Location: 5 out of 5 Near Charing Cross tube station, which is amazing since I live on the Northern Line. Also on Trafalgar Square and walking distance to the Big Ben. Perfection.
Layout store: 4 out of 5 I'm a big fan of the basement floor.
Offer: 4 out of 5 They are limited in space, but they have managed to fill every single nook with books.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 My favorite bookstore in London so far. I don't like to give 5's, because that's reserved for book heaven, but this is so close.
I know I really shouldn't be reviewing two Waterstones in a row, but I just love both the Piccadilly and the Charing Cross store and I felt like I had to review them.
(Ok fine, I just go there all the time, because of the insanely amount of books I buy, but I also really love the stores.)
So first thing first, it's obviously smaller than the Piccadilly store and I guess every book store I'll review from now on will be smaller, so it's not really fair to compare on that basis.
What I do love about it is that it's in a basement! I don't know why, but it feels so nice and secluded from the world. There is no cellphone reception, so no one is blabbing away on their phone. Everyone is just sitting and reading.
Their classics selection is a very elaborate one, as I expect is the case in all Waterstones. They have all the books you would think of and usually an edition or two.
The thing I love about this store are the table selections. I'm not sure why, but in this particular store they are always just what I'm looking for. Every time I want to buy a book, I buy it off their selection on the tables. Their sections are original, the remarks on the notes funny and inspiring. I'm not sure who makes these selections, but major kudos to them. They make the store.
Lets take the picture below for example: Classic B-Sides. I love the idea of looking at famous authors and deciding which of their works isn't as famous, but should be read by everyone. If I would ever pick a dream job - this would be it.
Though cliché as I am, I picked up Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Not exactly a B-side, but a book I wanted to read for a long time.
My favorite section? Ah, the same as always: these amazing beauties.
Can anyone get sick of looking at these books? Because I stood there for 10 minutes, just loving every single one of them.
So all I can say about this bookstore is: check it out. It's less big than Waterstones Piccadilly so your choice might be more limited, but it feels a lot more personal and book-ish. Just grab a book, find a comfy chair and sit there for a hour or two. It's so easy to lose track of time in this store.