Planet Book Libreria de Idiomas
As its name suggests, Planet Book specialises in texts and resources for learning languages. Situated on the northern edge of Córdoba’s historic town centre, this is a one-stop-shop for textbooks, dictionaries and course books for a huge range of languages, from Italian to Japanese, Euskera to Russian. The space is small but well laid out and clearly categorised and there is also a good selection of fiction and travel literature in several different languages.
This wonderful antiquarian bookshop is situated on the busy thoroughfare of Calle Ronda de la Isas, which runs alongside the Guadalquivir towards the Mezquita-Catedral on the southern edge of the old town. It’s perfectly appointed, then, for a leisurely browse as you make your way to or back from the Mosque-Cathedral. Laberinto has a good selection of titles in French and English as well as second hand and antiquarian books on just about every conceivable subject. A book-lover’s paradise.
Situated in the heart of the old town, Luque is consistently singled out by customers for the friendliness and professionalism of its service. The store offers volumes over an impressive range of categories and specialises in books on Cordoban and Andalusian history and culture; in particular, it has a strong selection of works about flamenco and bullfighting, the two arts with which southern Spain is most associated. Luque also runs a programme of cultural events, details of which can be found on the shop’s website.
Ginko is a specialist in books for young children, but the range of its board-game offering means it appeals to adults as well. It is also likely to be one of the most cheerful bookshops you’ll ever step foot in, with a multicoloured tree appearing to grow out of a pillar in the centre of an attractively laid-out, light-filled space. Staff are well-informed and go out of their way to help you get what you’re after – but even if you just pop in for a browse it’s unlikely you’ll leave empty-handed.
Casa del Libro
An excellent general bookstore with an impressive range of titles, the “House of Books” is situated at the northern end of the old town in a charming residential quarter. In the unlikely event that you can’t find what you’re looking for on the shelves here, the efficient and helpful staff will order it in for you. Prices are competitive and if you’re a regular customer you can make yourself a “partner” and receive a 5% discount on every purchase. Even better, there’s a lovely terrace opposite, on the Plaza San Ignacio de Loyola, on which to enjoy your new book with a cold drink and some tapas.
Republica de las Letras
More a cultural and intellectual centre than just a bookshop (as advertised by its name), the “Republic of Letters” runs a busy events programme as well as offering one of the best literary selections in Córdoba. This is not just a place to browse for a new read (books can be borrowed as well as bought) but to mingle with other booklovers over a glass of one of their excellent wines, attend a reading or lecture or simply ask one of their knowledgeable staff for a personal recommendation. One of the most exciting and friendly cultural centres in Córdoba.
Often referred to as the “freakies’ shop of choice” (“freaky” is slang Spanish for “geek”), Crash Comics sells a huge range of comics, figurines, board-games and merchandise at hard-to-beat prices. Staff as passionate and informed as their clients are always on hand to order items not found on the shelves. There’s also an excellent website, where prices are often about 5% less than in the store. The only criticism of Crash seems to be that there isn’t “room to meet up and play”: if so, that’s only because the space has been used to display an exhaustive amount of “freaky” stock.