Word on the Water

London is a city not without its problems. Rents are rising, the air is polluted, many of the transport networks can barely cope with the rush hour hoardes, and for many of us owning a home in the city is little more than a daydream. However it is also, in my opinion, the greatest city in the world; full of wonder, quirks and character. There are simply thousands of gems to be discovered, and many of these have stories to them which make the city even more endearing to me.

One of these is Word on the Water, a floating bookshop moored on the Regent’s Canal adjacent to Granary Square in King’s Cross.  After losing its original mooring to developers (a story heard all too often), the barge travelled London’s waterways searching for a new home before a campaign was kickstarted to save Word on the Water. More than six thousand people petitioned the Canal & River Trust to grant the bookshop a new mooring site. I adore the fact that so many people stepped up to help a small business in need, and the fact that the Canal & River Trust listened! It was this collective effort that led to the bookshop being moored in its current location; where it enchants me each day as I cycle past it on my way to and from work.


Entrance to the enchanting bookshop

As well as being an impossibly cool shop, Word on the Water has a genuinely great selection of books; which is ever changing as both donors and buyers come by. Inside the boat there is also a cosy reading area to sample a potential purchase or to lose yourself in a new book after buying it. I don’t think I’d ever tire of reading a book near a window looking out over a canal, or browsing a bookshelf while gently bobbing with the waves.

Benjy Rider

Browse books while bobbing in the canal

Thank you London, and well done!