Every city has them. Sometimes they are well known, and sometimes they are hidden through winding streets, or off the beaten path. Either way, they are much sought after for the treasures they hold, sometimes old, sometimes new, or other times a mix, with a rare room that makes your curiosity grow, even with a humble demeanor. Of course we are talking about bookstores, or as they are called in Spanish, librerías, as we will be taking you on a short, informational blogpost tour of Barcelona’s best librerías, or even more accurate, as they say in Catalan, llibreria. Like New York City, Los Angeles, and other large cities, Barcelona has bookstores scattered around, and range from large bookstores, ala The Last Bookstore, or the Strand, to smaller and more cozy neighborhood bookstores. None, are not worth visiting though, as all bookstores are a hunt for something new to you, or an ability to cherish that classic you always wanted. Sometimes, finding the specific edition, can make you cherish a story more.
1. Llibreria Calders
Opened in what used to be a button factory, on what is known as the most “hipster street” in Barcelona, this bookstore houses a piano bar, and puts on concerts and readings. In addition to that, they keep up with the literary fields making sure no reader leaves empty handed.
2. CCCB Cultural Center Bookshop
Here you can find great Majorcan philosophy and things of a more intellectual variety. If you have ever been to the bookstore at the Canadian Center for Architecture, or the Hammer Museum, then you know the philosophical quality and array of the works. One can visit the center as well.
Calling themselves the place for culture, the Laie on Pau Claris is the original two floor cafe and bookstore which deals mostly with art, humanities, culture, and politics, of which you can find domestic and international affairs.
According to some, Altaïr is the largest travel bookstore in all of Europe. Not only do they stock travelogues and guidebooks, but they host events, readings, and forums that all garner serious attention. It has a great cafe inside which serves as a place to research where to go next or what to do.
5. La Central
Having a few different shops, make sure to go into any La Central bookstores that you might come across. The one on Carrer de Mallora is a refinished 17th century building, a sight to hold in and of itself. Do not miss!
Specializing in science fiction and fantasy this place is the hunt for all things unreal and out of this world. They are also publishers, most famous for having bought the rights for the Spanish edition of Game of Thrones. In addition to this they have magazines, fanzines, game cards, comics and are a host to a number of panels and forums!
7. Lino (A Side Project Of Blackie Books)
Lino is a bookstore that is a smaller, almost boutique like bookstore (and offspring of publisher Blackie Books). Lino plays on the fact that they are one of the smallest bookstores in the city, and yet have ever changing shelves of books that include vast selections of genres.
Barcelona has many more bookstores and libraries, but these top this list. Do you have any to add to the list, favorites of your own? Which of these seem like your type of bookstore?
YouTube Channel: Juan Rodríguez
Featured image via Wikimedia
h/t The Guardian