Monday, September 28, 2009

Bookstores in Valencia, Especially English Titles and some Cheap

I am a book hound for sure - a weakness of mine I inherited from my mother and one I have passed onto both of my children. I have found in my travels that it doesn’t even matter what language the books are in – I enjoy looking at them, touching them, leafing through them, reading the dust jackets. But of course at the end of the day, I need them to be in English if I am going to make my way through them, so I stay on the hunt for stores selling English titles. As travelers know, books in foreign languages are expensive, and when in Europe, English is a foreign language, so I also keep my eyes open for cheap options.

Just outside the very old part of Valencia, a few blocks from the train station, there is a store called Just Price, a second hand store selling electronics, bikes, and more, which has a decent selection of English books for 2 euros each - especially inexpensive for English titles, so it is a great place to find a cheap read. Just Price ~ compra venta, C/ Russafa 20, 46004 Valencia; 963 940 652; open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00pm/4:30-8:30 pm. The store is a few blocks from the train station and the Plaza Ayuntament.

The Casa del Llibre sells new books and has great hours and a very generous English book section in the downstairs room, as well as generally an excellent selection of books and guidebooks. They are on a wide walking shopping promenade off of the Plaza Ayuntament. Casa del Llibre, Passeig Russafa 11, 46002 Valencia; 902 026 411;;; open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:30 pm and Sunday from 12:00-2:30pm/4:30 to 9:30pm. Web tip: at the top right of their web site you can click on “Tu idioma” to choose English.

The Soriano bookstore in Valencia right across the avenue from the train station has a small selection of English titles. Soriano is part of the independent bookstore association in Spain which can be found on the web at Here you can find independent bookstores throughout Spain. Librerias L-Soriano, Jativa (or Xativa) 15, 46002, Valencia;

FNAC is a French chain of book and electronics stores with a number of outlets in Spain. You can search the web site to find stores all over Spain - FNAC is more than a store- it is an experience. With a huge selection of electronics, it also has movies and books including a large section of books in English. In Valencia the store is FNAC San Agustin, c/ Guillem de Castro 9-11, 46007 Valencia (2+ blocks west of the train station); 963 539 000; open Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.

The alternative and political bookstore in Valencia, SAHIRI, sells books in Spanish only, but is worth going to as their offerings are all political and alternative, supporting fair trade and radical authors. The information pamphlet says Sahiri is a “project that vibrates with the cries of resistance.” SAHIRI Librería Asociativa, C/ Danzas, 5, Valencia; Tel: 963 924 872; In the back room there is a vegetarian café serving light food from 2:00 to 6:00pm and dinner from 9:00 pm to midnight on Monday to Saturday.

For travelers who want nothing but guidebooks and maps, head to the Libreria Patagonia, a store chock-a-block full of guidebooks, maps and travel gear, just down the street from the 16th century hospital that now serves as a public library. You will find many books in English as well as most in Spanish. This is an EXCELLENT travel bookstore. Libreria Patagonia, c/ L’Hospital 1, 46001 Valencia; 963 936 052;; open Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00pm/4:30 to 8:30 pm, Saturday form 10:30 am to 2:00pm/5:30 to 8:30 pm.

For people who can read Spanish (and even those who don’t but who like alternative bookstores), the sweet small, but well-stocked, Auralia, refers to itself as a “libreria especializada” (specialty bookstore) selling gemstones, flower essences, and all manner of alternative health, renewable energy, spiritual and esoteric books. The owner speaks a tiny bit of English. Auralia, c/ DeLa Nau, 6, 46003 Valencia; Tel: 963 944 348;


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