One of my favorite bookshops in Bucharest is definitely “Cărturești”, more specifically the one that is on Bulevardul Magheru, because of the location and building.
For those who do not know, not more than over 130 years ago, the city was called “Micul Paris” (Little Paris), because the architecture, clothes and general atmosphere gave this feeling to the people that visited the city. So what do I want to say with all this? The building they chose to put this bookshop was in a house of Parisian style, renovated to accommodate the books and other products but still keeping its style from the olden days, which makes the whole place cosy and comfortable in a way.
The bookshop does not offer only books, they have a tiny tea café inside, and in the backyard a restaurant as well as a section of board games, artisanal food products, music CD’s, imported DVD’s and tea sets of English and Japanese style as well —I am a softie when it comes to Japanese dishes, bowls, tea sets, etc—. They also have books and manga in English for they import them from the US and UK, which for me is a delight for I enjoy reading in English as well.
Quite some time ago I got my hands on a Ghibli movie, ホーホケキョとなりの山田くん (“Hōhokekyo Tonari no Yamada-kun”), a dear and light hearted film by Isao Takahata. The only place I could have got it from since in Romania nobody brings in Studio Ghibli films, which is a shame, personally I consider their animations to be one of the best in the world.
I was really happy I got to bring Iliyan to finally see this place back in Christmas, and again over the summer. We have bought there several times, they have really nice things.
We bought some magical passports, which are travel notebooks that imitate a passport; one from Neverland from my favorite book “Peter Pan” and another one from Wonderland from Iliyan’s favorite book “Alice in Wonderland”. I was surprised they got exactly those two, our favorite classic books!
I have also bought a manga for Iliyan in December to give it to him as a Christmas present and a music box because he had said he had never had one and really liked it, and honestly I love spoiling him and seeing him happy, same way he does with me.
Another time we got a card game called “Dixit”, a game which we came to really love since we played it with my cousins and wanted our own set of cards. However it was one of the expansions since the basic game was in Romanian (and even if we wanted it we did not have the money for the basic one).
Bookshops in general make me happy and excited, reading is a passion of mine since I was really young, my favorite and most read genre being Fantasy. I own many books, as well as my family, not Iliyan’s case to have many however we do share this interest in books, stories and other worlds, so considering this I have been buying him his own books so he can travel to faraway places and delight himself with the fairytales that books enclose.
I am sure that next time we go to Bucharest we will once again pay a visit to “Cărturești” and discover new things. If you ever go there, please do go to this bookshop and take a peak.