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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

The Book Prowl

Message in a Bottle


There is no dirth of books published in English available in CR. I need to pay for them, though. The cheapest are used books, naturally, but then there are the Penguin Classics, going for 85 Kc a copy (doesn’t matter if it’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame” – thick and weighty – or “The Heart of Darkness”– narrow and … telling of the human soul).I was off to a newly discovered (via web) used bookstore yesterday. If you know where you’re going in Prague, I mean know where you’re precise destination is precisely located, you’re one step ahead of insanity. If you have a map and generally good sense of direction, and are searching for an address in Prague, then GOOD LUCK! The twisting lanes and alley-ways of Old Town are nice to walk through if you’re looking to discover dramatic architecture, old-world charm, and get lost.

Antikvariat Kant is at Opatoviscká 26, vaguely off of Narodní, near the Vltava riverbank. I more-or-less circled it until I finally found the corner storefront, much like a dog looks for a place to safely dump, sniffing out the spot that makes him crouch, and finally … you know. But my objective was to feed, not deficate.

So there stood Antikvariat, the used bookstore advertised as “filled with English classics.” It’s now Saturday at 2 p.m.; I’ve got the proper amount of red wine coursing through my veins; I’ve not seen the sun but 3 times in the last 39 days; I’d been looking for a copy of Henry James’s “The Ambassadors” for a month; if I find a copy of Broch’s “The Sleepwalkers” I may just faint.

The bookstore is closed.


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