Whether it’s stretched out on a sunbed by the pool or curled up in front of a crackling log fire, losing yourself in a good book is one of life’s genuine pleasures. And with a rich literary tradition on the island, it is no surprise that Palma impresses when it comes to its fine choice of bookshops. Whether you are looking for the complete works of Lope de Vega, or the latest novel by Dan Brown, we’ve picked the best places in the Mallorcan capital to browse or buy books – and even linger with them over a drink or two.
La Biblioteca de Babel
Named after the short story by Borges, La Biblioteca de Babel is everything a good bookstore should be. Spanish language novels make up the bulk of the stock, with books covering music and the arts also well represented. The vibe is hushed but welcoming, with a cosy corner bar and charming outside terrace.
Popular with the passing tourist trade, this English bookshop is a bit of a local landmark. It boasts three labyrinthine levels of tall dusty bookshelves stuffed with a library-worth of second-hand and antique books, plus no shortage of random junk and curios.
Nestled in a quieter corner of the historic centre, this bookshop’s particularly unhurriedly atmosphere encourages a leisurely browse. Most books are in Catalan or Castilian, with a modest choice of German and English titles, as well as a quiet café providing a spot to linger.
Llibreria Drac Màgic
As much a cultural centre as a bookstore, Drac Màgic was rescued from closure by its present owners in 2011. A basement provides space for literary events while its collection ranges from the latest novels and kids’ books to some seriously high-brow reading.
While one of the youngest bookshops on the island, this fun and friendly store already has a large following – thanks largely to its lively calendar of events and exhibition space. They also lean towards the trendier end of the market with publications covering music, travel, fashion, design, etc.
As the name suggests, Akzent is a bookshop attached to a language school, with an emphasis on the German market. A range of both fiction and non-fiction is available also covering some English, Spanish, and Catalan releases, plus of course a full selection of language learning literature.
Opened in 1982, this charming bookstore offers a collection of 100% Catalan literature, with a mission to help maintain the language with an emphasis on encouraging younger readers. It also offers an excellent choice of text books for those wanting to learn the local language.
Photos: Sara Savage & Estefanía Durán