This week is the feast day of Saint George, and in Barcelona it's a big deal. "San Jordi" is celebrated in style with the exchange of Roses and books being the tradition. The rose represents the blood of the dragon and the books commemorate the anniversary of Cervantes' death. So I thought it might be apt to blog about some great places in Barcelona to find books.
A great place to start is FNAC, which is located at the top of Las Ramblas, inside “El Triangle” at Plaça Catalunya. The French chain store is along the lines of a HMV, or a Virgin Megastore, and stocks DVDs, CDs’ and a fairly impressive bookstore, including a great travel section and a fair amount of English books, too.
Just a short walk away and another great stop for books is “Portal del Angel” street – real fans of Barcelona literature could even take a shortcut through Carrer Santa Ana, which was the home of leading character “Daniel” in Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s bestseller “The Shadow of the Wind”. Here you can find another of Spanish Giant “El Corte Inglés” stores whose book collection also has an impressive English collection of reference and non-fiction. Continue down towards the inner winding walkways of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona and “Happy Books” speaks for itself and has a few shops within the city itself.
Away from the old town into Poble Sec neighbourhood also houses a real gem – Elephant, a second hand English bookstore where you can come and exchange old novels and pick up some great new ones, too.
Moving on to some of the rest of the bookstores in Barcelona (not necessarily English, or with a good English collection), then BCN Books also has a good collection of books over 3 stores in downtown Barcelona, and “Casa del Libro” also dates as far back as 1923. Finally, if it’s travel books you’re looking for, then look no further than Altair on Gran Via, number 616. This extremely central bookstore has everything you can think of with regards to world travel, anthropology, geography and is a great place to compare.
If you want some more information on the bookstores mentioned here and much more, then I suggest you check out Ivan and Sonja's fantastic Bookstore Guide who are tireless in their pursuit of finding the best bookshops around the world, and have a great section in Barcelona, too. Thanks guys!
Also, if you're looking for accommodation in the city, don't forget to check out apartments for rent in Barcelona for some great savings.