Posts Tagged ‘bookshop’

Atlantis Books – Santorini

January 15, 2010

Atlantis Books is a truly amazing bookstore. It is located in the basement of a white house in Oia, Santorini.

Atlantis Books was started by Craig Walzer and Oliver Wise, two 25-year-old Americans, who were vacationing on Santorini in 2002. These two young bibliophiles decided they wanted to create a haven for readers and writers in one of the most beautiful (and remotest) places in the Mediterranean; a place in which book-lovers could spend long afternoons in the bookstore’s cool quarters, with jazz guitar music playing gently on the sound system as they perused the eclectically comprehensive book collection.

The idea of Atlantis Books began when Craig and Oliver became intoxicated by Santorini’s savage beauty, and decided to open a shop modelled on Shakespeare & Company, the English-language bookstore in Paris.

Although it was not initially a moneymaking enterprise – the staff is on rotation throughout the year, and lives in the bookstore – after eight years as a going concern, Atlantis Books is starting to achieve international praise. Jeremy Mercer, a writer for The Guardian, listed Atlantis Books as one of his ten favourite bookshops in the world:

Atlantis Books’ bookshelves, which the staff built themselves, are filled with novels, poetry, short-story collections, biographies and philosophical works.

Staff-members are always happy to advise on their favourites – one staff member is a serious fan of Robertson Davies, the Canadian writer, while another young staff member loves Panos Karnezis, the Greek-born Londoner, who gave a reading in the store a couple of years ago.

“Sometimes people buy books, and sometimes they just want to take a picture of the place,” a staff-member said. “I guess it’s becoming a landmark.”



Atlantis Books is in Oia, Santorini, opposite the town hall on the main square. It’s easy to find and worth visiting. It is truly unique. There is no other bookstore like it on Earth.


Oia Santorini




T.K. 84702






Τ.Κ. 84702



In Memory of Towcester Bookshop

June 9, 2008

Bookshops are important to writers. Towcester Bookshop was important to me. For five years it provided me with new and second-hand books, most of which I still have. It also provided a lot more.

Towcester Bookshop no longer exists. Its proprietors, Peter and Janet Gooding closed the shop a few years ago and retired to Wales. However, for a while, they and their shop became my lifeline to a world of poetry, drama, novels, short stories, essays, translations, screenplays, biographies and other types of non-fiction.

Initially I would go in, browse through the second-hand books, and usually find something interesting or challenging to read. Then I started chatting to Peter during the less busy times. Then, as my reading became more refined, I started ordering and buying new books. I followed my instincts, but I also quizzed Peter on various aspects of literature. He knew his stuff. He gave good advice and I bought some wonderful books.

I still have my first ever copies of Les Fleurs du Mal, Naked Lunch, Crash, The Bloody Chamber, The Fountainhead, A Clockwork Orange, A Rebours, Ice, Howl, On The Road, A Farewell to Arms, The Catcher in the Rye, Ulysses, The Cantos, The Waste Land, The Tempest, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Stranger In A Strange Land, Frankenstein, The Beckett Trilogy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Betty Blue, The Birds, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, The Shining, Justine, The Ice Palace, The Singing Detective, Waiting For Godot, The Annotated Lolita, The Annotated Alice, The Chrysalids, Brave New World, The Name of the Rose, Gravity’s Rainbow, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Crime and Punishment, The Trial, The Cement Garden, The Magus, Crow, Amerika, Ariel, as well as the Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson, Arthur Rimbaud, Sylvia Plath, Petrarch, Shakespeare, Robert Lowell, Ezra Pound, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Dylan Thomas, and Jeremy Reed.

Towcester Bookshop was a place where I defined my identity through my reading; reading which obviously informed and informs my writing. The books I read then – and sometimes re-read – are still very significant. The words of each of those books are etched into my psyche, and I try my best to reach the heights of those books in my own writing.

Every writer needs their own Towcester Bookshop – a place to develop a personal taste in writing, literature, or whatever, in order to define a personal writing style. Thanks to Peter and Janet, I had access to what seemed like my very own Towcester Bookshop for several years – and I consider myself very fortunate to have had that.

© R J Dent (2009)