Libreria, a digital free bookshop


Just a month ago, a new bookshop was born in London going by the sweet name of Libreria, which means bookshop in Spanish and Italian. If its architecture (imagined by Selgas Canos) rings a bell with you, note that it draws its inspiration from Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “The Library of Babel”, which describes a gigantic imaginary library with hexagonal rooms. But it is not just because of its surprising appearance that the bookshop overflows with originality.

Photo des rayonnages jaunes de la librairie
A sneak peek of the inside of Libreria in London


A regressive policy

Libreria’s policy is to incite people to return to printed books and to let them unplug from the outside world. To do so, cell phones are not allowed within the bookshop and no wifi access is available. Even music is played on a vinyl player and not on an MP3 player. The owners’s goal is to fight against the obsession people have with new technologies and against the overload of information which compromises their happiness and creativity.

Original services

Have you ever seen a whisky bar in a bookshop? Well, now you can! Say goodbye to traditional coffee, Libreria gambled on a much more original service.

In the basement, the bookshop provides the customers with a printer, to let them print their own work, and proposes workshops on the art of printing.

An unusual book classification

Here, books are not gathered by literary genre but by theme. The customer can thus find a historical book standing next to a poetry collection or a comic book, just because they all deal with the same topic.

Some celebrities have played the game as well, filling shelves with their favourite.

It is the occasion for the visitors to walk past the shelves and make unexpected new literary discoveries.

Night hours

The bookshop is occasionally opened at night to welcome the customers and permit them to read all through the night.

Intrigued? Then see you at 65 Hanbury Street in London and let yourself be surprised!


Find the French version of this article here : Libreria, une librairie « digital free »

Written by Diane Fremiot

Translated by Roxane HalbwaxLilén Colle and Anaïs Goin


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