My favorite independent bookstores in Lisbon

My favorite independent bookstores in Lisbon

I’m an avid reader, and I prefer to support small businesses. And even though I occasionally resort to online large book retailers (because sometimes books in English are hard to find), nothing beats the joy of browsing books at a shop or asking the business owner for a recommendation. These are my favorite independent bookstores in Lisbon.

Under the Cover

Technically, it is an independent magazine store, but the publications they sell have a book-like quality. In the sense that the magazines I buy here never end up in the recycling bin. When my budget allows me to splurge, I browse; when I need to control myself, I order online and choose in-store pick-up (so I can still say hello to the pretty magazines I can’t take home).

Palavra de Viajante

Any and every book on travel that you can possibly find (and think of) in one place. Guidebooks, memoirs, fiction, you name it. They have books available in several languages too. 

Kingpin Books

Funny story: I’m not a connoisseur of independent comic books and graphic novels. But one day, I had to interview a prominent horror and comic book Portuguese author who had just launched a new book published by Kingpin Books. I walked in looking for something specific; I walked out with half a dozen books by Portuguese authors.

Livraria Letra Livre

A used-book shop where I don’t allow myself to browse. Not until I clear some shelf space, that is. Until then (which might be a lifetime), I only go here when I know exactly what book I’m looking for (and know they have it).

Bookshop Bivar

This tiny, family-owned bookstore only sells used books in English (there aren’t many of those in town). You might not always find exactly what you’re looking for, but you’ll definitely find something unexpected.

Loja Convergência (online)

Convergência sells many genres, but it’s one of the few online bookstores (they do, however, have a store at Nirvana Studios) where you can buy Portuguese speculative fiction. One day, in the future, if you want to find out who those authors are and improve your Portuguese. Shameless plug: here, you can buy one of the two horror anthologies with my short stories, Sangue Novo.

RELI - Rede de Livrarias Independentes (online)

When I know what I’m looking for but need help finding it, I turn to RELI – Rede de Livrarias Independentes. This website lists Portuguese independent stores selling new and used books anywhere in the country. You can browse and buy books online here, or when you need to cast a wider net or are wondering if a book might be available but not listed, fill out this online form and sit back. The bookstores e-mail you back to let you know if they have it (and how to buy it); sometimes, even if they don’t, they’ll still let you know.

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