When I was in Valencia last Fall I had the pleasure of meeting Fede Romero a Librarian at the University of Valencia. Not only did he chauffeur me around town to all sorts of literary hot spots, he also took the time to develop this list:
The main library of Comunidad Valenciana and headquarters of the library system. It holds one the region’s most important collections of old books, including a selection of early editions of works by and about Miguel de Cervantes; in addition there are important collections of grafics materials and personal archives. The library in situated in a beautiful, storied – at one point the place was a prison – old building. Unfortunately access to the collections is limited; you’ll need to call ahead.
Biblioteca de la Universitat de Valencia
This is the principal library of old books in Comunidad Valenciana. It contains codexes and incunabula, and special collections of books and grafics materials dealing with the Spanish Civil War; it is also situated in a very interesting old building; again access to the collection is limited.
Established in 1988 this store specializes in old, rare, curious and used books; located in the center of the city Auca buys private collections, and is owned by a friendly, experienced book expert.
Located on La Nau street near the old University of Valencia (which was established in the fifteen century) this store has a large, important collection of used books; it will buy and exchange used books.
Bookstore Asilo del Libro
A beautiful bookstore of old books and prints, engravings and photographs, that also sells antique quills, toys, etc.; the store caters primarily to the tourist trade.
Close to the Centre Cultural Bancaixa – a beautiful building for art exhibitions – Valdeska is a great place to find new books – notably art and literary fine press volumes.
The Primado has been a cultural mecca in Valencia since the 1980s. In recent years its current owner has been busy organizing many activities, exhibitions, poetry readings, book launches and poetry writing courses; the store is particularly strong in books published by small independent literary publishers.
Close to Plaza de España is a cafe where art, books and poetry coexist; exhibitions, poetry readings and lectures and book launches all take place here; this is a venue where calm and peace is easy to find and local poets too; you can also purchase beautifully produced editions of some of the poems that have been read here during the past year.
Blasco Ibanez House-Museum
The house is located near an upscale resort on the Malvarrosa beach. The author is best known for his novel Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ibanez used to live in this three floor house, with its huge terrace and breathtaking view of the sea; it now displays papers and personal items that belonged to him. Portraits and sculptures of the writer and his family take up most of the exhibition space along with the huge stone table on which Ibanez used to work.
A guided tour of the Blasco Ibanez House/Museum, is conducted in Spanish on Saturdays at 6 pm and 7 pm and on Sundays at 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm.