One of the many things I was looking forward to with my big trip a week ago is visiting bookstores in other countries. I got the idea from Janice, who took lots of awesome book-related vacation photos from her cruise early this year. Then I got the idea from Chachic to get a foreign edition of some of my favorite books like she did on her trip to Bangkok (more about this in a later post).
Unfortunately, almost all days of my trip had a full schedule, so I had very limited time to visit book stores until the end of my trip. That, and apparently I was the only one who was totally crazy about books in our group. Oh well. I was still able to go to some bookstores, but just not in all countries that I went to. I still managed to take a ton of photos though and behold, I share them below! (Warning, photo dump!)
I decided to bring my Kindle to my trip instead of other books so I won’t have to lug extra stuff in my suitcase (and have room in case I decide to buy books overseas :D). I started reading Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly on the 12-hour plane ride from Manila to Amsterdam. I just had to highlight that line. :D
This was the first bookstore I saw in the Amsterdam Schiphol airport:
I didn’t have time to go to it, though, since we only have an hour layover before our flight to Madrid, and we still had to look for our gate.
On our first day in Madrid, after the WYD Day 1, I spotted this sign along Gran Via:
I’m pretty sure that means “Bookstore.” :)
Like I said, I wasn’t able to visit bookstores much until the last day because of all our activities and other non-book-related shopping (clothes, shoes, souvenirs, buy step stools), so there’s not too many photos of it while we were at the height of our trip. Oh, but I spotted this independent bookstore near our host home one night as we were on our way home after dinner:
Sorry for the blurry image, but the glowing sign there says Libreria, which, incidentally, is also the name of the bookstore in Cubao X where we Filipino Book Bloggers love to hang out. I was supposed to drop by here on my last day of Madrid, but alas, I arrived during siesta time, so it was closed. And I had no time to go back. :(
When we got to Geneva, the YFCs picked us up at the airport, made us ride a tram and then waited for our host (who will bring us across the border to France, where our hosts were — how cool was that!). Then I spotted this!
I swear, I squealed when I saw this, earning the laughter of my friends. Haha. But since we arrived in Geneva at midnight, this was obviously closed. My return flight to Geneva (which was really just a stopover) was also at night, so I never got to see what’s inside this store. :(
We had a quick tour of Geneva the next day before our train to Paris in the afternoon. We were walking around the old city and I was taking photos like crazy. I can’t remember if I got this photo from a bookstore or if it was just a stationery/notebook store, but I had a laugh when I spotted this:
I wasn’t really looking for a sign then (I think, anyway), but if anyone else was…well, this is for you. ;)
Oh, but we were able to see the United Nations Office in Geneva library! :) We didn’t have much time to go around (and I think they don’t have much fiction books inside?), because we were too busy taking photos of ourselves in the framed quotes of the Declaration of Human Rights. :D
I had a little bit more luck in Paris in terms to visiting bookstores, when I stopped oooh-ing and ahhh-ing at sights such as these:
Reading Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly while on the trip was a great idea, because everything came alive the moment I stepped into Paris. Granted, I wasn’t able to visit all the places the author mentioned there, but it certainly fueled my imagination. Plus, how can I not visit Point Zero? :) Anna and the French Kiss, anyone?
Anyway, while walking from Louvre to Champs-Élysées, I saw this quaint little place:
I’m pretty sure this means “Garden Library”? Or “Garden Bookstore” A Google search says it’s a store that sells gardening books. It looks like a cute place, don’t you think?
Along Champs-Élysées, some friends stopped over at Virgin to look for a French dictionary and Bible. I followed them in and realized belatedly that I was inside a bookstore. I had to exercise a lot of self-control when I was looking around. :D
My camera was low on batteries then so this was the only photo I took inside. This was the “foreign” display inside the store — books from the US, UK and Australia were there. It took a while for me to spot where the French YA books were. I saw them when I went back in to look for the others, and I ended up finally buying a foreign edition of a book I like. :)
I also didn’t have much time to look around in Vienna, except take pictures of the stores from the outside. Sigh.
I’m not sure if this store sells books, but it says Libro — means “book” in Spanish. Hmmm.
I only got to go inside bookstores on my last day in Madrid. Finally.
The thing with going around bookstores whose first language isn’t English is it’s hard to look for the sections I want to go to because I wasn’t sure where to look. It took me a while to find where the YA section of the two stores I visited because I didn’t know what it’s labeled. Spanish language is close to Filipino so I was able to glean a bit of what things mean, but it still wasn’t easy. I heaved a huge sigh of relief when I saw this sign:
And then, finally, YA books:
There were some graphic novels, too. :)
There was also more in the airport before leaving Madrid:
And there you go. :) It was fun going around bookstores in other countries, even if just to see what kind of books they have. Oh, and I also realized that books in Europe are expensive compared to books in the Philippines! Good thing they have libraries there, eh?
One last thing: of all pictures I took, I just realized: I have no photo of myself reading anywhere during my trip. Oops. :o