If you are in need of a read, don’t do go to the massive bookstore chains, but visit this small book-a-phile paradise. Nissim is the middle name of the great Bulgarian poet, playwright and screenwriter, translator of Shakespeare, nominee for the Nobel Literature Prize and author of children’s books Valeri Nissim Mevorah, commonly known as Valeri Petrov. It would not be an over-exaggeration to say that without his way with words, we wouldn’t have grown up the way we did.
The bookstore belongs to his daughter, also a translator, and I don’t know if she tried to recreate the feel of her family’s study (her grandfather’s typewriter is in the shopwindow), but certainly succeeded in making it a book-loving place you can call home.
You will be pleasantly surprised by the reading corner with an armchair and night lamp, and by the erudite salespeople who will let you sink in there for ages. They pride themselves in speaking five different languages – English, French, Russian, Italian and Greek. The foreign language section is small, but diverse and as the sign says, “if [your book]’s not here, we’ll find it”. And you can always come across something else – at last, the pleasure of going through shelves and piles of books is safe somewhere! They also sell old & used books. Paradoxically, you won’t find any one book of the great poet & translator in English.
For another good bookstore experience in Sofia in English, check out the Elephant Bookstore Article.