When I moved to Switzerland, one of the first things I did was visit all the bookstores near me. It was a bit disheartening knowing these stores would mostly (or only) sell German books but, I had to take a tour anyway. To my surprise and delight, many of the bookstores in the area sold English books! Most of the shops seem to be small family-run businesses, which added a layer of charm to these bookstores.
Below are some of the bookstores that I have explored around my home in Switzerland:
The Travel Book Shop
This is one of the most unique bookstores in Switzerland. It primarily features one genre: travel. From fiction to non-fiction, all the books in this store have to relate to travel. This shop also sells old and new maps of places all over the world. They have some antique maps on display that were quite beautiful.
Buchhandlung Beer & Co.
This bookstore had a small English section near the back. Once I began scanning the titles, I noticed pretty quickly that they were a bit different. I barely recognized any of them. It seems this shop focuses on books centered around Anthroposophy, a philosophy which was created in the 20th century by Rudolf Steiner. This would explain why the authors were not familiar to me. Beer & Co. is a fascinating shop to visit and explore.
Peter Bichsel Antiquariat/Peter Bichsel Fine Books
Visiting this bookstore is like stepping back into history. Peter Bichsel Fine Books sells fine/antique books. Some of them date back to the 15th century! As a history buff, exploring this store was fascinating. The books look so delicate, fragile but exceptional. The old fashion step ladder in the center of the store added even more charm to this little space. Although I do not dare touch any of the books, I explore each aisle and love viewing all the featured titles. This is a beautiful bookstore.
Pile of Books
Pile of Books is the only all English bookstore in Zurich (maybe all of Switzerland?). This shop features all the recognizable authors and bestsellers. For English speakers like myself, Pile of Books suits my needs the most, while also keeping the appeal of a small European bookstore.
This bookstore has a good selection of German books from all different genres. Their English section is pretty small, but they have an online store you can order from. Hirschmatt offers the coziness of a small shop but with an extensive book catalogue.
What are some of your favourite bookstores?