Bókin, or Bókabúð Braga as it is often called by locals, is quite easy to spot when walking down Hverfisgata. It’s the only storefront on the street with piles of books blocking the windows. This is not your neighbourhood Borders. Or Eymundsson. There is no quaint cookie-cutter café to be found on the upper level, nor are there any stuffed puffins or tourist souvenirs near the register. This is a grown-up bookstore. It is not for the faint of heart.
It is impossible to just pop into Bragi’s for a few minutes. When you go, you need to set aside a few hours. The books, all previously owned, are stacked everywhere and arranged in no recognisable order. You can find gold here, but you need to look for it. Bókabúð Braga rewards perseverance.
Operated since 1964, Bókin has a system that seems to work, although that may not be evident the first time one stops by, intrigued from the exterior only to walk in bombarded from all angles with large stacks of musty tomes. Admittedly, it can be a bit intimidating. Sometimes you just don’t know where to start.
When you do finally muster up the courage to enter this amazing bookstore, you will be met with books, magazines, records, and comics on just about everything, in just about every language, from just about every time period. It’s a treasure chest for bookworms, antique collectors, and anyone who wants to check out a unique Reykjavík establishment.
Check it out.
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