Seville Snapshots: Librería Babel and the Joy of Books

As anyone who has lived in Spain will know, a shop that carries the -ía at the end is a place that sells a certain kind of product.

A carnerceía sells meat, a papelería sells paper goods, though as Lisa hoped, a bar is not called a beerería, but a cervecería. Among my favorite –ias? The liberería, a place where books are stacked high and hours can be lost among the pages. I tend to avoid the big chains, like FNAC or Beta, and head to the small, musty, off-the-Avenida shops. Some of my preferred stops are Un Gato en Bicicleta on Calle Regina for its workshops and mountains of books, La Extravagante in the Alameda for its array of travel books and memoir and La Celestina near Plaza Santa Ana in Madrid.

When I can’t travel, books become my companion. I’m nearly finished with my 20th book of the year, and books about travel line my bookshelf, products of giveaways, the American Women’s Club sales and the evil one-click button on Amazon. This picture of Librería Babel, a forlorn little place right off the main tourist drag, still far enough to go unnoticed, reminds me of the Old World book, long before TV, Internet and e-readers became mainstays.

One great travel memoir I’ve read recently is Dancing In The Fountain: How to Enjoy Living Abroad by my fellow sevillana Karen McCann. She’s been gracious enough to give me a signed copy of the wonderfully breezy and fun book for my readers. Visit the original post for easy entrance, and be sure to follow her here.

What types of books do you prefer? Got any other scoops on bookstores in Andalucía? What are your prefered -ías in Spain?

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. I have two wonderful used bookstores just minutes from my door here in Málaga. Probably the most dangerous places in the city for my wallet, but great for my Spanish vocab!

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Agreed! How is your new place? All settled in now?

      • Long since settled in and have been battling with Telefónica for over two months now trying to get internet. I refuse to pay for the mierda that Instanet is, and they tell us fibre optic is impossible in the building. I’m determined to win this battle though and get out of the time warp my apartment seems to be in!
        Amy recently posted..Long distance democracyMy Profile

      • Sunshine and Siestas says:

        The same happened to a friend of mine here in the village outside of Seville she lives in and she FINALLY got retribution! Keep fighting!

  2. Love Un Gato En Bicicleta and La Extravagante! When are we meeting for a photowalk together?
    Sandra recently posted..Spanish Churros: A Typical Treat in SevilleMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Camarón is in the shop… :( My autofocus needed a good cleanse. I have the other objetivo, though, and could do next Friday afternoon if I end up not going to Antequera?

  3. Oh no, poor Camarón. Let me know your plans on whatsapp, ok?
    Sandra recently posted..Spanish Churros: A Typical Treat in SevilleMy Profile


  1. […] known fact about me: I’m a huge proponent for books. I average 20 novels a year and nerd out at bookstores in Seville (and online – damn Amazon’s one-click for my Kindle!). In Spain – […]

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