5 Cosy Bookshops in Bustling Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a vibrant, multi-cultural city where Middle Eastern, European and American populations live and impact upon each other. Bookshops are the perfect place to start exploring and understanding a little bit more about this vibrant city and its ever dynamic human geography. We give you a list of five special bookshops with much more than books to offer—these are bookshops that will expand the limits of your Tel Aviv experience.

Books outside M. Pollak | © Juliana de Albuquerque Katz

M. Pollak Books

The Pollak bookshops are the only Israeli members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association and of the Verband Deutsche Antiquare. The shops are specialized in original maps, old prints, rare and antique books. The shelves at M. Pollak are packed with old and modern classics written in every possible language spoken within the Jewish Diaspora. All books at the store are handled with care. In order to offer their customers with the best purchasing and reading experience, M. Pollak works with a team of four restoring artists and bookbinders. This is a place for serious book lovers and collectors, people who embrace reading as a full sensual experience.

A dog standing inside Books at Basel | © Juliana de Albuquerque Katz

Books at Basel

Store, Bookstore
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Halper's treasure land
Halper's treasure land | © Juliana de Albuquerque Katz
This is a beautiful shop run by a man who is absolutely passionate about books. Haim Taler, the owner of the venue, works quietly on a desk behind a column, surrounded by packages of newly arrived Hebrew and English books, international magazines and newspapers. What makes the store so special is the attention that Haim gives to each one of his costumers. As soon as a costumer arrives, he interrupts work and moves into a conversation. The bookshop is always alive with human interaction, and because Haim knows his customers so well, he is able to give them fabulous book suggestions and occasionally share his literary passion.

Halper’s Bookshop

Halper’s Bookshop is a second-hand book heaven. After 25 years of buying and selling used books, Yosef Halper has built a formidably diverse library and earned many faithful costumers. Halper specializes in English books and his shop has a large and diverse section of fiction that includes modern classics and present day bestsellers. He also sells a great variety of non-fiction books about Jewish History and Middle Eastern Politics, Philosophy and Psychology. One of the best things about visiting Halper’s Bookshop is the feeling that you’re working through the labyrinths of a goldmine. As you dig for preciosities in every bookshelf, time and space will suddenly become irrelevant. Your mind begins to wander freely in its own company, or as one of his costumers reputedly states, ‘this place is much more than a shop—it’s therapy!’

Reflections at The Brothers Green Bookshop | © Juliana de Albuquerque Katz

Brothers Green

Bookstore, Shop, Store
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Costumer at Halper's Bookshop
Costumer at Halper's Bookshop | © Juliana de Albuquerque Katz
Somewhere along Rabin Square there is a little shop where you can go and enjoy a precious bit of peace and quiet. The Brothers Green is a second hand bookstore established in the 1980s under the name of Vayikra. At that time, the store was owned by Robinson’s Bookshop but nowadays, it is owned and managed independently by the brothers Ellie and Alon-Lee Green. The brothers are specialized in rare Hebrew books. There you will find a vast collection of Jewish and socialist literature, science fiction and fantasy novels. Other strong topics at the store are philosophy, psychology and art. But even if you do not read Hebrew yet, The Brothers Green remains well worth a visit because of its vibrant young staff, decoration and small collection of last century oddities.

The Little Prince

The Little Prince offers a good selection of fiction, history, art and philosophy books. Most titles on its shelves are in Hebrew, English and French. At the back of the store, there is patio and a charming little restaurant where you can sit to work, drink and chat with friends. This is the perfect place to hide and relax on a hot summer day, among books and a whole fauna of stylish Israeli young students.

By Juliana de Albuquerque Katz

Juliana de Albuquerque Katz is a philosophy student at Tel Aviv University. She specializes in 19th Century German Philosophy and its contemporary developments. Particularly fond of literature and cinema, the author finds a source of inspiration in the works of Saul Bellow and Ingmar Bergman. Follow Juliana on Twitter (@the_stardust) and visit her portfolio at http://j-albuquerque.squarespace.com to remain updated about her other activities and publications.