Little community bookstores are slowly becoming the thing of the past in Rijeka and Croatia. There are many reasons for that and none of them make me happy or content, so I’m not going to write about them, also because it’s part of my daily job.
One of the remaining bookstores is antique bookstore Ex Libris, which is run by a great guy, Željko, with whom you can always chat about any book you see or you can think of. If you’re lucky, you will come to Ex Libris to see some of its programs, book presentations or art exhibitions, after which Željko always brings out some good wine.
At Ex Libris you can find all sorts of books, not all of them in Croatian language, but then again, when in Croatia, why not buy a poetry collection by a Croatian poet which, believe me when I say it, because I’m not so well spoken about my fellow citizens, is very good poetry in general?
Of course, you can always try and chat with Željko about some rare books which he obtained, or he is maybe willing to sell to you. Who knows, maybe you’ll exit Ex Libris holding some incunabula.
But if you want fireworks, just say to Željko that Miroslav Krleža, one of the Croatian most known, celebrated, but sometimes also condemned authors, is a bad writer. If you exit alive from Ex Libris, you will know everything you need to know about Krleža and life.