I didn’t realize how much of a haven for bibliophiles Madrid is until we got there. So many bookshops and such a wide variety of reading materials too. I have devoted two book hunting expedition posts so far (see here and here) and this is my third one (and last, at least for now) for Madrid. I will definitely go back to this place and this time I will make sure I have an allocated checked-in luggage just for books.
Libreria La Mar De Letras
I was in luck that I happened to be in Madrid during that period in August (first week) that this store was still open. They will be on vacation for the remainder of August. It appears like most establishments do this during the summer, a testament to the laid-back vibe of the city – most coffeeshops/breakfast places open at ten in the morning – and they have their mid-afternoon siesta too from 2 to 5. The Asian in me can not for the life of me imagine how they could manage this. Check out the awesome lay-out and book display of La Mar De Letras.
A bibliophile can easily tell how much time, effort, and loving conscientiousness must have gone into designing this place:
And my favourite:
There were so many books that I wish I could have bought but simply can’t. So I am featuring a few of them here:
See this amazingly-designed picturebook right here:
And a Spanish version of Jimmy Liao!
I think Javier Saez Castan was one of my greatest discoveries – bought one of his award-winning books:
It was the Ana Juan picturebooks, however, that I truly regretted not being able to purchase:
So after seeing all these lovelies, what did I manage to buy exactly?
Since I couldn’t decide which among these two books I should buy, I got them both – from the collaboration of Ana Juan and Matz Mainka: La Isla and Promesas.
La Merienda Del Señor Verde by Javier Saez Castan – his art reminded me a little bit of Chris Van Allsburg.
Here is my selfie with the beautiful and immensely learned and enthusiastic bookseller of La Mar de Letras, Thais. She is awesome. She knows everything about the store, clearly. She piled loads of picturebooks on me, after seeing what my interests were – and her recommendations were on-point!
The picture of a happy book hunter in Madrid. I also told Thais that I was looking for a particular title, Asi Es La Dictadura which a friend of mine asked me to find while I was in Europe – the version carried by the International Youth Library in Munich is different from this recently published one. When I showed Thais a photo of the book, she told me that they unfortunately do not have the title, but went on to call another bookseller in a different bookshop to find out whether they have it – and guess what, they do! And it was only 15 minutes away (walking) from La Mar – naturally I had to go find it!
Libreria Venir A Cuento
Look at what I found inside this gorgeous bookstore:
And so, yes, they do have what I was looking for – and a few more besides!
Apparently, it is part of a series! But I was circumspect – I only bought that one book that I was hunting down. It took great willpower though as you can see from the titles they have here:
Clearly this bibliophile’s heart is happy.
My friend took this photo of me at Museo De Jamon, a definite must-visit while in Madrid:
Así Es La Dictadura by Equipo Plantel and illustrations by Mikel Casal.
Book Depository Love
I saw the book on the left in one of the bookstores in Madrid – but because it is oversized and quite thick – plus the fact that I bought way too many books already, I thought I’d just order it online. Cuaderno Para Colorear Pablo Picasso: El gran maestro del Arte Moderno. I have also taken a liking to Ralph Steadman’s art, as recommended by an artist friend of mine. Since I, Leonardo is out of stock in Book Depository, I bought this one instead: Animal Farm by George Orwell and illustrated by Ralph Steadman.