04 Jan 2011

Italian books look so dull compared to English books…

Why can’t Italian bookstores be as cool as Canadian ones?

I thought I might actually write a series of these “why can’t Italian … be as cool as Canadian ones?” posts… I’ll have to do the reverse as well because let’s face it… We have some pretty good stuff back home… Food for one!

I just wanted to write a quick post about bookstores. It’s not specifically the Canadian bookstores I love, it’s more generally English-speaking countries’ bookstores. The books are just prettier and this makes me feel like buying (and reading) many more than I usually buy (or read) back at home.

It is probably the same problem I discussed talking about museums a few days ago: a different approach to culture in general. But, as a matter of fact, books in English are attractive. Nothing like most of the Italian paperback editions… Just plain and booooooring. They are lighter too, and you just want to buy them all when you enter in a bookstore! Well… I do…

I love Chapters, Indigo… The large bookstores, where you can find books, stationery, magazines, little gifts, etc.

It is not just the books & co. I guess. It’s the atmosphere too. You have space to move around, to pick up books and maybe sit down with the gigantic cup of disgusting coffee you have just bought at Tim Hortons or Second Cup and read a few pages before buying the book. I don’t know of any such bookstore in the areas of Tuscany I know.

I remember a few years ago they opened something similar in a much smaller scale in Pisa, called Fra Le Righe. You could go, grab a coffy at the next door’s bar and sit down and read a few pages. I think now it’s just a regular bookstore… I guess people got bored of boring-looking books…


  1. Have you ever tried going into Edison in Florence on a saturday before christmas? You can barely squeeze your way around people and around their tight low (too low) tables of boring-looking books. Again an astute observation 9that i’d missed, actually) cuz you are so right. As i’ve said (with some controversy) that italians read so little, maybe if their bookstores looked more exciting they’d sell more.

  2. Nice site ….)

  3. Really! I always thought that Italian books look quite wonderful–usually better designed than American or Canadian ones (I have published in both America and Canada). The problem comes when you try to read them!

  4. I’ll make sure to buy all my books here.
    Agree with you about the Tim Horton’s coffee. The cream is cloying, and the coffee weak. I don’t understand why it’s so popular. There’s a myth here in Canada that crack cocaine is added. Might explain it. I’m embarrassed of the stuff, especially around someone from Italy.

    • LOL well, I drink Tim Horton’s coffee too. It’s better than Starbucks anyway! LOL

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