Sarah Anderson: Founding The Travel Bookshop

Sarah Anderson (Photo by Sebastian Latala)

Many readers think of owning a bookshop as some sort of dream job.

Sarah Anderson founded the iconic Travel Bookshop in 1979.

You might be familiar with this place even if you’ve never been to London. It was the inspiration for the bookshop in the 1998 Hugh Grant / Julia Roberts film Notting Hill

But that’s not our concern here. I’ve never seen the film. 

We’re talking books with the woman who curated the reading list for so many journeys both on and off the map.

What are the biggest challenges of running a bookshop?

Was there a ‘golden age’ of literary travel writing, and what’s the state of the genre today?

Who are Sarah’s favourite forgotten writers about place?

We’ve got all that and more in the last Personal Landscapes episode of 2023. Talk about ending the year on a high note.

Sarah Anderson founded The Travel Bookshop in 1979 and ran it for more than 30 years. She’s the author of Halfway to Venus, Sarah Anderson’s Travel Companion, and The Lost Art of Silence. She’s also an accomplished painter.

You can read more about her on her website, and follow her on Instagram.

These are the books we mentioned in the podcast:

We also mentioned:

You can listen to Personal Landscapes: Conversations on Books About Place on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, Google Podcasts, Audible, PlayerFM, and TuneIn + Alexa.
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About the author

Ryan Murdock

Author of A Sunny Place for Shady People and Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Writer at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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