Boats and Books

Any city wouldn’t be complete without some unique spots covered in local flair. One that I was lucky enough to find this week is called Word on the Water. Now, I have talked a lot about the canal boats that line Regents Canal in this blog, as that canal is right on my campus. But that canal reaches all the way from East London, to the middle of the city near King’s Cross Station, which is quite far. Venturing off from King’s Cross with some of my flatmates, we were able to walk along the canal to find Word on the Water! This canal boat is not only a boat that moves up and down the water, but a bookshop. The outside lined with different books for those walking by to see, but if you have a bit more time you can duck inside to find even more titles! The shop was owned by two men that were sitting along the path, talking to people passing by and playing with an adorable dog.


The shop itself was unique, with many titles and authors I had never heard of. It was also a conglomerate of donated books, old and new. The outside was complete with interesting art and typewriters. I also found out in the warmer months there are live performers and bands that play on the top of the boat.


The canal boat culture is really interesting to me, as people live on canal boats instead of paying rent for apartments in the city. It looks like a great alternative living style that works for a lot of people. It also allows for people to make these great little businesses that really are unique to the city. I’m unsure where else you would be able to go to find a little bookshop in a boat. Living by the canal I’ve also seen a boat turned creative space, where you can rent it out for an hour and be creative to your hearts content! When I walked by I looked in and saw a man playing a baby grand piano, on a boat! I’ve also heard rumours that there is a canal boat movie theatre, which I have yet to find, but trust me it is on my list of canal boat businesses to check out.

London is like many other cities in the creativity of people is quite endless. I’ve been able to see that first hand with all these boat businesses, and it really makes me happy to be able to experience the little quirks that float along the canal. If you’re ever in London, I highly recommend taking a stroll down Regents Canal, you never know what you’ll come across.

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