The Word on the Water Floating Bookshop

Ask anyone what their favourite smell is, and 90% of the time they’ll say it’s old books. (For the other 10% it’s either freshly baked bread or the aftershave of a long-dead but beloved relative.) Everyone loves old books, even people who’ve only managed half a Ben Elton paperback on holiday since 1999, like my mother. Who doesn’t like rifling through a box of possible treasures, well-thumbed by untold readers before them? It has a whiff of that pre-digital charm that is so hard to come by nowadays.

The Word on the Water Paddington

So, imagine how tickled I was to find the Word on the Water, a floating bookshop that’s popped up (bobbed up?) on London’s waterways.

After drifting from bank to bank in Camden, Angel and Hackney, it’s finally found a permanent mooring outside Paddington station. There’s a wood-burning stove, a harem of sea canal-faring moggies and a rooftop stage for alfresco poetry slams.

Word on the Water Paddington

Word on the Water Paddington

Word on the Water Paddington

Of course, the stock is always changing, but there’s a selection to float every boat, including children’s fiction. I picked up a volume of letters from Evelyn Waugh and Geisha by Lesley Downer for a very reasonable £4.50.

The Word on the Water can now be found permanently moored outside Paddington underground station. They don’t have a website, but more information and their opening hours can be found on their Facebook page and Twitter account

Author: Emily Gibson

Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in East London and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.