it, they’ll have it. And if they don’t, you might as well stop searching. But chances are, you’ll find plenty of other books that you never knew about and maybe wish you hadn’t discovered – so bring plenty of time and plenty of change, since Claire de Rouen is nothing short of a treasure chest for photography. They also run the even tinier Exit Gallery, which is located on, exactly, the staircase on your way out. In short: it’s the kind of place that makes you wish Amazon to hell.

Claire de Rouen
121 – 125 Charing Cross Road
1st Floor
London WC2H 0EW

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  1. [...] art and fashion bookshop.” Looking into the book store.  Picture taken from the ‘Here & Now‘ blog which featured the shop as one of its store of the [...]