I like independent bookstores. They almost all have to struggle hard to compete with the large chain stores so I think we should all support them.
‘t Stad Leest (the city reads) is a new independent bookstore in the centre of Antwerp and I loved it from the first step I took inside. It’s housed in a historic building, you first walk through a big entrance hall and then you arrive in large space, more clean, white and modern than you would expect from the outside.
No bookcases here, just large white tables with the books on top. I like the fact that you immediately see the cover of each book, you don’t have to bend your head in strange ways to read the title like in other stores. The range of books they sell here is great: contemporary books next to a selection of the classics.
There’s also a good quantity of English novels and a separate department of children books. For me this bookstore is a winner. The atmosphere is great, because it’s so spacious you never feel it’s too busy and they play nice music. My only problem is finding time to read all the books I buy …