Vacation is the perfect time to read a book. While sunning at the beach or on a city rooftop, while on a train ride across the country, or on breezy countryside evenings, a great book is one of the best companions you can have. If you’re looking for a new volume in Tbilisi, the following bookstores should be your first stop. Most also serve coffee and snacks, so you could spend your whole afternoon there, if you wanted to!
PROSPERO'S BOOKS & CALIBAN'S COFFEE
This cafe-bookshop is as colorful as its name. One of the oldest foreign-owned hangouts in Tbilisi, Prospero's Books remains popular with both tourists and expatriate residents.
Founded by Peter Nasmyth, a Brit who came to Georgia in the 1980s and knows the country from A to Z, Prospero’s Bookshop and Caliban Coffee is well-known and loved for its great choice of books about Georgia and the Caucasus and various literature in Georgian, English, Russian and German, including novels, guidebooks and cookery books!
34 Shota Rustaveli Ave., Tbilisi;
1 Vaja-Pshavela Ave. (in the building of National Archive Center), Tbilisi;
32-34 Makhashvili Str. (inside of the building of Betsy's Hotel), Tbilisi
(+995) 322 92 35 92
9.30 AM – 8 PM
BIBLUS & BIBLUS GALLEY (NATIONWIDE)
By far the king of the crop for book offerings (though Prospero’s beats them in quality English options!), Biblus can be found countrywide, and in terms of Russian and English, offers a good couple of shelves of modern and classical literature for all ages. The branches of Biblus Gallery also boast an Italian café serving delicious food and ice-cream all day.
Check out their map here for opening times and addresses: http://biblusi.ge/info/map/
PARSEK COMIC BOOKS & COFFEE
Parsek Comic Books and Coffee is a great example of how western culture has taken form in a country like Georgia.
Everywhere we find people who are different, geeks, Parsek Comics is where these people will find solace. With a small shelf of comics for anyone to read and then a bigger selection of comics and manga to purchase it is quite perfect. Unfortunately at the moment most of the selection is in Russian however there are English issues and more on the way, and of course with great power comes great responsibility, so they do offer a relaxing area with coffee and cake to enjoy your purchased comic book or the occasional debate. They also have local comic book art on display and for sale.
Friday nights, the shop becomes a theater for anime enthusiasts and on Saturday evenings they have quests discussing the art and techniques, debates between geeks and much more.
1a Takaishvili Str.,Tbilisi
(+995) 555 69 72 60
9.30 AM - 9 PM
KIWI VEGAN CAFE
Ideal for backpackers, those on a budget and those who love vegan food! It's a simply-furnished affair with painted walls and a mishmash of furniture. They offer a wide choice of teas, reasonably priced wines and delicious vegan food. They also offer a book-swap service, so check out the shelf near the entrance!
6 Ivane Machabeli Str., Tbilisi,
(+955) 514 00 01 75
12 PM – 11 PM
LIGAMUS BOOK SHOP
Ligamus is a multi-purpose space attached to Ilia State University. It houses a café, book store, and upstairs lecture room.
Located at the heart of Georgian university culture, in Tbilisi’s trendy Vake district, Ligamus is always buzzing with students, professors, and engaged community members. The large outdoor terrace overlooks Chavchavadze Avenue, where university students congregate between lectures, laughing and drinking coffee.
The lecture space upstairs frequently offers book presentations, academic lectures, and cultural events in Georgian and sometimes in English. Books can be read by patrons, there is also free wifi available.
32 Chavchavadze Ave., Tbilisi
(+995) 322220009 (260)
10 AM - 9 PM
And if you’re not sure what to pick up while shopping, check out our recommendations for the best books about Georgia for summer 2019!
By Samantha Guthrie
Main photo: Ligamus