Angel Loves Indies… Upper St Bookshop

Upper Street Bookshop, 42 Upper Street, N1 OPN

Upper Street Bookshop debuted just over a year ago and has been on the bestseller list when it comes to must-visit shops in Angel. We had a chat with assistant manager Molly Thompson who told us why the store is a real page-turner.

Hi Molly. So tell us where it all began.

Upper Street Bookshop opened in October 2021 and is run by a small team of experienced booksellers. The whole team has been in the bookselling field for more than five years and as you can imagine we all got into this line of work due to our love of literature and eagerness to share that with similar-minded people. 

I personally fell into this bookshop because it gave me the freedom to sell the books I wanted to sell and spread a message of general positivity that I was eager to do.

What do you offer?

We offer a range of books, from the newly published to classics to children’s and so on. The selection is curated by our team of three and we take great pride in selecting the most interesting and inclusive books we can find that you may not see in other bookshops. We are linked to a few other independents under the House of Books umbrella, all located in North London.

What three words describe the life of a bookseller?

Coffee-fuelled, languid, educational.

What are your main challenges?

Lifting heavy boxes full of books. We are not generally gym-going people!

Why do you love what you do?

It is such a joy to be surrounded by books all day and there is no better feeling than when a customer returns to tell you that they loved the book you recommended, or in a similar vein, you feel like you’ve recommended a book that will educate someone.

Who is your typical customer?

Liberal readers!

What makes your business unique? Why should people visit?

We find it greatly important that we only stock books we ourselves as readers would want to find in a bookshop. We want to be as inclusive as possible and show people that we really care about the future of literature and the championing of independent publishers.

What’s it like working in Angel, what do you enjoy about it?

Angel is the perfect place to have a bookshop – so many readers! Plus the canal is pretty nice for a lunchbreak too.

Tell us something people might not know about you or the bookshop?

We flooded last year and it quite literally rained in the shop. It was not the day to wear Birkenstock.

Do you have any upcoming events?

We are considering starting a small book club so watch this space!

What are you reading at the moment?

I am currently reading Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys.

What is your…
Favourite tipple
? White wine!
Go-to snack? Anything cheese.
Perfect Sunday? A cuppa and a book in bed.
Three books you’d save from a fire? The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon. (Are we sure I can’t hold more!)

Thanks Molly! If you’d like to know more, pop in to the store or follow them on Instagram @upperstreetbookshop and Twitter @street_upper.

+++ Are you an independent business in Angel and would like to feature here? Drop Sarah an email at