Continuing the geekdom and writing about bookstores I visited in Budapest:
Atlantis Book Island: My first bookstore visit was the Atlantis Book Island. I was probably the only customer in the English section so I took time and enjoyed each title. I was actually surprised by the number of English titles here. The store has a lot of variety in fiction and non fiction specifically from Central Europe. As a reader, it opened a new world for me.
Best part was the owner knew English so I could ask him for recommendations. Even though he was slightly shy, I managed finding few titles of my interest. I only wish he didn’t stand on my head while I was browsing 😉 The double storied bookstore also had a cute stationary corner with gorgeous bookmarks (all made in Hungary) and wrapping paper.
Massolit Book & Cafe: A quaint bookshop in the heart of the Jewish quarter, Massolit is my absolute favorite! You can sit here and read all day inside or in the garden, use the free Wifi and order a tea with homemade cake! The owner has a WOW collection of historic books and even helped me pick 3 titles. The store has a good selection of travel related books as well and a second hand rack for the Hungarian readers.
Bestsellers: Right next to Budapest’s famous landmark St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the Bestsellers. The huge selection of books in English pulled me there twice! Even the choice of Hungarian literature is massive. I settled for a Romanian author and a bag of Penguin Books. Befriending the lady at the counter was fun because she told me there was always something going on at the shop whether it was book signings, author interviews or poetry sessions. The only downside of this shop is that since it is close to all the major landmarks it was usually full.
Alexandra: Formerly the Paris Department Store, Alexandra was a huge bookstore at the Andrassy Avenue. I visited in September 2016 and although the English section wasn’t very impressive, it has a lot of classics. The piano playing in the baroque cafe above was a reason I could go back and sit in the store. Alexandra was the biggest bookstore chain in Hungary. Sadly I was informed by a dear reader that this chain of stores is now closed.
Do you visit bookstores when you travel to new countries??