Buying English books in Barcelona


I can’t imagine a time when my Spanish or Castillano will ever be at a point where I can read anything beyond books aimed at written in Spanish. And I’m talking the inflatable books for pre-school children that are waterproof and consist of three pages two of which are the front and back cover.

I love a read, me. One of my favourite things to do in the whole world ever is to meander around a city, collecting smells, hears and sees, and then stopping every couple of hours to sit in a café or on a terraza, with a large vat of steaming green tea (or hot chocolate on a bad day) and to read a few chapters of an exceptionally good novel. It’s getting hold of them that is the problem in Barcelona. But here are a few places I’ve found:

El Corte Ingles
Placa Catalunya

A small selection of books in English including travel guides, fiction and non-fiction with fiction taking precedent. Expect latest best sellers, some classics and contemporary classics plus some dross that you’d expect one of the cast from Hollyoaks to read on the plane to Lanzarote or wherever talentless over-made-up norkins go when they are not pouting and holding up enough fake tan to completely paint the entire world orange. Twice.

Placa Catalunya

FNAC is geek heaven but also has a book section. So whilst your other half is gazingly longingly at power supplies, loling with the staff about glitchy operating systems or touching themselves whilst they smell an iPad, you can bugger off to another floor and pick yourself up some reading fodder –  be it highbrow and award-winning or inexplicably popular pulp that would have been better left on the tree from which it road in.

LA Central

C/ Elisabets, 6.
El Raval

Pl del Àngels, 1. 08001
El Raval

C/ Mallorca, 237.
This is a lovely book shop that sells a tiny selection of books in English. Expect popular contemporary fiction and perhaps a little arthouse if you are lucky.

Hibernian Books

Carrer de Montseny 17

A massive selection of overpriced secondhand paperbacks mainly. Fiction and non-fiction. Classics, contemporary classics, cult books and trash. There’s a bit of everything here. From romance and thrillers to autobiographies.

Come In

Balmes, 129 Bis

Loads of English books here from fiction to children’s books, reference tomes, to helping with learning English. They also sell board game and aids for people learning English.

If you know of any other places that vend the odd paperback or two written in boring old English – feel free to let us know.

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