Thursday, July 7, 2011
The Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore
Coolest. Bookstore. Ever. The Grand Splendid was originally a theater constructed in 1919 by an Italian architect and used to present Tango shows. It was later turned into a movie theater and then in 2000 it was leased to a pubslishing company that turned it into a bookstore! Voila! A breathtaking bookstore! There is a coffee shop in the stage area and there is a children´s section in the basement. I was in paradise. What a wonderful mixture of art and literature in the same place. The one thing that totally blew my mind though was that every single book in the building was in Spanish except for a very small section of English novelas (which pretty much means romance novels and cheap trashy novels.) Now, one would think in a city such as Buenos Aires where people are known to be well educated and into books, that there would be more of a selection of foreign language books than that. Barnes and Noble in the US is not nearly as large as this bookstore yet it has a decent section of books in all sorts of different languages. Good thing I can read books in Spanish! I found one called Vivir Zen by an Argentine psychologist. We shall see how it is. I am excited to find out. Here are some more pictures for your viewing pleasure!