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#92345 - 07/11/13 06:23 AM Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open?
filbert Offline
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Loc: London
There have been various places close down - the most recent appears to have been Bookworld España.
Can anyone here tell me if Petras International Bookstore is still operating (Calle Campomanes, 13 ) I did see an advert last year offering the place for sale, but that seems to have been withdrawn.


Edited by MadridMan (07/13/13 07:17 AM)
Edit Reason: To clarify title and include city name
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#92346 - 07/11/13 09:39 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: filbert]
MadridMan Offline


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Hi, filbert! Shall we assume this is in Madrid? If so, I'll edit your subject line to reflect the location in Spain.

I did a search and found a website at http://www.petrasbookshop.com/ . The website was last updated in 2013 and they don't mention anything about having closed, so I'll assume it's still open. Next time I'm in that part of the downtown I'll check it out for you to be sure.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#92348 - 07/11/13 02:21 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: MadridMan]
Crisco Offline
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I always stop by at Petra's when I'm in Madrid either to get rid of the books I brought with me or get some more to read.I was there during my last visit in April and it seemed a little different-new people working there but still as crammed as ever,just bursting with books!
I found a couple of interesting books that were on display outside and wanted to buy them, funny story-they were literally giving away 25 for 2 euros but if I wanted to buy just 2 she said it woud cost me 4 euros!!!! So I picked out another 23 books,packed them up and paid 2 euros.I then walked down C/Campomanes and left the unwanted books on trash cans and doorways with the hope that someone would enjoy them!
During this visit, I even went to J & J on C/del ESpiritu Santo.I don't think it's worth the extra effort.They try to be more of a neighborhood cafe/bar/bookstore.The staircase leading downstairs to the books is somewhat treacherous!
I did learn that even though my hardcover books were brand new-only read by me once-both bookstores are only interested in paperbacks!
Petra's is a great place to stop by. I hope they do keep it open.I remember chatting with one of the owners-she was German and very pleasant.I have found books to be very expensive in Spain and hope that people will continue to visit Petra's and encourage them to stay open.

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#92349 - 07/11/13 03:28 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: MadridMan]
filbert Offline
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Hello Madridman - Yes it is in Madrid. I've been hearing conflicting reports, so trying to find out if it's worth popping down that way next time I'm in Madrid
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#92350 - 07/11/13 03:31 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: Crisco]
filbert Offline
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Originally Posted By Crisco
I always stop by at Petra's when I'm in Madrid either to get rid of the books I brought with me or get some more to read.I was there during my last visit in April and it seemed a little different-new people working there but still as crammed as ever,just bursting with books!
I found a couple of interesting books that were on display outside and wanted to buy them, funny story-they were literally giving away 25 for 2 euros but if I wanted to buy just 2 she said it woud cost me 4 euros!!!! So I picked out another 23 books,packed them up and paid 2 euros.I then walked down C/Campomanes and left the unwanted books on trash cans and doorways with the hope that someone would enjoy them!
During this visit, I even went to J & J on C/del ESpiritu Santo.I don't think it's worth the extra effort.They try to be more of a neighborhood cafe/bar/bookstore.The staircase leading downstairs to the books is somewhat treacherous!
I did learn that even though my hardcover books were brand new-only read by me once-both bookstores are only interested in paperbacks!
Petra's is a great place to stop by. I hope they do keep it open.I remember chatting with one of the owners-she was German and very pleasant.I have found books to be very expensive in Spain and hope that people will continue to visit Petra's and encourage them to stay open.


Interesting. Yes, I also know J&J and I think they've played clever by having social get-togethers in order to attract customers.
I agree, I hope they keep Petra's open, but I wonder if the new owners are going to convert it to something else...
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#92351 - 07/11/13 07:42 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: filbert]
chivasusa Offline
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I've bought books there also. J and J is also a nice visit. Petra's is one of the first places I visit. It's just down the street from Santo Domingo. It's a little hard to find. Its also fun to walk up calle libreros north of Gran Via near San Bernardo. That giant bookstore on Gran Via near where Madrid Rock used to be is also good. It's called Casa Del Libro. They've got the collection ALL SPAIN there. I bought ALL BURGOS for 8 euros. Petra's is really small but I've bought more there than anywhere. Don't let the cat out, it darts out the door if your not careful. Really hope it's still there.

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#92353 - 07/12/13 04:53 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: chivasusa]
pedmar Offline
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not heard anything on Petra. They even have a FB page! The one that I always went is La Casa del Libro, for years you found everything there.
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#92356 - 07/12/13 10:30 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: pedmar]
Crisco Offline
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chivausa-I didn't see the cat in April!
Not a good sign......

