By Justin Mays:
What would the world be without literature? The truth is that it is practically impossible to imagine such a scenario. Writing helps us to know, understand, reflect and imagine, among many other things. It is one of the bases on which current societies have been built. In addition, for many, literature is a parallel space to enter when one wants to escape from reality. It helps us open doors and expands our borders.
Do you like to read? If the answer is yes, you're in luck, because Istanbul has some of the most special bookstores you can imagine. There are all kinds: old, more contemporary, with books in Turkish, with international novels, for the youngest of the house, for the most classic, for those who dare with the densest works... The truth is that, in a city with as much history and charm as this one, one expects to find spaces that are up to the task.
That is why, below, we propose six unique bookstores in the metropolis where you can get lost among books. Who knows, maybe you find the perfect book to start the new year with.
Robinson Crusoe 389
Robinson Crusoe 389 is one of the most storied bookstores in Istanbul. It opened in the early 1990s and became one of the favorite bookstores for the residents of this city. Although at the beginning this store was on İstiklal street, in 2014 it closed and opened two branches, one in Galatasaray and one in SALT Galata.
This bookstore sells a wide selection of magazines, books and newspapers in other languages, such as the New Yorker. In addition, from time to time they organize meetings with some authors or events dedicated to certain books.
Precisely, Homer Bookshop is located on the same street in Galatasaray as Robinson Crusoe 389. It is impossible for its façade not to catch your eye, as it is known for its mythical red, green and blue stained glass windows. This bookstore opened in 1995 and, according to experts, it is the bookstore with the most books in English in Turkey.
Its space is divided into sections: in the basement they have children's books, on the first floor they offer books focused on Turkey and on the last floor there is a selection of books on archaeology. In addition, this bookstore is also popular because they sell a selection of 'blind' books, that is, they are wrapped in gift paper and you don't really know what book you are buying.
It's impossible to walk into Denizler Bookstore without feeling like you're part of history. This famous bookstore is currently located in Şişli, although it used to be on İstiklal street. It's a bookshop specialized in maritime history and antiquities, it's almost like opening a treasure coffer.
Without a doubt, it is one of the most unique bookstores that one can visit in Istanbul. It has unique books, maps, and manuscripts, very difficult to find, so its price is usually not very affordable. Going into this bookstore is an experience that book lovers cannot miss, even more so if they like maritime topics.
Fil Books is a bookstore that has nothing to do with the rest of the bookstores presented in this blog. It is a colorful Nordic-style bookstore located in Karaköy, near the Galata Tower. The bookstore has two floors, lots of light, rockers, a sofa, and a terrace so that everyone who comes to it can enjoy their books to the fullest. But this is not all, in addition to a bookstore, it is also a cafeteria, hence everything is designed for the comfort of customers.
In this bookstore, you can find a selection of independent books on photography, art, and decoration, among others. It is the perfect place to spend a Sunday morning: nice books, coffee, and delicious cakes!
Finally, we present Minoa, a bookstore-café with different locations in Istanbul: in Araketler, Maslak, Nişantaşı, and Levent. This bookstore has about 40,000 books, newspapers, and comics, both in English and Turkish, about culture and design.
The shop that we like the most is the one in the Araketler neighborhood, in the Beşiktaş district, as this store has three floors and a small but very charming garden. The good thing about this location is that, after visiting the bookstore, if you have time and desire, you can end the day at Dolmabahçe Palace or Maçka Park.
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