Comprare di libri in Italia*

*Buying books in Italy

What does one do when one is an English speaker/reader and one travels in a foreign country? One buys books. One buys books.

Kind of funny that a store with very few English books had this bag prominently displayed. I got one of them to give out as a prize at the Reader’s Retreat in San Francisco this fall.

For the past year I have been trying to resurrect my college Italian by taking classes and being tutored. One of my strongest desires is to be fluent in another language before I die. In fact, that is second only to my desire not to die. So when I stumbled across this bookstore in Venice I couldn’t resist. They had books in English but it seemed silly to buy any of those. Plus, some of the Italian language books were so interesting looking. So I figured that in order to make progress with my Italian language studies I would need something in Italian to read.

The whole stack.
I’m not sure what the Academy of Silence is up to, but I thought these thin volumes would make good study material.


I love reading letters.
The covers on these short stories were too gorgeous to pass up. If they had had more in these editions, I would have bought them too.
The back covers.
Front papers of the Boll.
End papers of the Boll.
Front papers of the Lawrence.
End papers of the Lawrence.
I’ve read the Uhlman in English and liked it a lot. Since I still own the book I thought I could use this one and do a side-by-side reading.
No idea about either of these novels. I just tried to find something by Italian, female writers.

7 thoughts on “Comprare di libri in Italia*

  1. Rob June 30, 2018 / 4:33 pm

    All of these covers are very cool, but those short story covers are beautiful.


  2. TravellinPenguin June 30, 2018 / 7:09 pm

    Love these. Like the idea of short stories with their own covers. 🐧🤠


  3. Anna van Gelderen July 1, 2018 / 5:32 am

    Next time you come to the Netherlands we can practice our Italian on each other. Should be great fun ;-)


  4. lethe July 1, 2018 / 6:39 am

    No idea about either of these novels. I just tried to find something by Italian, female writers.

    Andrea is an Italian boy’s name, though ;)


  5. Cindy July 2, 2018 / 9:11 am

    Those books look intriguing. When I go to a non-English country it is a frustration to pass a bookshop that it would be fairly pointless browsing in. My husband, on the other hand, breathes a sigh of relief.

    I have just returned to work after a week in Sicily (I saw on Twitter that we were in Palermo on the same night, though you were at the opera and I was in Cinisi waiting to drive south the next day). Before I went away I ordered ‘Patricia Brent, Spinster’ from Abe Books. I now see I actually ordered ‘Patricia Brent, Zitella’ (which is spinster in Italian). Bloody annoying but luckily it wasn’t that expensive. If you would like it Thomas, it is yours to add to your Italian library. I’ve just ordered the English version (at least I think I have).

    If I could have one gift it would be to be fluent in Italian, but only without having to actually put in the groundwork, so you have my admiration.


  6. Geoff W July 2, 2018 / 11:36 am

    I’m with you! I love wandering through local bookstores when I’m visiting countries. It doesn’t hurt I collect copies of Wuthering Heights and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the translated languages. I always make sure I have them in a note on my phone before I leave though! China was difficult, but I recognized the characters and was able to find a much nicer copy than the one they originally showed me.

    Good luck with the Italian. I found Duolingo to be a great resource in keeping my Spanish relevant.


  7. Susan in TX July 3, 2018 / 1:59 pm

    What a fun collection of books you picked up. My daughter brought me an Italian copy of the first Harry Potter book when she went last year. I haven’t attempted to read it yet.
    Have you read Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words? If I’m not mistaken, it is printed with the Italian on the page facing the English. It seems like one that you would find interesting. I’ve got it on my shelf, but haven’t read it yet either.
    Happy studying to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.