Black Books Wiki
Black Books shop
Black Books
Location information

13 Little Bevan Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1

Permanent Resident(s)
Opened in

Mid 1990s





Black Books is a second-hand bookshop located at 13 Little Bevan Street, Bloomsbury, London. It sells a variety of books to the public, and also buys books from customers, which is then used as stock. The shop is owned and run by Bernard Black, with the help of his assistant, Manny Bianco. The building in which Black Books is situated is owned by Mr. Benson, a cat who was left the building after Ms. Hanley, his presumed owner, died. Bernard has rented this building and now uses it as the shop and living quarters.



In the mid 1990s, Bernard Black, with the help of his friend Gerald, found a small building at 13 Little Bevan Street, Bloomsbury. Bernard has rented the downstairs and a part of the upstairs of the building from Ms. Hanley, the then-owner, who lived in the flat above the shop. Bernard moved in and turned the back room into the kitchen, the front room into a bookshop, and left the upstairs as living quarters. It is unknown what condition the shop was in then, however, it is likely that Bernard treated the shop with ill-respect, littering the floors with rubbish and piling books scruffily on the shelves.


In 2000, Bernard hired Manny Bianco to work as an assistant in Black Books. Manny takes it upon himself to clean the shop and consults Anall Cleaning Ltd to hire a cleaner. However, one month after the cleaner had finished, the shop had returned to its original state.

Later on in the same year, a group of youths broke into the shop after Manny had left the front door open. To prevent this from happening again, Manny decided to install a high security system which didn't allow anyone in or out of the building, much to Bernard's annoyance. However, another group of youths broke in the following night, and conveniently enough stole the security system.


In 2001, Manny decided to renovate the shop after visiting the modern and stylish bookshop Saga Books. The shop now serves coffee, provides a comfortable seating area for its customers and has an information point. Once Bernard finds out what Manny has done, he is at first angry, put after much thought, decided that he needed the customers. However, when he discover that the customers leave at 1:00pm for lunch, Bernard decided to turn the shop into a restaurant/cafe. However, after giving all his clients food poisoning, Bernard is forced to close it down.


In 2004, Manny resigned from his post in Black Books after Bernard shoved his hand down a toaster, and took up his new post at the bookshop next door, Goliath Books. In Manny's absence, the shop became more untidy than ever before. Books piled high and formed tall towers, and the shop became invested with dead badgers and hermit crabs.

However, Manny decided that his life in Black Books was better than his life in Goliath Books, and returned to Bernard. Bernard, who is delighted to see him return, orders him to clean the shop from top to bottom, and the building returned to its original state.



Black Books exterior

The exterior of Black Books

The exterior of the shop, like the interior, is scruffy and untidy, with a forgotten bookstand holding a pile of books and a filthy window looking into the shop. It seems that Bernard uses the exterior as a dump, as different objects such as a dying potted plant and several bin bags litter the floor. A sign and a stand, advertising the shop, stand by the entrance, both saying 'Black Books - No Timewasters'. A grimy, uncared for window looks into the shop, stenciled upon which is 'Books - Bought and Sold'. The main entrance leads into a small passageway, which then leads into the shop itself.


The main entrance opens into the shop section of Black Books, which is open to the public. In the middle of the room is a presentation table, which displays the latest and most popular books. The rest of the books are located along the shelves, lining the perimeter of the room. These books are listed into sections, which include military history, gardening, music, genealogy, comparative religion, children's books and an alphabetical section.

The shop is inhabited not only by Bernard and Manny, but a whole variety of different creatures, including hermit crabs, badgers, molluscs and a colony of strange creatures which Manny and Bernard compete against each other to see who can kill the most. Manny has described the shop as having a rising smell, a sticky floor and pipes covered in molluscs, despite the fact that they live in the sea.

In one corner of the room, a stone head is stuck to the wall, which, when removed, reveals a peephole into the bookshop nextdoor, Goliath Books. The cashier's desk and cash register is located towards the back of the room, where Bernard usually sits. Behind this is a curtain, blocking the entrance that leads into the kitchen area.

The shop is occasionally decorated if an important event is being celebrated such as Children's Book Week or the Festival of Travel Writing.

Kitchen area[]

"Have you been back there recently, it's like Dresden!"
—Manny Bianco

The kitchen area is located at the back of the house, behind the main shop. There are a number of shelves and presses along the walls and an eating table located in the middle of the room. It is perhaps the messiest of all rooms in the house, as all of the food and takeaways Bernard eats are just left piled in the sink or on the floor. Manny and Bernard usually eat in this room, and as well as that the room provides a sanctuary away from the customers. The room provides a staircase leading up to the upstairs and a back door into the garden.

Second floor[]

The staircase leads to the second floor of the building. The only known rooms on the second floor are Manny's room, Bernard's room, a spare room and a bathroom.

Again, Bernard and Manny are not the only residents. A creature simply known as The Thing inhabits Bernard's room, and is usually found under the bed. It is not known what this creature is, however, Manny and Bernard feed it bananas to prevent it from wreaking havoc.


A tiny garden is located behind the kitchen area. However, this garden is littered with rubbish and junk, to the extent that it only allows a few people to fit inside.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The exterior shots of Black Books were filmed outside Collinge & Clark, a real bookshop located in Leigh Street, Bloomsbury. [1].


Notes and references[]