Skip to main content

No results found

Stone Circle banner
Culture, Literature, Living, Travel

Page Turner:

Bookshops

divider
Sylvia Warren
“Go in through the back, a mess of old, waterlogged books, propped up against every wall until they are part of the structure of the shop.”
Bookshop Libreria Alta Aquila

Let’s discuss bookshops. I don’t know about you, but since I was a child, my parents always treated bookshops as a Pandora’s Box – an alluring yet dangerous cave of wonders. Coming out with a single title was an act of restraint.

However, the next step from going into every bookshop when you are on holiday is travelling to a city with a bookshop in mind. Then again, sometimes finding the perfect bookshop unexpectedly is the ideal way to get the best out of a new country.

If you’re in…Italy

Florence has great paper shops, handmade envelopes and letterheads. Rome has the centre of culture axiomatic for an old capital. But Venice… Venice is home to the Acqua Alta. Go in through the back, a mess of old, waterlogged books, propped up against every wall until they are part of the structure of the shop. Inside, a mess – an old, broken gondola filled with paperbacks, stacks of novels tilting over against every surface, non-fiction, art books, literary novels, thrillers…it is a delight. Although it has a small English language selection, it has surprising gems that you could not get elsewhere.

If you’re in… Poland

Stay with me, but Krakow has one of the most amazing bookshops on the continent. The Massolit, a gorgeous wood-panelled shop on several levels, with hand-written signs and a wealth of first editions alongside affordable vintage paperbacks, is a haven for all book-lovers. Serving hot coffee, wine, sprits, and homemade cakes, you can feed the mind and the stomach simultaneously. Perfectly Instagrammable, this may be the best place to find the gift for the difficult-to-buy-for person in your life.

If you’re in....France

Ahhh, I bet you think I am going to say Shakespeare & Co. No – although the original Sylvia Beach is a wonder, and the history of that bookshop is fantastic, it sells English language novels at cover price that you can get in your local bookshop. The bookshop you need to visit in Paris is Berkeley Books, in the university quarter. Run by the delightful and eccentric Phyllis, this is where you can buy both the latest books and the most gorgeous old editions – and it also hosts a range of excellent evening events.

If you’re in…Barcelona

Hibernian is another second-hand English bookstore, but it also contains overstocks at very good prices, so you can get a brand new edition for only a few euros. Beautifully warm and inviting, with rows and rows of books that make browsing for hours a requirement, Hibernian also has an online catalogue – but visiting the shop in person is much more fun.

Acqua Alta: Calle Longa S. Maria Formosa, 5176/b, 30122 Castello, Venice, Italy

Massolit: ul. Felicjanek 4, Krakow, Poland

Berkeley Books: 8, rue Casmimir Delavigne, Paris, 75006

Hibernian: Carrer de Montseny 17, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

RECOMMENDED

RUh7p3UA wsx61n
Wed 20 Jan 2021

Among those businesses severely affected by the lockdown and cancellation of major crowd-pulling events was the Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity. However, there is a glimmer of hope that favourite events such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, RHS Malvern Spring Festival, RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park will be held in 2021.

Lagan homes Witney 5
Thu 7 Jan 2021

Nestled alongside the popular Witney Lakes Golf and Spa Resort, Lagan Homes’ exciting new development, Lakeview at Colwell Green, offers an exclusive collection of contemporary new homes in a spectacular setting.

NG headshot online
Thu 7 Jan 2021

Nicola Green – Unity

Zuleika Gallery

To mark the inauguration of President Biden on 20 January 2021, Zuleika Gallery is delighted to present ‘Unity’, an exhibition of work by the British artist and social historian, Nicola Green.

fPeqgUCA r6abmh
Tue 5 Jan 2021

Singapore Gardens

Reaching for the Sky

To accommodate so many people in such a small space, the city-state of Singapore, which has been known as the Garden City for many years has now evolved to a City in Nature as more environmentally green spaces are developed.