Great Prague Nooks for Books

With many bookstores closing shop in recent years, where can one go for English-language titles?

Sadly, Big Ben Bookstore recently closed. As did Anagram, which had a cozy space in the courtyard behind the Týn Church. And so long to the Neoluxor outlet, where one could find books in English for as little as 29 CZK. Thankfully, Prague is full of spots where you can find a good read, from Luxor’s mega five-story store on Wenceslas Square to pioneering English-language shops like The Globe and Shakespeare and Sons. There are also many other hidden nooks – some new and some long-time mainstays – worth checking out:

Brown Box Books

Jeffrey Zamoff and his boxes of “previously loved” English children’s books have been delightful fixtures at Prague’s many outdoor markets for years. Zamoff, whose e-shop has more than 2,000 titles, recently opened a small center in Vršovice called Vykladni Skrin where he and a partner organize, among other things, dance, music and crafts workshops for children and adults. There is also a corner dedicated exclusively to Brown Box Books along with a self-service cafe. Zamoff has started adding adult novels to his growing inventory, which he imports mainly from the US and UK.

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Baobab

This independent Czech publisher, with a shop along Vršovice’s eclectic Krymská street, specializes in beautifully illustrated books for children and adults. While the selection here is predominately Czech with a smattering of English-language titles, like Miroslav Šašek’s popular travel books for kids, everything on offer has such a strong visual component that it almost feels like you are not just buying a book, but a piece of art.

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Antikvariát Dana Kurovce

It’s fun poking around in one of the city’s many antikvariáty – essentially used bookstores that in addition to piles and piles of novels also sell a vast array of old postcards, stamps, posters and the like. Everyone’s probably got their favorites. But this dinky one-room antikvariát across the street from Atrium Flora is a truly among one of the best. It’s extensive English-language offer rotates on a pretty regular basis, and the prices are more than reasonable.

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Kiwi

One of the best places in the center for (almost) all your travel-related needs, Kiwi has thousands of products in stock. Most of the major travel publishers can be found here, including guides on just about every major hot spot around the world as well as even a few obscure destinations for true adventure seekers. The shop also carries maps in various shapes and sizes in addition to a couple of globes. Good deals can sometimes be found in the discount bins near the front of the store.

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BenDOX

This unique bookshop inside the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art looks like it’s part of one of the Holešovice museum’s elaborate exhibitions with all its wares so meticulously displayed. The store sells publications in both Czech and English dedicated to design, architecture and art from dozens of top domestic and international publishers including Baobab, Labyrint, Jovis and Braun Publishing. You can also purchase a decorative design item from a local artisan.

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Page Five

Another Holešovice shop with a visual arts focus, Page Five is “obsessed” with paper, books, periodicals and original art prints, which are prominently showcased in the windows. The selection at this small storefront operation includes both Czech and international publications on topics ranging from photography, poetry and fine art to design and architecture. Page Five – which is, by the way, a very cool name – champions young artists and “cultural opinion leaders” by promoting their work within the Czech Republic and abroad.

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Oxford Bookstore

Don’t let the name fool you. This bookshop, tucked down an inconspicuous pasáž just off Wencelsas Square, may have little to do with the famed UK university, but it certainly does sell quite a number of English-related grammar and other textbooks. The chain, which also has locations in Plzeň, Brno, Olomouc and Ostrava, claims to have one of the biggest collections of foreign-language books in the capital. Find bestselling fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children in English, German, Russian French, Italian and Spanish.

Also read:  Czech NGO People in Need labeled 'undesirable' by Russia, banned from operating in the country

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Amadito & Friends

Boasting a sweeping selection of children’s books in English, German and French, this colorful space in Smíchov offers titles that will interest those who are still teething all the way up to moody teen readers. Browse picture books, the latest young adult offers as well as greeting cards, stationary and small games. Amadito also holds special events and story readings for children in its expansive event space. 

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Academia Národní

Academia recently gave its bookshop along Národní street a much needed facelift. The remodel has definitely lightened the place up – a lot – not to mention made the layout more accessible. The English language selection is small, but still carries many of the current bestsellers. If you prefer coffee with your book purchase, however, then stick with Academia’s main hub on Wenceslas Square, whose charming first-floor cafe is a fun spot to people watch.

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