Monday, March 25, 2013
Most of the bookshops were concentrated in large cites, such as London. Here’s a list of booksellers in London, with their specialties: http://www.londonancestor.com/leighs/books.htm
Some booksellers kept libraries, and some had Reading Rooms only.
Hatchard’s, the bookseller that figures most prominently in Regency romances, had a Reading Room, while Hookham’s had both a Reading Room and a circulating library.
Here’s Hookham’s library catalog: http://books.google.com/books/about/A_catalogue_of_Hookham_s_circulating_lib.html?id=WJYIAAAAQAAJ
Here’s Hookham’s ad for its library: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/ecco/004773836.0001.000/1:4?rgn=div1;view=fulltext
Top picture is of the British Museum Reading Room, from Wikipedia