bookshelves · bookshops

books.ba!

A new bookstore opened last year in April… I just found out about it two weeks ago! How I managed to stay ignorant for a year and a half is astonishing.

Needless to say, I had to pay a visit to the store as soon as was possible. (The minute I got back home I started writing to my sisters and friends, spreading the word of the thrilling discovery, singing praises at the top of my lungs. It turned out one of them knew about the shop all along. Somewhat disheartening.)

img_20161123_133550Anyway, as it happened, I did not go alone but with a friend (who knew nothing of the new bookstore). We stayed there for more than an hour and left excited and tremendously happy.

The bookstore is very pretty in its simplicity and the staff is particularly friendly and welcoming. Stepping in we found ourselves amongst the books written in/translated to Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian – fiction, poetry, essays, reference books… img_20161123_122735

I admit I moved on to the next room very quickly because I knew they had books in English. At the center of the room stood a large table with dozens of Wordsworths , then I caught the gaze of small black Penguins. Wonderful!

I was trying to decide whether to immediately purchase Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and some of Conrad’s sea stories or novels when I saw something I could not ignore (which left this second section quite underexplored).

Used books, in English! The most pleasant surprise. I don’t think any of the bookstores in Sarajevo has them. What a marvelous idea! img_20161123_122553

The area is pretty large, with taburets and tables in the middle, as well as a tiny cafe corner right beside the window. There’s a coffee machine, and one is welcome to have a cup, take a book and read for as long as one wishes to. One can even borrow a book! It’s here we stayed the longest.

img_20161123_122608One of the shelves contains a delightful variety of non-fiction. From Sheep for Beginners to The Poser’s Guide, Attracting and Feeding Garden Birds to Tea Rooms of Britain, The GI Plan: Lose Weight Forever to The Loo Companion – Are You Sitting Comfortably; we had such a fun browsing through these titles.

Other shelves hold mostly romance and detective novels, but one can find some great things there as well. I came across my first Virago – The Virago Book of Women Gardeners! Then two more appeared – Angela Thirkell and Michele Roberts. By this point, I was ecstatic – not just because I found Viragos in Sarajevo, but because this allows me to hope, on a solid enough ground, that there could be more of these in time to come…

I brought home six new books:

  • img_20161124_090610A Year in Provance. Peter Mayle – I’m not usually drawn to places that bask in the sun but Provance and Tuscany are enchanting.
  • Making The World Legible. Edited by Julian Evans, it contains extracts from 36 books that Writers in Translation Programme has supported since its inception.
  • High Rising. Angela Thirkell. Not my favorite of her works, still I couldn’t resist having it.
  • Fair Exchange. Michèle Roberts. Never heard of her, I’m afraid, but since the novel tells about Mary Wollstonecraft and William Wordsworth I decided to take it with me.
  • The Virago Book of Women Gardeners. edited by Deborah Kellaway. This one is self-explanatory.
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10 thoughts on “books.ba!

  1. That is really one exciting discovery, I’d say! No wonder you had to spread the word to your sisters and friends at once. :) Sounds like such a welcoming place too, with the option to even borrow the books…. those Viragos you found are definitely a good sign for better things to come. Am especially thrilled with your book of Women Gardeners find.
    Oh, and I seriously think it would be profitable for every household to have a copy of The Loo Companion – Are You Sitting Comfortably, don’t you agree? :p (hahahahaha……..)
    Enjoy your finds! :D

    1. I was ecstatic for days! Now I am looking forward to a revisit with some of the friends who are interested in exploring its shelves. As a matter of fact, I am waiting for an excuse to spend some more time and money there!

      Finding ‘The Virago Book of Women Gardeners’ was thrilling! I love it so much. It’s still here, next to me, on the table – to read a bit when I have time enough just for a short passage or a page. Others I put on the shelf (after having them near, holding them in my hands, and casting glances at their covers and spines for almost a week).

      There was also a book titled ‘Understanding the Irritable Bowel Syndrome’. Maybe I should start a Bathroom library. :D

      1. I can imagine your joy. :)
        Recently some new books came home with me too, and like you, I just enjoyed having them near too, holding and opening their pages to browse, reading abit here and there….. such a warm and comforting pleasure.
        A Bathroom library might not be a bad idea….. just have to make sure you are sitting comfortably, yah! :D (hahahaha…….)

        1. Ahahahahahah!
          Which actually means I have to read this book to learn what makes sitting on the toilet comfortable. :)

          I haven’t been to many restaurants here in Sarajevo, but the toilet in one of them actually has books. It was a very cozy and beautifully decorated toilet, and there were two small bookshelves holding classics.

  2. The shop looks great, very light and welcoming. I recently picked up my first Viragos from a charity shop thanks to various bloggers talking about them. It is sad you didn’t hear about the shop earlier but your excitement at going shoes through. I bet you are fun to shop with!

    1. It is the most welcoming bookshop in the city, I would vouch for that.

      The other day they had a tea party – people were invited to come and have a chat about books and also to exchange them among themselves. I had so much work to do that I couldn’t leave the house…
      I have not read anything for more than two weeks. I have neglected the blog, my friends…
      To think that I expected December to be quiet and peaceful!… Ha!

      I do apologize for not responding sooner, Steve.

      Sadly, there weren’t any Virago Modern Classics in the shop – that would have had been an ultimate treat. Which Viragos did you pick, if I may ask?

      Happy holidays!

      1. Time has taken me away from blogging as well of late. I wish I could tell you which Viragos I got but since I unpacked, there is no order to my shelves as of yet so I will have to search them out,..

        I hope this year goes better for you in all the good thing and work leaves you alone as much as possible,

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