Thursday, October 15, 2009

Never Enough Books and Art Supplies!

Well I can’t help myself – I seem to gravitate to art supplies and books. I have found some more stores in my wanderings in Valencia, as well as two magnificent bookstores specializing in travel in Barcelona and Madrid.

Tot en Art Bellas Artes, tucked in the northern part of the historic El Carmen district in Valencia, is a full service art store. They offer lists of art workshops all over Spain on their web site under “Talleres”, as well as an alphabetical directory of artists. Tot en Art, c/ Corona 35-B, 46003 Valencia; 963 917 265;

Yet another art supply store in Valencia is close to the train station and the more upscale shopping area of Colon. Civera is on a side street and is a large, well-stocked store. Civera Bellas Artes, c/Pascual y Genis 24, Valencia, open Monday to Friday only from 9:00am to 1:30pm/4:00 to 8:00pm.

Similar to Auralia (mentioned in an earlier post), Astral is a lovely specialty bookstore offering movies and books about most things alternative – health, energy, gardening, food, spirit, as well as selling a small selection of gems, flower essences, and essential oils. Most of their selections are in Spanish, but you can find English titles hidden in amongst the volumes, and welcoming, helpful storekeepers. So helpful in fact that when I told them I wrote about traveling ecologically and used an example of where to find organic food, I was given a box full of organic “kakis” (persimmons) which were delicious! Located down the street from the Quart Towers (Torres de Quart). Astral, c/ Quart 52, 46001 Valencia; 963 922 057; open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm/ 5:00 to 8:00 pm, Monday from 10:00 to 1:30pm.

If you are on the hunt for English books in Barcelona you can go to Come In ~ Libreria Anglesa (English Bookstore) a couple a blocks form the Diagonal metro stop where most things are English. Come In ~ Libreria Anglesa, c/ Balmes 129, 08008 Barcelona; Tel: 934 531 204; Web:

You will find the excellent Altair travel bookstores online, as well as one live store in Madrid and one in Barcelona. While the website is only available in Castilian or Catalan, they sell books in English and other languages as well, with a truly outstanding assortment of guidebooks, travel literature, maps, arts and culture, adventure travel, anthropology and, not surprisingly, the most extensive selection of books about every area of Spain. The store in Madrid is in the more residential area not far from the Casa del Campo park and can be reached by the Arguelles metro stop. Altair, Gaztambide 31, 28015 Madrid; Tel: 915 435 300; open Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00pm/ 4:30 to 8:30 pm, Saturdays 10:30 to 2:30. In Barcelona, Altair is on the Gran Via, just over a block from the Plaza de Catalunya so you can reach it by the Catalunya or Passeig de Gracia metro stops. Altair, Gran Via 616, 08007 Barcelona; Tel: 933 427 171; open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:30 pm; Email:; Web:

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