There is nothing better than curling up with a good book, and as our smartphones and laptops demand so much of our attention, now is as good a time as ever to practise putting down the technology, ripping your eyes away from the screen and indulging in the luxuries of reading a book.
And although Cyprus has plenty of run-of-the-mill bookshops, we here at My Cyprus Insider, like to seek out the special and the unique, so here are some of our top recommendations for interesting and quirky bookshops for all types of readers.
1. For specialised interests: Moufflon Bookshop
Long established as something of a literary institution in the capital, Moufflon Bookshop is a veritable treasure trove of special interest books from around the world, with plenty of second hand and preloved books in the mix. The bookshop aims to stock books and reading material to cater to all interests from architecture, to photography, fashion to history, catering to all ages.
Both in and out-of-print books can be found on the stacked shelves, and while most of the books are in English, the cosy little shop does have other languages in stock. As well as ordering books from around the world, the shop will also buy used books from anyone who pops in to drop some off. Moufflon Bookshop also holds used book fairs so keep an eye out for upcoming events.
Where? Sofouli 38, Nicosia. Tel: (+357) 22-665155
2. For comic aficionados: Comic Book Paradise
As the name so aptly suggests, Comic Book Paradise is an absolute haven for even the most die-hard graphic novel enthusiast. The shop boasts rows upon rows of brand new comic books from world celebrated authors, as well as more niche and specialised genres of comic book for those who have more sophisticated tastes.
Classic comics from the essential Marvel comic superhero stories and Starwars books, lie side by side with rare works and old copies. Visit with plenty of time to spare, as you can easily spend hours browsing the colourful shelves of this comic book mecca.
Where? 114 Agias Filaxeos, Limassol.
3. For the enthusiastic linguist: La Boîte à Lire
Whether its French books by French authors, or books translated into the French language, La Boîte à Lire has a stellar collection of both. From popular children’s books, to holiday page turners, as well of works of literary excellence, the shop stocks shelves and shelves of reading material to help you brush up on your languages.
Where? 8e, Prevezas street, Nicosia. Tel: (+357) 22-670184
4. For the charitable reader: Tremithousa Book Exchange
Although not technically a traditional bookshop, The Tremithousa Book Exchange does sell books, but also works on an interesting exchange concept where readers can come and trade their old books for new ones.
It sounds like a library, but the bookshop raises money for Paphiakos Animal Rescue through their sales, with all books for sale priced at €3. If, however, you take a book in (that’s in good condition) the shop will credit you €1.5 euros, making the new book you buy €1.50. For cheap books, whose proceeds go to the animal shelter, this is the place to go.
Where? Tremithousa (opposite the school), Paphos.
5. For travellers, novel lovers and more: Soloneion Bookshop
With one of the best collections of up-to-date English language travel guides from top publishers including Lonely Planet, The Rough Guide and Dorling Kindersley, Soloneion Bookshop is a great place to go before a big trip. The travel section is rich and diverse with guidebooks for popular destinations, alongside more exotic far flung destinations.
And if travelling isn’t your thing, the bookshop also stocks a wide range of other general interest books including English and Greek novels, cooking books, bird watching books, economics books, self-help books, a vast collection of diaries, day planners and Moleskins.
Where? 24 Vyzantiou Street, Strovolos, Nicosia. Tel: (+357) 22-666799
6. For the musky old book collector: Palaio Bibliopolio o Taxideftis
There is something so romantic and nostalgically seductive about an old book, with its dusty, thinning yellow pages, its hard bound cover with and the smell that fills the air when you open it up to read the wonders inside.
Old book lovers will be delighted by this treasure-trove of used and old books (Greek and English with a few French publications in the mix), comics and vinyl discs at Palaio Bibliopolio o Taxideftis, where one man’s passion for books has led to the amalgamation of a richly diverse, unique and somewhat eccentric collection of reading materials. The cosy and really quirky alternative little bookshop is a great place to browse for rare books or one-of-a-kind gifts, while the shop’s collections also go to local book fairs around Cyprus with an event being held this Sunday (October 2nd) at Haratsi coffee shop in Old Nicosia. Find out more here.
Where? 53 Kitiou Kyprianou St, Stoa Droushioti, Limassol. Tel: (+357) 97-647438