The books of Athens

By: | Post date: July 1, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

Remember how I pointed out in Salonica the National Bank Educational Institute bookshop, and how it is kryptonite for my wallet?

Remember too, how I said that I wasn’t familiar with the Athens bookshop, because it was in a side street.

It was indeed in a sidestreet. Two blocks away from the Dialect Research Centre.

Bye-bye money belt. I did find books to buy there, though not a huge number; I’d almost exhausted what I wanted to get for linguistic purposes, and most books from here were to fill in other niches of my Greek cultural knowledge. I bought a book of essays on 19th century Ermoupolis, for example, the Greek New Orleans, so I could better understand the world that rebetiko (or at least, Markos Vamvakaris) came out of.

There were other bookshops, but in contrast to past years, quality bookshops are now concentrated in Hippocrates St and Aesclepius St, just to the west of the Old National Library. I’ll be going through them once I’m back, once I’ve received them through the mail (at not inconsiderable expense), and once I take my next week off—at this rate, not before Christmas.

One book is know is going to be fun is a collection of commonplace sayings from Crete. I’ve described Crete as a land of Brian Blesseds; their conversational strategies and aphorisms match that, and I already had a great time reading Contossopoulos’ assortment from the 60s. The phrase I grabbed through a preview peek is still with me.

Spoken of someone whose purchases have not demonstrated due diligence and attention: Καβαλάρης πουσούνιζες;


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