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Good places to put zines in London [No.3] – Housmans

May 7, 2013

Name of place: Housmann’s
Where? King’s Cross
Is there a signed photo of Sally Field above the door? No.


There’s a yellow sign and a little trolley of books outside this place, two pretty low-key attempts to get people to notice them.
Once you’ve noticed, you’ll see leaflets/posters in the window like:

‘Anarchism Now: why capitalism is a motherfucker’
‘Socialism: don’t be so fucking greedy’
‘Feminism: men are shit’

Basically, this bookshop/radical collective kind of thing is full of zines and leaflets pretty much the same as the three above. It’s all good stuff…stuff you won’t find anywhere else in London except 56a and Freedom Press.
This is because most people can’t be bothered either reading or fighting for this shit. Mainstream media demonises/sidelines most of these viewpoints and ‘isms’ so people think it’s pointless even to get started on it.

E.g. Anarchism = people dying, chaos, the Joker etc. [The Joker is the half of anarchism that doesn’t like authority institutions, but he forgets the other half where small groups work together peacefully and on their own terms]

But a lot of the ideas in these zines/books are worth thinking about. Can’t think of any specific ones, but it beats reading the latest shit from Will Self.

Note: there may be Will Self books for sale at Housmann’s too. Ha.

What else?
The guy behind the counter is a decent guy. I asked for zines and he took me straight to them.
[Alternate, motherfucker version of this shop = owner would have hissed, said zines are for hippies and spat on me]
Five minutes later, he came back talking about a zine event coming up in London, and looked up a guy called Jimi Gherkin online and then gave me his info.
I hadn’t bought anything yet, or forced the Gupter zines on him, so he did it just because he’s a decent guy.
Or maybe because he was bored out of his mind. I don’t know.
He also showed me the first zine to have a spine in the UK…a zine called ‘Vague’ from the 70’s…and showed me some other stuff I’d never heard of [Savage London]
What else?
There were a few other people in there, but no-one seemed to be buying much. I had my usual thought: how does this place stay in business?
Somehow, it just does. It’s been around since the 1300’s, before printing on paper even began, and it’ll probably be here when the Romulans invade in 2340.
Naturally, we left some of our zines [for the Romulans to read].

What else?
There aren’t many places like this in London. If you’re in the area, you should go there and buy something, help them stay in business.
What else?
They had a few Zizek books on display.
They also had a Zizek pillow, Zizek pyjamas and a Zizek lunchbox. Apparently, philosophy students and other students who don’t know much about philosophy like him a lot.
What else?
The floor is wooden and was made in Shenzhen.

How to get there?
Go to King’s Cross station, go inside the station, pretend you’ve just stepped off one of the trains then walk back out the main exit and walk left towards a road. Cross it and you should see a line of shops with a McDonalds and a Starbucks. Go past them and take the first left. You will see a shop on the left hand side with a yellow sign. It will say Housmann’s on it. Take a few steps forward. There will be a door. Open it. Walk in. You’re there.

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