The Dover Bookshop in Covent Garden, London is one of my favourite little haunts. It sells loads of royalty free reference material in book form, many of which I have used in my maps over years, like Heck's Archive of Art and Architecture and Fairbairn's Heraldic Crests the list goes on and on. I dropped in a couple of days ago after visiting one my other favourite haunts, the SF shop, 'Forbidden Planet', and found a sign up saying that the Bookshop was closing down for good this Sunday. I went in and had a last hurrah buying a few books but was really sad to see the end of an institution. The Dover Online store may still survive, but the proprietor is not yet sure. It's all very sad as Dover specialised in reprinting out of print reference books and I don't think that there is anything else out there that is comparable (in terms of dead tree books).
The reason for its closure is not hard to see:
Dover's own output has also declined in recent years, admits Matthews, with a limited range of new titles being published, but its biggest competitor is now the range of cheap (and free) images that can be sourced online.
Doubtless the shop will be turned into yet another coffee bar or clothes shop (as we don't have enough of these already).