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#92360 - 07/13/13 07:21 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
MadridMan Offline


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Hi, filbert!
I walked by Petra's International Bookshop just this morning at 11:30am. Although their website says they open Saturdays at 11am, they were closed. There was a piece of paper next to the door with the hours, address, telephone number, website (I think) and no indication that they were closed for good. But if they've closed for the summer, I'd think they would've said so. OR, since it's a small store, maybe they just open when they want. Not sure. But it seems to be there and functioning! No FOR SALE sign on it or anything. Looks in good condition.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#92363 - 07/13/13 11:49 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: MadridMan]
Crisco Offline
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Petra's was always iffy as to when it was open.I had better luck going in the evenings.
I like to walk up/down C/Campomanes to C/Preciados.There always seem to be little shops trying to make a go of it.A little chocolate/tea shop for a while but it closed.Last April, lots of construction going on a couple of doors down from Petra's.I think it was a woman's boutique.There are two hotels that have been there for quite some time,Meninas and Room Mate Mario and a hostal, Gran Duque.
Kudos to you,MadridMan for walkingh up the steep street in the heat-that's dedication!

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#92366 - 07/13/13 01:27 PM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: Crisco]
filbert Offline
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Loc: London
Now this gets interesting, and seems to confirm MadridMan's observations. I've done a little digging myself via facebook contacts, and one of those contacts actually popped in on Friday morning when the store was functioning. So for the moment the bookstore is still open. I may even be in Madrid later this month, and if so I'll make sure to pop by...
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#92370 - 07/13/13 04:25 PM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
MadridMan Offline


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What I saw today: (right mouse-click over photo and "View Image" for full-size)

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#92372 - 07/14/13 06:18 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: MadridMan]
filbert Offline
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Loc: London
Thanks for that MadridMan! looks like they are operating still, and no indication of closing for the August shut-down either - although I'm led to believe that fewer places do that. But maybe that's another thread...
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#92394 - 07/18/13 03:35 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
filbert Offline
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I just saw an interesting article today on book-reading in Spain - for perhaps obvious reasons numbers of people using libraries are up, and there may even be a change in the decline of people using bookstores.
Independent story on Spanish book-reading
Quote:
Outside libraries, Spain’s steadily increasing reading habits have had a patchy effect at best on its bookshops: there has been an across-the-board drop of 40 per cent in sales since 2008, yet Madrid’s recent bookfair saw an unexpected 9.8 per cent increase in sales. And as demand for books rises and public funds dwindle, libraries with “mixed financing” are beginning to appear more frequently too.
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#92426 - 08/02/13 05:22 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: Crisco]
filbert Offline
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Posts: 426
Loc: London
Originally Posted By Crisco
chivausa-I didn't see the cat in April!
Not a good sign......


I can confirm Petras is still running, and the cat is still the shop guardian!
Just around the corner and the Santo Domingo area is looking better. There seem to be new bars and hotels in the area.
I also visited J&Js and they have a large range of English books.
There is also a book/gift shop near Sol, but I can't remember its name. Maybe a US city name like Houston?
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#92432 - 08/05/13 11:46 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: filbert]
chivasusa Offline
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Glad to hear Petra's is still carrying on with the cat. Can't wait to return, hoping for February.

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#92433 - 08/05/13 03:29 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: chivasusa]
filbert Offline
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Loc: London
Ah - the new bookstore is called LA Central and is near Callao. Looks like a threat to Fnac.
Great to see both second-hand and new book stores still going in Madrid.
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#92547 - 09/25/13 07:00 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: chivasusa]
filbert Offline
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Loc: London
This does not look good for the cat - unless this is a publicity gathering story..

Madrid Notes - Cat kidnapped
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#92548 - 09/25/13 07:01 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: filbert]
filbert Offline
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Registered: 09/06/03
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Loc: London
Ten bookstores in Madrid that also double up as a cafe-bar

Bookstores in Madrid
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#92549 - 09/25/13 09:02 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: filbert]
Puna Offline
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Great link, Filbert. smile
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#92552 - 09/26/13 04:30 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: Puna]
pedmar Offline
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good article indeed Filbert. I like that Tipos Infames, noted for next visit.
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#92555 - 09/26/13 03:46 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: pedmar]
chivasusa Offline
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Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 117
It sounds like the cat got out the door again, it may be lurking around or is already back. I guess we need to send someone back over to investigate, I'm not sure why I care but I do. I visit Petra's within 24 hours of arriving in Madrid. Haven't been there since Feb 2012. Now when I go certain stores or restaurants or cinemas are closed, and I get depressed. The last time I went Hostal Paz was gone the magazine Don Balon had folded, before that Madrid Rock was gone. I'll wait for info and in a week or so I'll send my friend Santiago to find out what happened with this cat caper. He lives in Villaverde but he'll check into it. He just got a cat so he is sympathetic-more later.

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#92570 - 09/30/13 07:37 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: chivasusa]
filbert Offline
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Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 426
Loc: London
I have just spoken with the owner of Petras. Btw I had been enquiring about taking the place over, as he wants to leave Spain, but we didn't agree on some things. However it is still on the market if anyone wants to take over a business in Spain. I can confirm it gets plenty of traffic. For me the downside is the back area is a little small for events..
Anyway -the cat. He's thinking that someone took a shine to the cat and so stole it. Police have been informed but it's not going to be high priority. There has been no ransom demanded, which is another possibility. The remaining explanation is quite scary -that someone decided to take the cat as an hostile act, perhaps a creepy stalker with a grudge. In that scenario I fear a very unhappy outcome for the cat frown
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#92573 - 09/30/13 11:46 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: filbert]
steve robinson Offline
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Registered: 02/23/06
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Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Wow that's a very interesting idea .

