Friday, 20 January 2017

Bookshop Spotted: JAMBALA

247 Globe Road
Bethnal Green
E2 0JD 

Hours: Monday - Friday 10-7 PM
Saturday - 10-6 PM
Sunday - Closed

Hey folks!

How is the new year going so far? Any new year's resolutions that you're bound to break by the third of February?

One of my goals in 2017 is to explore more independent or charity bookshops in London. It's all part of my desire to explore my city or, more believably, the chance to ogle at books.

So without further ado, this is Jambala - the first of many bookshops in my 'bookshop spotted' series. Tucked away behind the London Buddhist Centre, this charity shop is as quirky as its name. 

The discovery: 
On a cold and drizzling night, I noticed the sign of a charity book sale taking place in January. I paused. Went back a few paces to catch the name of such a wonderful thing in my hometown... but it was absolutely pouring and I couldn't see it in the dark. 

Figuring I'd be able to find the bookshop easily because they're really quite rare where I live - the nearest Foyles or Waterstones being a thirty minute tube journey - I carried on with my week. Inside, I was really, really excited about going to explore it after my classes the next week. And it was amazing!

The shop: 
When you first enter, you're greeted with the sight of a warm shop floor filled with tall bookcases in a zig-zag layout. There's much to see on your left and your right. I spotted a young man reading a book behind the modest makeshift of a till on a table and three customers - one gentleman crouching and reading the titles of books and a couple in the farthest corner of the bookshop.

Immediately feeling shy, I turned to my left to observe the books. I quickly came to realise they were on science, philosophy, food... things I didn't read so I wandered over to a display of essential oils and oil burners. I recognised rosemary and tea tree oil.

The books:
With the mix of scents and a quietly playing classical song that I could not name, I discovered the very very small selection of young adult books. They were quite outdated - their largest series being Twilight and Darren Shan. It was their collection of classics and general fiction that made me love the place.

I spent ages picking up old editions of Austen and Dickens. Most titles were £2.00 or £1.50 since they were second hand. I picked up a Penguin edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover and a vintage edition of The Case of Sherlock Holmes stories. In between taking sneaky photos of the books to show on instagram and touching the spines of familiar books such as Half of a Yellow Sun and One Day, I scored the completed trilogy of Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children for just £6.00. 

The service:
I didn't have any cash on me so the young man at the till suggested I pay with card at the London Buddhist Centre and return with the receipt. It was a quick visit but it was nice seeing a place I had been to on a school trip when I was nine. After, the cashier and I got talking about the bookshop and how it is owned by the monk at the Buddhist Centre. The latter also held events called Poetry East which sounded awfully exciting.

All in all, I loved my short trip to Jambala. It's made sweet by the fact that it exists somewhere that I can pop into on a day I find myself in the area. If you are too, do check it out!

*** Do you have a favourite bookstore that owns your love and loyalty? ***


  1. Oh, Wow! I wish they had these kind of book stores where I'm from. But then again, I'd probably never leave or get anything done ever again! Stunning post and beautiful pictures!

    Nihaad | Read & Seek

    1. Hello! Thanks for your reply hun. I may have the same problem now hehe. Thank you for your words. x