There are many places for bookworms to shelter and read in this bustling megacity.
Around Galatasaray, Homer Kitabevi is an established gem appreciated by book lovers since 1995. Besides academic publications, mostly focusing on humanities, it also stocks a rich collection on Istanbul’s history and culture, as well as children’s books. On the second floor there is a big table for you to go throw the books just picked from the selves. Sometimes outside the door you’ll find the “blind date with a book” shelf, waiting you to give it a shot. Yeni Çarşı Caddesi No.52, Tomtom; T: (0212) 249 59 02
Although Robinson Crusoe 389 had been forced to move and close several times due to Beyoğlu’s transformation in recent years, its reputation for having a rich collection of English and Turkish titles hasn’t changed since 1994. You can visit its current location at Yeni Çarşı Caddesi No. 34/A, Galatasaray; or in SALT Galata and SALT Beyoğlu bookstores.
Speaking of finding English titles in Istanbul, Pandora is another established bookstore to visit. Opened in 1991 in the heart of Beyoğlu, the original store’s second floor is full of English textbooks, novels, and studies on humanities. Turkish titles and other categories can also be found. You can also visit its branch in Nişantaşı. Büyük Parmakkapı Sokak No.3, Katip Mustafa Çelebi; T: 0850 200 2206
Sitting in Akaretler, Minoa is a bookstore and café with beautiful interior decor where you can read and sip good quality coffee. With a huge library of books to sift through, you could easily spend the whole day getting lost amongst the shelves. There is a solid variety of English language books, including a great selection of Penguin and Taschen titles, covering topics from art history to city guides. Süleyman Seba Caddesi No. 52/A, Akaretler; T: (0212) 236 94 52
Founded in 1993, Denizler Kitabevi manages to retain its nostalgic vibe even while the renewal outside on İstiklal Caddesi continues rapidly. Being an antique bookshop featuring old publications related to maritime history, it also sells rare books, old maps, engravings, and posters. Buying the nuggets may be a bit costly, but it’s always fun to drop by this unique spot. İstiklal Caddesi No.199/A, Tomtom; T: (0212) 243 31 74
Arkabahçe Çizgi Roman Dükkanı in Beşiktaş is a paradise for comic book lovers. Looking from the outside through its ceiling-to-floor window, the spacious store seems almost like a library—it’s quite hard to decide which shelf to start from among its impressive range collection. Lose yourself flipping through comics from all over the world. Ortabahçe Caddesi No.10/1 Büyük Beşiktaş Çarşısı Dükkan No.159, Sinanpaşa; T: (0212) 327 46 13
Envai is a lovely store that not only offers a variety of books, but also sells work by Istanbul designers and traditional Anatolian crafts. Revamped in 2015, this 45-year-old store greets visitors with an abundance of coffee-table books about Istanbul, the Ottomans, and Anatolian archaeology. Other novels, art books, and children’s books in Turkish, English, and German can also be found. Cevdetpaşa Caddesi No.57/B, Bebek; T: (0212) 265 29 91