Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Best Places to Find Books in Jerusalem

Luckily the capital city of the people of the book features a number of options to score good books, whether you're looking for the latest fiction or the oldest, rarest book on Israeli history. And that means books in numerous languages: usually English, French, Spanish and Russian, in addition to Hebrew.

You can find the latest releases in two stores with locations all over the city: Tzomet Sfarim ("Book Junction") and Steimatzky. Some locations feature many books in English. However, you won't find everything you're looking for--these are small stores and nowhere close to the size of American bookstores like Barnes & Noble or Borders.

There are a handful of used bookstores in Jerusalem that feature a large selection of books in English. The best by far is the Book Gallery, located a few blocks from the center of town (right off King George Street). The Book Gallery features over 40,000 used, rare and antique books, in over 40 languages from Yiddish to Japanese. According to their website they are the largest used bookstore in the country.

The atmosphere is quite homely. The owners play classical music, and you can pull a few books from the shelves and read while lounging in sofas that look like they were plucked directly from your local Goodwill. Prices are generally quite cheap (between 20-40 shekels, sometimes less), and I guarantee you'll find at least a few books you'd like to read.

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