Forgot to pack your summer page-turner? Don't want to schlep your Kindle to the beach? Don’t fret – a number of bookstores in Tel Aviv have got you covered, from the chains to smaller shops that sell the latest paperback fiction and non-fiction, mysteries, travel guides, along with old and new classics translated from Hebrew.
- Tourist Tip #184 / The free sidewalk library of used books
- Tourist tip # 18 / Dizengoff antiques and secondhand goods market
- Tourist tip #235 / Getting that MacBook or iPad fixed
- Tourist Tip #283 / Identifying counterfeit coins and bills
- Tourist tip #307 / Tel Aviv’s beach bookmobile
Bigger chains, like Steimatzky and Tzomet Sfarim, have branches sprinkled throughout the city (and country) and generally house an English-language books section – but they vary in scope depending on the size of the store itself. The Steimatzky in the Gan Ha'ir shopping mall and Tzomet Sfarim in Dizengoff Center both have well-stocked English sections, including the latest best-sellers and other worthy reads. They also sometimes offer special deals – like buy one book get the second half off – for truly ravenous readers.
For bookworms who like to support smaller, independent shops, Sipur Pashut (A Simple Story) on Shabazi Street in Neve Tzedek carries popular English titles and authors, and has a nice English selection upstairs. Probook, in the city center, carries everything from best-sellers to comics and graphic novels to English art and self-help books. Or if you're further north, Sfarim BeBasel (Books on Basel) is a cozy little nook of a shop whose innermost wall is lined with English reads.
Another popular spot with native English speakers is Halper's Books, a second-hand store on Allenby Street that has been around since 1991, when New Jersey native Yosef Halper set up shop. Today Halper's has more than 50,000 titles in its trove, and attracts a diverse clientele of students, tourists, locals and even diplomats.
If you prefer reading in Spanish or French, check out Libros en Espanol, also on Allenby, or Librairie Du Foyer at Masaryk Square.
Last, but not least, keep an eye out for used books that have been left for passersby on benches or along the sidewalk. On more than one occasion English titles have been spotted among them. And don’t forget to add your finished reads to the pile.
Halper's books – 87 Allenby St.; Tel. (03) 629-9710
Librairie Du Foyer – 14 Masaryk Square (03) 524-3835
Libros en Espanol – 81 Alelnby Street; Tel. (072) 321-2509
Probook – 3 Strauss St.; Tel. (03) 525-7999
Sfarim BeBasel – 32 Basel Street; Tel. (03) 546-7405
Sipur Pashut – 31 Shabazi Street; Tel. (03) 510-7040