UK Booksellers for Language Professionals:
General bookshop. Though Amazon is the model for all online bookshops, ELT books and software are not immediately accessible. They are found in the category "Education and Languages". Once there the service is good, though the search is not as particular as in the specialist shops, and a learner would find it difficult.
Good range of European and other languages.
BBC courses are notable for the rich mixture of media. Unfortunately, the shop navigation does not make it very easy to see the complete range. You need to use the search engine entering the required language.
General academic bookseller. ELT is not immediately evident. The path is Humanities > Language Arts & Disciplines > Study & Teaching > Browse Study & Teaching. A learner would find it difficult.
Over 40 shops across the UK.
Books for Students (BfS)
A specialist book supplier to schools and public libraries with a service for International Schools, they claim to be able to obtain to any book in print. Their online bookshop specialises in readers for children, is well organised and so easy to use.
Bournemouth English Book Centre
Established in 1974, BEBC was Britain's first specialist ELT bookshop. A very attractive site with an effective category search and lots of information about the materials including reviews. BEBC posts from Dorset, and has a shop in International House, Piccadilly, London. There is also a specialist ordering service for schools and other educational institutions.
Albion Close, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset, BH12 3LL.
Cambridge International Book
ELT specialists, CIBC has been in business since 1978. The site has an over-detailed front page, though quicksearch is immediately accessible. One excellent feature is the Cascading Browse Menu to give an overview of what is available in a particular category. They offer adequate information on the materials, though with few images. A very efficient site.
42 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1LA.
The English Language Bookshop
ELB are both publishers and a specialist bookshop. The site features many resource links including a selection of online dictionaries and grammars. Buying is quite labourious: you have to download a pdf to order by post or by email. Materials are merely listed with little information other than price.
31 George Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1RH.
The European Bookshop
All European languages, plus Japanese and Arabic.
A bookshop for all the European languages. This is actually a group of four bookshops: The European Bookshop; The Italian Bookshop; Young Europeans Bookstore (all in London) and European Schoolbooks Ltd for booksellers (Cheltenham). Search comprehensive, though complex and intimidating to inexperienced users. Basic information on the materials. Recently expanded EFL section.
The European Bookshop - 5 Warwick Street, London W1B 5LU; The Italian Bookshop - 7 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ; Young Europeans Bookstore - 5 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ; European Schoolbooks Ltd - The Runnings, Cheltenham, GL51 9PQ.
They boast of "one of the most comprehensive ranges of EFL textbooks in the UK". However, there is only a limited category search, so without entering a name in the Search box it is not possible to see what is available beyond the recommended titles. You can order either online or by sending an order form.
113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0EB.
Grant & Cutler (now
part of Foyles)
The largest foreign language bookshop in the UK, with extensive materials for French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish as well as books, videos, cassettes, CDs and CD-ROMS in more than 200 languages, and subtitled films in more than 30 languages. No images. Orders by shopping trolley, email, fax or post.
55-57 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7AY.
English Book Centre, Oxford
A specialist ELT bookshop. A basic website which, though fast, offers equally basic information on the materials and few images. There are some reviews on selected titles, though they are very sketchy. A Specialist Advice Request Form is available.
26 Grove Street, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7JT.
The major ELT bookshop in the UK. The buying process is not difficult, and you are able to keep track of your purchases and the total spend as you shop. The search engine is efficient and fast. The site offers a special search engine for learners, short on text with simple interactions.
St Giles College, 154 Southampton Row, London , WC1B 5AL; Godalming, Surrey GU7 1LG
LCL International Booksellers Ltd
Wide choice of languages (including ELT). Rarely more than the most basic information available. Ordering is a little labourious involving submitting an order form, an exchange of emails and then final contact by fax, phone or post.
104-106 Judd Street, London, WC1H 9NT.
Maher Booksellers Ltd
A general bookstore with a large ELT section easily accessed from the left sidebar. A rather severe site with only the basic information available on the materials. You can order online.
54 The Howard Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL8 6HA.