If inspiration is not what you need, but you are in shortage of English books to read during your Bucharest visit, Nautilus Prodim, a very tiny English bookshop, located in the northern quarter of the city, offers a good selection, but again, not diverse in Romanian authors.
address: Strada Lipscani 55
opening hours: TUESDAY-SUNDAY: 10AM-6PM MONDAY:CLOSED
address: Strada Nicolae Crețulescu 8
opening hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm Saturday 930am-1pm Sunday: CLOSED
address: Str. Mincu Ion Arh, 17
Colentina is the district where Cărtărescu was born. "Anytime I go there, I lose myself in the maze of the narrow streets, and feel like I am voyaging in one of my dreams. It is like the sky over Colentina is my own cranium, and I walk within the circumvolutions of my brain. And then I see the house: it is always shining in the golden light of my earliest memories." says Cărtărescu.
opening hours: Monday-Saturday 10AM-9PM Sunday 11AM-7PM
address: Calea Victoriei 45
Did you know that the inventor of fountain pen was a Romanian scientist? His name was Petrache Poenaru.
address: Strada Biserica Amzei 10
CARTURESTI CARUSEL & CAFE
Blinding is the book you should read during your literary visit of Bucharest, the book that "reflects Bucharest in a polyhedric mirror with a million faces..."
The same company Carturesti, with the same motivation of creating a cultural experience in the centre of the city, offers it's Verona branch. Like Carusel, Verona is an exploration. With its maze-like architecture that contains one room dedicated to DVDs of good movies (including Romanian documentaries), one room for hand-made goods, one room for art books, one room for English books, one room for artisan tea and coffee, etc. and with its every corner embedded in aesthetics, it is a pleasurable past-time. Its also has a cafe at downstairs and little tearoom at its entrance.
opening hours: Monday-Sunday: 10AM- 10PM
address: Street Pictor Arthur Verona 13-15
If you are looking for cheap English books, Antic Ex Libris, which has three branches in the city, offers a good variety of new books at discounted prices.
opening hours: Monday-Sunday 10am-10pm
addresses: 1) Strada Doamnei 23
2) Bulevardul Ion C. Brătianu 40
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ROMANIAN LITERATURE:
National Museum of Romanian Literature is not simply a museum of literature, it is a time-travel among poetic space of Romanian culture. Although the documentation is mostly in Romanian, (yes, there are some texts translated in English, some films with English subtitles and more is in progress), interestingly enough you don’t need the knowledge of the language to appreciate its literary glory thanks to the remarkable tour (up to three hours) provided by an expert on Romanian literature, which not only makes you understand what’s written, but also to decipher the world beyond the texts.
Mood of this city is a great source for a literary traveller since it is always, always, always melancholic in a positive way.
Literary traveller's favourite independent coffeeshop in Bucharest. With its minimalistic design, it offers such great atmosphere for the ones who would like to read and write. It's just next door of Humanitas Kretzulescu.
"A 1,500-pages triptych where reality and dreams, past and future, memories and desire, butterflies and spiders, mix together in a continuous discourse and flows through the landscapes of my brain. " says Cărtărescu on his book.
opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10AM-8PM
One of the Humanitas bookshops in the city, but the best for its location. There is a good variety of English books which are not essentially cheap, although very limited selection on Romanian authors. Newly opened music section on its second floor is great for music-lovers.
The place hosts temporary exhibitions and many literary events at its interactive space at the attic, runs open-air screenings in its garden (during the summer), and offers a selection of tea/coffee in its recently decorated café.
After you discover the Romanian imagination through ages, don't forget to send a digitalized postcard to yourself with one of the greatest Romanian authors on its back!
opening hours: MONDAY-SUNDAY 9.30AM-6PM
address: Calea Victoriei 45
LITERARY BUCHAREST | discover the 'City of Joy'
In the Middle Ages, Bucharest was called Hilariopolis, which means, literally, the City of Joy. The city holds a strong sense of memory, blended in both joyful nostalgia and reminiscence of trauma, so you experience old and the new together in its most beautiful and erratic ways.
Kyralina is a little french bookshop in city centre, only five minutes walk from one of the greatest museums of Bucharest, Museum of Art Collections. The bookshop has a great room for children, and comfy chairs for all book lovers to browse and read.
It is not only for francophones, the bookshop offers a great selection of stationery.
Four floors of literary erudition, each floor having a different genre at its centre with each room having a specific scope or theme. No surprise that there is whole room dedicated to Eminescu on the ground floor which is a paradise for poetry lover. On the second floor, you explore great novelists, critics, historians, philosophers and essayists through their manuscripts along with some special themed rooms such as the subjects of literature and fantasy elements in Romanian fiction. In some rooms, great minds are presented through their literary devices such as their writing tools, and desks etc. Yet the writers are not only to be explored though their objects, but also through different forms of art; via photography, though the way they are depicted in theatre, cinema, and painting, or the way their work appeared in these forms of arts. The sphere-shaped film room is an experience on its own. The museum uses different forms of interactive media to engage the literary traveler; you hear writers reading their own works or sometimes they appear in holograms.
books & coffee:
Monday-Wednesday: 10 AM-10PM Thursday: 10 AM-10:30PM
Friday-Saturday: 10 am-12pm Sunday: 10 AM-10:30PM
For literary traveller, the joy comes from a good deal of English bookshops, though the concept of the second hand bookshop does not exist. In terms of inspiration, the city satisfies the curious mind not only with its cultural atmosphere and beautiful bookshops but also with one of the best national literature museums in Europe.
Bucharest is a layered city, like a wedding cake, from the margins to the center you can recognize the big village it used to be until the eighteenth century—the Greek, Jewish and Turkish districts built fifty years after, then the French, German, and Italian influences of the beginning of the twentieth century, the International Style of the period between the wars, and the pervasive Communist apartment blocks built during the previous regime. - Mircea Cărtărescu
in footsteps of CARTARESCU
CARTURESTI VERONA & CAFE
Speaking of the inspiration, this place is heaven. It offers a poetic space for reading, writing, socialising and exploration of great authors in the heart of the old town.
It has a good section of English books, and its cafe on the top floor offers snacks, coffee and fresh juices.
With its monumental architecture, CARUSEL is not merely a bookstore, but an experience in itself.