For some, the word ‘bookish’ conjures up quiet, almost monastic, communion with literature. We disagree. For us, books are inherently social.

That’s why we have a long bar at the centre of our bookshop in Balham, serving coffee, tea and soft drinks and - when you are ready to move on to something stronger - wine, beer and cocktails. We have sweet nibbles on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, too.

Drinks at Backstory

One of our favourite things about running our own independent bookshop is taking part in these bookish exchanges with friends new and old at the bar. Friendships frequently form over a shared commitment to the new Claire Keegan, say, or a virulent dislike of a particular genre.

Browse our drinks list below and come and join us soon. If you’d like to bring your whole book group one evening, just let us know at and we can reserve space for you.


Drinks at Backstory