Select Shopping | Around the world in four book cafes
True travellers are, according to Baudelaire, “those who leave just to be leaving”. Are you reflected in this description? Now you’re settled down, are you suffering from Mal d’Afrique? Because fortunately the city has an escape avenue just for you: its numerous international book cafes. Here are four of the best.
Tranquebar-The dark walls of this travel bookshop enhance the bright colours of memorabilia from the six continents, which include comfortable sofas – perfect for examining the books and drinking coffee. The reading choice is very wide and available in different languages. There’s an amazingly varied range of travel guides, illustrated books, novels, books on cultural issues and non-Danish cookbooks. The music section has great international, folk and classical ranges, and the menu only sells Fair Trade products.
Borgergade 14, Cph K; open Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00, Sat 10:00-15:00; www.tranquebar.net
Den Franske Bogcafé-This small, warm and cosy oasis offers the best of French culture: the poets of the 16th century, the authors of the ‘Golden Age’ and the great novelists of the 19th century. Special attention is paid to social issues, particularly of the modern era and the Age of Reason. The books are often the subject of lectures by authors and experts. Magazines, music and especially the food – French delicatessen-style and good coffee – help to recreate a Parisian atmosphere.
Fiolstræde 16, Cph K; open Mon-Fri 11:00-18:00, Sat 11:00-16:00; www.denfranskebogcafe.dk
Rayuela-A love of literature and its Spanish heritage. These feelings are well represented at Rayuela, whose name is a tribute to Argentine writer Julio Cortazar, a favourite of the owner’s. After your visit, you will want to learn the Spanish language to feel part of this bubbling culture. The shop is stocked with books covering the literary landscape of the South and Latin American cultures, for all ages. Sample tasty and spicy sandwiches and cold Spanish and Mexican beers. This is the only place where you can find ‘mate’, the famous South-American tea.
Fælledvej 5, Cph N; open Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00, Sat 10:00-14:00; www.rayuela.dk
Underwood Ink-This bookshop adds a further eclectic note to the multicultural district of Nørrebro. The protagonist is the underground culture. This shop was created as a place to discuss alternative thoughts – it’s where the seeds of new trends grow. Nothing better promotes the exchange of ideas than a drink. Look out for its selection of international magazines and newspapers, and the exhibitions of works by young street artist.
Ryesgade 30A, Cph N; open Tue-Thu 12:00-20:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00, Sun 12:00-20:00; www.underwood-ink.com