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[BHE 222] Book Hunting in Madrid – Part One of Three: Desperate Literature, Casa Del Libro, Libreria Mujeres


Myra here.

It has been awhile since I have posted for our Sunday book hunting expeditions. This is quite deliberate since I have been traveling over the past ten weeks, and wanted to save my expeditions until I have returned back home in Singapore. I thought it would make more sense to work my way backwards through my more recent travels, rather than start from the beginning of my European journey. And so, let’s start with Madrid – a bibliophile’s dream come true.

Desperate Literature

Address: Calle Campomanes, 13, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Phone:+34 911 88 80 89

As chance and circumstance would have it, this book shop is just right around the corner from our AirBnB place – I have always thought that places like these manage to find me rather than the other way around, and I am beginning to believe its truth.

The place has a very artsy, deliberately-cultivated vibe to it – with recommended titles and those little hand-written notes that provide tiny descriptions of the books, and lovely quotations here and there.

They also have rare and expensive first-edition, autographed titles as you can see below:

I also liked seeing their little alcove inside – they have a fairly good collection of middle grade/young adult titles and picturebooks too:

San Diago, the bookstore’s Argentinian book seller was extremely helpful and it was a pleasure having bookish conversations with him – he seemed like a book kindred. I especially enjoyed how he shared Shaun Tan’s The Arrival with me, which we featured here a few years back. I forgot to ask whether they already have his Singing Bones as I did not see that one anywhere in the store.

So yes I did manage to snag a few titles, and here they are:


El Libro De Las Camas by Sylvia Plath and Illustrated by Quentin Blake. I love that it is in Spanish. The Secret Of Evil by Roberto Bolaño – because I have a growing collection of his novels that I hope to sink my teeth into very very soon! I also bought my friend the first book in the Neapolitan Quartet: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante during our last day in Madrid.


Photo taken by my friend as she was reading this novel in Brussels (her next destination after we left Madrid, as I headed back to Munich enroute to Singapore).

Libreria Casa Del Libro

Address: Gran Vía, 29, 28013 Madrid, Spain


This one is a little too retail for me (I prefer the smaller, independent, struggling bookshops hehehe), but they do have fairly good titles as you can see here:

So, no, I did not buy anything from this place, but there were a few titles that caught my eye:

Libreria Mujeres

Address: Calle de San Cristóbal, 17, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Phone: +34 915 21 70 43
While the weather in Madrid is gloriously sunny now that it is summer, do be warned that most of the establishments are closed – such as this one! I am heartbroken to find this lovely bookstore closed – and we did walk all the way here from our place (thanks to the ever dependable Google Maps).

With my childhood friend who was my travel companion in Madrid. Yup. It is closed.

Other Bookstores Worth Checking Out


Address: Calle Relatores, 16, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Phone:+34 913 69 46 49


I didn’t really have a chance to check out this place as we were on our way to watch a flamenco ballet (Carmen de Bizet). But next time I come back to Madrid, I’d probably lose myself in this place.

Libreria De Los Bibliofilos Españoles

Travesía del Arenal 1 Madrid, Madrid provincia, España


As you can see, the place is closed when we came by. But it definitely looks my kind of place too!

So which bookshop caught your eye? Which do you think you’d visit if you go to Madrid?

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

3 comments on “[BHE 222] Book Hunting in Madrid – Part One of Three: Desperate Literature, Casa Del Libro, Libreria Mujeres

  1. Oh, those bookstores are stunning! Finding bookstores is one of my favourite things to do when I travel, too. The only problem is making sure I don’t buy too many books – overweight luggage charges can really sting! 😥

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very cool bookstores! I think I would visit them all!


  3. Pingback: [BHE 224] Book Hunting in Madrid – La Mar De Letras and Libreria Venir A Cuento – Gathering Books

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