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Waterstones, Science Museum – Brian Clegg

Our editor gives a portrait of an unusual book store.

Most of the time when you go into a book shop, the popular science section is a disappointment. Our local branch of the stationers W. H. Smiths (admittedly not known as a great bookshop) has a whole bookcase dedicated to misery fiction, and only a handful of popular science books. Others are restricted to a single shelf.
Although the Popular Science site is a great source of information, we can’t review every book, nor can we give the experience of browsing through the real things. Sometimes you just want to get your hands on some books – there’s nothing like it.
I’m pleased to say that Londoners have an alternative to science bookshop misery. Just nip along to South Kensington and slip into the Science Museum – there you will find a Waterstones that (apart from a couple of bookcases of generic children’s books) is dedicated to science and popular science. It’s your actual popular science Alladin’s cave.Manager Kirstin and her staff can help with ordering in anything that’s not on the shelves – or just general helpful enquiries. They have regular signings by popular science authors (look out for Signed Copy stickers on stock), and the museum is free to get in, so they’re easy to access.
The shop is open from 10am to 6pm every day of the year except 24th, 25th and 27th December (I’m not sure why, but if you have a desperate need for a science book on Boxing Day, you can get one. A chance to use those book tokens that Santa left.)
You can contact them on 020 7942 4481 or, or just pop along to Exhibition Road (they’re down the end of the long underground passageway from South Kensington tube). Inside the museum, follow round to the right and they’re tucked away against the left wall, just before the space section.
Oh, and there’s a pretty good museum to look at, thrown in at no extra charge.


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