Bookshops are magical places. Dim shelves of books to be discovered, with ideas you’ve never considered before, stories you don’t know, languages you’re just learning to speak – every bookshop is a mine of possibilities. But who has time to indulge their reading habit in the midst of teaching and living in Barcelona? Well, good news teachers… the summer holidays are here! You can finally pack your textbooks up, throw away your lesson plans (kidding, definitely keep them for September) and get your reading list sorted for those long and sunny beach days with our guide to the best bookshops in Barcelona!
Our favorite English bookshop in the city, Come In originated as a bookshop specialising in English textbooks for language students and English teachers, but they have since hugely expanded their stock, and now have an excellent selection of fiction and non-fiction in English, as well as a very good children’s section.
Carrer de Balmes, 129-Bis
The only second hand bookshop in the city, Hibernian Books operates a part exchange policy where you can bring in books that you’re finished with and get credit towards new (to you) books from the shop. The majority of the stock is in English but they also have some French, Italian, German and Dutch titles in store.
Carrer del Montseny, 17
There are two branches of Casa del Libro in the city centre – one on Rambla de Catalunya and the other on Passeig de Gracia. Both have large English fiction sections with a good mix of classics and new releases, and the pricing is reasonable.
Rambla de Catalunya, 37 and Passeig de Gracia, 62
Named after the famous political scandal that engulfed the Nixon administration in the early 70s, this quirky bookshop in El Raval is worth a visit. The wide range of books, comic books and magazines focuses on art, graffiti, tattoos, conspiracy theories and reflects the owner’s varied interests. If you’re interested in countercultures, you’ll find it a fascinating place to browse.
Plaça de Vicenç Martorell, 2
This bookshop has two branches in the city centre offering a great selection of English books, as well as a lot of art, design and photography books in different languages and a lovely children’s section – a good place to check out if you’re buying books as a present!
C/ Mallorca, 237 and C/ Elisabets, 6
Housed in an old button factory, this independent bookshop in Sant Antoni hosts lots of literary events and book launches and is a hub for local writers and artists. Check out their Facebook page for more info!
Passatge de Pere Calders, 9
Reread is a secondhand bookshop chain with eight locations in Barcelona. Most of the stock is Spanish or Catalan but there are usually a few shelves of English books. The best thing about Reread are the prices – 3€ for one book, 5€ for two and 10€ for five, giving you all the more money to spend on Cornettos.
What’s your favourite bookshop in Barcelona?