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Browsing the bookshelves I © StockSnap/Pixabay
Browsing the bookshelves I © StockSnap/Pixabay
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The Best Independent Bookstores in Salvador

Picture of Georgia Grimond
Updated: 14 June 2017

Salvador, birthplace and home of Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado, has a whole host of independent bookstores that lend themselves to a good browse. If you are looking to learn a little Portuguese, find out more about the city or get lost in seductive stories, then check out these top addresses.

Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado

The foundation set up in memory of one of Brazil’s best writers, Jorge Amado, is a good place to start shopping. Not only will you find the back catalogue of his books and those of his wife Zélia Gattai, but the museum gives an explanation of Amado’s best-known works and other information about his life and career. It runs a book donation service if you are looking to lessen your load.

Largo do Pelourinho 51, Pelourinho, Salvador, Brazil, +55 71 3321 0070

Porto dos Livros

The quirky bookstore Porto dos Livros in the Barra neighbourhood bills itself as a cultural space. Selling both new and second-hand books, it also deals in CDs, DVDs and vinyl, as well as hosting book launches, musical events and poetry readings. There is a reading and study space as well as a café within the shop for those after some peace and quiet or a cup of coffee.

Avenida Sete de Setembro 3564, Barra, Salvador, Brazil,  +55 71 3015 0093

Sebo Brandão Bahia

Sebo Brandão Bahia is an institution among Salvador’s bookstores. Having been going since 1969, it has over 500,000 works of literature in multiple languages under its roof. Books go from R$10 to closer to tens of thousands for the rarer examples. The bookstore is a family-run enterprise with father Eurico Brandão, in his eighties and still passionate about his job, claiming he has “a notion of almost everything” after a lifetime spent working with books.

Rua Ruy Barbosa 15, Centro, Salvador, Brazil, +55 71 3242 3721

Sebo São José

Nearby on Rua Chile is another sebo – the word refers to the sweat and grease that books pick up in the hands of their readers. São José is a relatively new kid on the block, but the owner has had a long career with books and has built up a specialist collection which he sells from the store’s neatly ordered shelves.

Rua Chile 22, Centro, Salvador, Brazil,  +55 71 3015 0130

Boto Cor de Rosa

The Pink Dolphin – a reference to Brazilian folklore – is a popular and much-loved independent bookstore in Barra. It steers clear of selling the commercial bestsellers and instead has a particularly good range of local and Brazilian literature, among others. There are often events, such as talks and book launches, and a number of the staff speak excellent English.

Rua Marquês de Caravelas 328, Barra, Salvador, Brazil,  +55 71 3018 0006

Livraria 3º Milênio

The Bookstore of the Third Millennium is on a mission to “connect those who are awakened and being awakened”. As well as selling books on spiritualism, healing, self-help and philosophy, the store hosts talks, offers consultations and runs meditation and yoga sessions.

Valor: 40,00 📦 enviamos para outros estados

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Livraria Assembléia de Deus

This bookstore sells religious titles, particularly related to evangelical Christianity. Though it is well stocked, it is possible to request absent or soon-to-be-published books to be delivered to the store. The store is in a densely populated area called Liberdade and is best reached by taxi.

Rua Lima e Silva 235, Liberdade, Salvador, Brazil, +55 71 3242 1068