As you might know, I have recently returned from my trip to Italy! And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t pop into some bookshops, and share some of my thoughts…
I can’t remember the name of the first bookshop I poked my head into (sorry). However, I think my thoughts for this one apply to most Italian bookshops! They are SO. DAMN. NEAT. This one had a children’s section that was immaculate – and as a former bookshop salesperson, I know how difficult a job that is!
Another thing that I noticed was that there wasn’t a huge array of publishers, particularly in non-English sections. I don’t know whether this is just a consequence of the fact that there aren’t many publishing houses that print Italian books, or whether this is a stylistic choice of the bookshop – in any case, this also helped the shop stay very neat, because there wasn’t much variation in colour and size.
I also noticed that a lot of the bookshops stacked their books facing the customer (like those glorious Harry Potters above). They really caught my eye 🙂
Next I went into the bookshop/giftshop of the Uffizi Museum in Florence. I’m always a sucker for a good museum bookshop, and this was no exception! I especially loved the different languages available – it really tickled me that there was a whole row of the same book, but just in different languages!
Also, I don’t know if this is really visible in the picture, but the middle one is of a colouring book solely of Botticelli’s paintings. What a great idea for introducing kids to such masterpieces! I really wanted this one, but restrained myself.
Last but certainly not least, I went into Feltrinelli’s. I was really impressed by this one – it had lots of places to sit and read a bit of your book, and once again, it was spectacularly neat. As one would hope from an Italian bookshop, it had a really fabulous selection of art books – both for the coffee-table and for general reading.
I feel like this was potentially the most like the bookshops I’m used to, because it had a little bit more personal interaction than the others – for example, all over the shop there were signs such as ‘Have you read it?’ for classics and other such things.
Unlike some of the other Italian bookshops, it also had a specific section for Italian authors translated into English, which tempted me greatly! However, given that I was on a bit of a budget, I restrained myself, and just bought the DK Eyewitness Top 10 Florence and Tuscany.
What I’ve learned? I need to travel so I can explore more international bookshops!