Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Best Thing About My Trip to Portugal? The Bookstores and Libraries Of Course!

Ahhh...summer! My favorite thing about summer is traveling around the world and visiting different bookstores and libraries. This summer's adventure took me to Portugal. In Lisbon I came across Bertrand, which opened in 1732, making it the oldest operating bookstore in the world. 
There was a great selection of children's books that are popular in the United States translated into Portuguese. Based on what I saw translated, it is clear that the Portuguese have a great sense of humor.
I wonder if the bookstores in Portugal have as much trouble as I do keeping these three titles on their shelves.
If you happen to make it to LX Factory, you need to check out Livraria Ler Devager. The children's section is just one shelf and isn't fantastic, but the printing press and hanging art are definitely worth a peek at.
In another part of Lisbon I stumbled upon their version of the Little Free Public Library. I loved that it resembled a phone booth. 
In Sintra, Portugal I followed the signs to the public library. Unfortunately, I was the only person in the library besides the staff. It may have been because there was no air conditioning in the library and while every window was wide open, it was still unbearably hot. The children's section was huge, colorful and very welcoming. It's a shame no one was using it.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, than Livraria Lello is a must stop when you are in Porto.  Yes, there is always a line to get in and yes, you have to pay 4 euros to do so, but the bookstore is just stunning. The outside of the building is just as beautiful as the inside.
Rumor has it J.K. Rowling would come here to write and as you walk around you can see little things that wound their way into the Harry Potter books. The staircase that appears to be floating and the book cart on tracks are defiantly in the books and movies.
The stained glass ceiling is gorgeous.
Yes, you can buy Harry Potter books there and if you purchase a book in the shop, you can get your 4 euro entrance fee back.
As I traveled from bookstore to bookstore, I noticed there was one author/illustrator that without fail was in each and every bookstore. I'm not talking one or two books by him, but it was practically every picture book that he has written, all of which have been translated into Portuguese. Who was it? Oliver Jeffers! This is just a sample of what I saw in one store. I couldn't fit all the books of his they had in stock into one picture.