This 226-year-old London bookshop is now a viral hit on TikTok

A very old bookshop in central London has been baffled by an influx of young American women visiting the store, which, it turns out, is all down to a TikTok trend. Thanks to some keen bibliophiles on BookTok (that’s the realm of TikTok where book fans gather), Hatchards bookshop in Piccadilly has unexpectedly become a viral sensation. 

One of the royal family’s official booksellers, the 226-year-old store was surprised to become a hit with Gen Z readers. And youthful visitors aren’t just checking out the five-storey shop’s massive collection: fans of a fantasy book series are going to the shop to re-enact one of their favourite scenes from a novel. In Cassandra Clare’s best-selling novel ‘The Mortal Instruments’ – which was adapted into a film starring Lily Collins – one character goes to Hatchards to buy his love interest a copy of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.

Francis Cleverdon, the manager of Hatchards, told the Times: ‘It was mentioned on TikTok about a month ago and since then we’ve sold bucketloads of Dickens. 

‘Quite a lot of people stand by the front till taking pictures of the royal arms. Every week or so they’ll see social media content being filmed in the shop.’

This isn’t the first time Hatchard’s has been frequented by literature fans. The bookstore also appears in Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs Dalloway’ and has for a long time been a spot visited by Woolf enthusiasts. 

‘We’re used to people following Mrs Dalloway’s route and Mrs Dalloway is quite different to Cassandra Clare, so it’s lovely,’ Cleverdon added. 

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