A cup of coffee and a good read, that’s it. Good reads wake me up and make me happy! That’s why there is no chance I’d skip a nice book shop plus coffee shop anywhere in the city, and that’s why deciding which are among my favourites is a tough job. And if you think about it, it’s kind of a difficult job considering the fact that Buenos Aires counts a high number of bookstores in comparison with other capital cities around the world.
Quoting Ray Bradbury, he would be really happy in Buenos Aires saying thing like this: “A book has got smell. A new book smells great. An old book smells even better and an old one smells like Ancient Egypt.” He also pointed out that “Without libraries what we have got? We have no past and no future”. These are my favorite bookstores in Buenos Aires.
A real shelter surrounded by beautiful baroque stalls where you can sit down with a book and forget about the world. The interior, the building and the ambiance embrace you; it’s naturally inviting and the stunning stalls and remarkable architecture are a reminder of the glory years when it was possible to watch a film or enjoy a play at El Ateneo. You can also sit on a sofa, in the beautiful café and listen to the piano concert at around 6pm everyday, if that weren’t enough. Luxury at the price of a coffee.
Distal Libros Recoleta
My most recent discovery. One of those places you wouldn’t think is special, a very lovely bookstore on Junín street, just in front of Recoleta Cemetery and half a block from the Village Recoleta. This bookstore has a long entrance which takes you to the café at the back and then on to the patio. It’s sort of unexpected but nice enough to surprise you in the good sense. It’s a bit of a touristy place but the customers are mainly locals interested in serious books, the most recently released International titles and well-known authors. The vendors are really willing to help you, also a plus!
Cúspide Village Recoleta
This one shows up like a huge bookstore from outsider as soon as you pass by on Vicente López street where the Village Recoleta Entrance is. It doesn’t look anything special from the outside, but once you get in and go to the back, Cúspide has much more to offer: a quiet place to read, a Brioche Doreé café and lot of well-read vendors eager to help. The place offers a huge variety of books, CDs, DVDs, games, maps, stickers and photography books, if you are in need of any of these.
Clásica y Moderna
A blast from the past. Its very name tells us about Argentine history, about hours of great artistic performances, hours of politicians discussing the country (it’s only 10 blocks away from the Parliament building), lots of great intellectuals hiding in this redoubt, just behind the piano at the entrance. At the back, you’ll find one of the most well-known, smallest and cultured bookstores in the city.
It always was one of the icons of the Corrientes Avenue bookstores. Sociologists, philosophers, linguists, actors and students know that Prometeo has what they are looking for: specialized items, interesting titles and an amazing assortment in general. Its just two blocks away from the typical Corrientes and Callao corner, an authentic emblem of many of the Buenos Aires demonstrations and cultural events.