By Teresa de Andrés. April 18, 2012


The sentence “we are what we read” may be a cliché, but it’s a cliché we like and we use every time we can. It’s handy. It makes a good impression. It has the charm of the beginnings: a conversation, a trip, a life.

It is very difficult to really get to know somebody, indeed, but since we are what we read, we find consolation in thinking we are surrounded by clues. In addition to the number of books somebody can have at home –what kind of heartless person wouldn’t have any–, a trick that never fails is to watch carefully how they behave in a bookstore. Some know what they are looking for, and they find it quickly. For them, distractions are for cowards. Others, following the pattern of many modern diseases, feel the urge to enter each and every bookstore they find on their way. Only to have a look, of course. Some buy, read and return; some spend more money in books than in food; some speak with the bookseller, some fall in love with the bookseller; some run away with the bookseller and ask for the books as ransom. Many of us wouldn’t be able to live without books, although there are also many of us who can’t afford to buy all the books we need to stay alive. Oh.

While we carry on musing about the saying we are what we read, we leave you with this selection of places where we would like to live and where, it turns out, they also sell books.


Livraria da Vila, Sao Paulo
Magma Product Store, London
Shakespeare & CO, Paris
Akateeminen Kirjakauppa, Helsinki
Shibuya Publishing, Tokyo
McNally Jackson Cafe, NYC
Van Alen Bookstore, NYC
Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen, Maastricht
Alexis Bookshop, Bratislava
Foam, Amsterdam
Libreria Ateneo, Buenos Aires
Ler Devagar, Lisboa
Tipos infames, Madrid 

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