I am in Greece I am amazed at how many people I
see reading James Grisham and Stephen
King novels and other time-passers. These
books are escapes. If you are in
Greece you are already escaping.
Why escape from the escape?
Embrace the escape. Read about
Greece while you experience it.
There will be plenty of reading
time on your journey on boat
trips, on beaches and in cafes so
why not further your understanding
of the country and the people? No
this does not necessarily mean
reading Euripedes and Homer though
they are an option of course. I am
talking about the Philhellenes and
modern Greek writers whose works
are not only profound but totally
enjoyable reading. I have put together
a whole site for books with short reviews and ordering information
because my list of recommended reading became too big. The site
includes history, travel guides and travelogues, modern and
ancient Greek literature and books by people who love Greece. The
site is at www.greektravel.com/books
There are several English language bookstores
formerly on Nikis
Street has moved to a new location at 8 Alikarnassou and Lenorman which is across the railroad tracks, sort of behind the Larissa Train Station in an area that may be tough to get people to come to but should be a lot cheaper rent-wise. Compendium was to Athens as Shakespeare
and Company is to Paris, a place where ex-pats came to browse
and famous poets and authors dropped in to do a reading though its new location may make guests less frequent. You
can find lots of books about Greece, plus a large variety of
books in English including current best-sellers, maps, guides,
newspapers and magazines. They have also started selling used books and have a large number of best sellers. If you are wondering about your island reading save a few hours of your first couple afternoons in Athens and stop in here, pick up a half dozen paperbacks for what you would have paid for one book at the airport bookstore. They also have a large collection of classics and a week or two on a Greek island is a good time to read those books you have been meaning to read your entire life but
never quite got around to it. You can get directions by e-mailing email@example.com
For a good selection of Guidebooks and maps go to Ekdoseis Infognomon at 14 Filellinon just three blocks up from Syntagma Square across the street from Fantasy Travel. They have maps of all the islands, Greece maps, Athens street maps, and all the popular Guidebooks as well as maps and Guides for other countries.
Travelbookstore at 71 Solonos Street in Kolonaki is a bookshop specialising in travel guides and
maps of Greece as well as of all international destinations.
They have a great variety of editions in Greek, English, French,
German , Spanish from companies such as Lonely planet, Rough Guides,Dk,
Insight, Michelin, Hachette, Baedeker, Jana Seta, Cicerone, Hallwag, Marco
Polo and many others. If you need maps of Greece then this would be a good place to go because they have the largest selection of any bookstore in Athens, and probably the world. They also offered to give a 15% discount to anyone who mentions that they found them in my Athens Survival Guide. If you are looking for a particular map or guide you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a
giant Eleftherodakis on Panapistimiou street
across from the University with a
selection of English language books and a cafe on the top floor but lately they have been focusing more on the Greek market. Still they probably have the largest collection of English language books and maps and will be the easiest to find.
Pirinos Kosmos, behind the Athens University on the corner of Acadamias
and Ippokratus street (or somewhere around there) is one of
the best Occult-Alternative Healing-Religious bookstores in Athens. The English language section is upstairs. Many
obscure books you won't find anywhere else. You can e-mail them
Also in Monastiraki there are a few
used book shops and they all have a few English language paperbacks if you go in and
search around. If you walk down Ermou street (away from Syntagma) there is one
on the left about halfway to the end in Monastiraki. There are also one or two
on Ifestou street which is the main street in Monastiraki next to the train
station. Travelers also leave their old books in hotels in Athens and on
the island so if you don't see them around ask at the desk.
Odyssey Magazine is a wonderful source of info with interesting articles, photos, news, art, culture and more. I love this magazine and get very excited when it comes in the mail. If you are a Greek American it will be like your lifeline home and
you are a traveler you will learn more about Greece than you thought possible. Many articles on history, the diaspora, well known or up and coming Greek artists, musicians, writers, politicians, and their summer issue is as full of practical information as any of the guidebooks. Great color pictures and excellent graphics. Classy magazine.
You can order it at a special discounted rate at: www.greektravel.com/odysseyform