Summer Reads

We’re finding all sorts of things to do this summer. But going to the beach tops the list. And you can’t lounge near the sea under an umbrella without a great ‘beach read’. I could get some e-books from Amazon or the like and take a Kindle or iPad to the beach. But I like the smell of a book. Turning real pages and dog-earring them when I decide to cool off a bit in the sea.


But we live in Valencia. There are book stores aplenty here. They even have a book fair in the Jardin del Real. And that is where I learned that there are a few – just a few – places here that sell English books. Sure, the selection is not what one has in the US. It’s usually just a few puny shelves, but it’s books and they’re in English so I pick up each precious one and read the jacket, savoring the feel of them in my hand.


The first one I found was English Wooks  Why is it called that? I really have no idea. When I inquired with the proprietor at the book fair in the park he looked at me like I was crazy to ask. Never mind – they have lots of books in English. More children’s books than adult, but their used book section is all adult books and they have two full book shelves of them that are overflowing onto the floor.

Today, Emilie and I walked the 40 minutes from where we live to English Wooks and perused the shelves. We could have made this trek much quicker on the subway, but I like the walk and we added a lunch into our plans. This book shop is located inside an English Language school called ‘English Wink’. Again, I don’t really get it but I’ve learned not to ask. They have books I can read – that’s all I care about.

Then we decided to make it a literary adventure day and went downtown to another book store Emilie had discovered while I was having lunch with friends last week. She was pretty sure she could find it again and, sure enough, we did. This one is both bookstore/gift shop/office supply place. It’s called Abacus Cooperativa . They have 3 shelves of English books and they’re a little cheaper than English Wooks. And since they’re right off the Colon metro stop, they’re much more convenient to our house.

So now we are stocked up with books to read at our leisure this summer. Not that we don’t have other activities planned but when we’re laying on la playa and sipping our Aquarius water, we’ll be having some epic literary adventures. Sure, the stack we bought today was probably more money than they would have cost back home. But I’ll savor them more because they’re that much harder to come by.

When visitors come from the US, instead of asking them to bring favorite foods I can’t get here, maybe I’ll request books. Culinary tastes change over time, but good books will never go out of style – In my Book. Ha ha.

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