In business since 1903, this institution has thus far navigated the onslaught of high rents and low readership. After the 1999 death of its off-putting and tyrannical owner, the store was once again passed to the next generation of the Foyle family, and it finally caught up with modernity just in time to avoid closure. Its huge inventory of 200,000 titles straddles both popular and specialty topics. There are small outlets at Waterloo Station and the Royal Festival Hall on Southbank, but this beloved HQ is more like a theme park for readers, full of talks, special events, and signings. If you sign into its free Wi-Fi, you can get walking directions to the shelf containing the title you want.