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#92577 - 10/01/13 03:52 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: steve robinson]
chivasusa Offline
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Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 117
Thanks for the info filbert, sounds like someone stole the cat. I know this cat it likes to escape, but its been gone too long. I still think I'll send Santiago to look around the area. Petras is pretty small front and back. Do a lot of people there still read books or tablets? Here even the ancients read tablets. Newspapers here are almost irrelevant. I still get home delivery of the Houston Chronicle. Not much newspaper delivery in Spain, but hopefully people are still buying them on the corner newstand and studying them in the cafes and discussing it. I'd like to be the live-in owner operator of Petras but I'm thinking its not allowed. I want out of Houston, Texas. If anyone wants to do a home swap from Madrid i'm listening.

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#92580 - 10/03/13 08:34 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: chivasusa]
Puna Offline
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Steve, I hear your brain going into full gear ....
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#92582 - 10/05/13 02:16 PM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: Puna]
steve robinson Offline
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Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Chivasusa I think books are coming back in fashion as is buying vinyl records and cds rather than downloading from the internet . For me is a physical thing .. I love to pick up a book , see the art work on the sleeve ( or record cover ) . Books become a part of your apartment or house decoration ... they are beautiful and they remain where they are for generations so that a kid , a grandson , niece , nephew can just simply come into your house and pick up a book they like the look of . My nieces and nephew
live in Russia .... they have their laptops , i-pads , I-phones etc... but they still read BOOKS and my second eldest niece is collecting vinyl records !!
And , as an aside , Russian schools demand you read classical literature / My Nieces can recite poems from Pushkin by heart ... no notes and with passion . I wish English State Schools were like theirs ,




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#92584 - 10/07/13 10:15 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: steve robinson]
filbert Offline
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Registered: 09/06/03
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Loc: London
For anyone in Madrid at this time, there is the feria de otono (sorry, I don't know how to get accents on ths tablet) currently on the Castellana/recoletas. Bookstore owners from all over Spain selling old and antique books. I believe it goes on until 13th October. http://www.iberlibro.com/blog/index.php/...-de-madrid-2013


Edited by filbert (10/07/13 10:16 AM)
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#92585 - 10/08/13 06:17 AM Re: Is this bookstore still open? [Re: filbert]
steve robinson Offline
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Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
I've been many times and it's a fantastic event ! Usually in Paseo de Recoletos. Amazing books and some very good bargains to be had . They also showcase some amazing books from centuries ago beautifully scripted and painted ( mainly religious ) . They also sell old magazines . I bought some old bullfighting and Franco era magazines . And Paseo de Recoletos is , of course , the perfect place to sit on a terraza such as Café Gijon or Café El Espejo ( beautiful ) . I soooooo miss Madrid frown

Filbert I'm 'lucky' to have a Spanish keyboard here in the UK , but on my UK laptop whenever I needed accents or Russian script ( I studied Russian and my brother and family live there now ) .. I'd just go onto a translation page and copy and paste .

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#92695 - 11/18/13 05:40 AM Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: steve robinson]
filbert Offline
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Loc: London
I noticed this weekend that Petra's is officially up for sale - it was advertised on a notice outside the shop. It'll be sad if it closes - I'm now theoretically in competition but it'll still be a loss to the Madrid bookscene. If anyone is interested in taking over Petras (apart from contacting them directly) please pm me as I may give a bit of insight on how to improve sales. For example you could sell Civil War posters. It does get regular customers, and could be turned around I think.
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#92709 - 11/22/13 02:39 PM Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
MadridMan Offline


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That is a shame, filbert!! I've never been inside, but it's sad to see these little shops close. frown

Saludos, MadridMan
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#92710 - 11/23/13 06:35 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: MadridMan]
filbert Offline
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Loc: London
Well it's not closed yet, so fingers crossed they get an interested buyer to take it over..
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#92712 - 11/23/13 10:18 PM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
chivasusa Offline
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Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 117
There was a used book store here in Houston, Texas when I first got here that closed within weeks of my arrival. It was only slightly larger than Petras, but the lone employee told me the rent was $4000 a month. It was owned by someone who wasn't trying to make money, but I guess the deficit finally was too much. It wasn't in a desirable location. In Pasadena, Ca. where I came from in 2011, similar story Bungalow News closed after decades after the rent was raised. That location still doesn't have a tenant. Petras is doing some on-line business so maybe they can make it. There is usually a lot of good content in the small space of Petras like city guides of places in Spain and novels based in Spain. I bought my copy of Don Quixote, there for example. I'm urging Madrid visitors to visit Petras.

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#92720 - 11/29/13 04:02 PM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: chivasusa]
steve robinson Offline
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Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Books and even vinyl records are enjoying a renaissance here in the UK despite MP3s and Kindles etc... . Seems people really enjoy the physicality and the art work of books and records . Where I live we have at least 5 secondhand book shops . I love them smile and even my niece in Russia has bought a record player and is collecting vinyl records . If I had the money i'd definitely have considered Petra´s . I assume JJ Books is still going strong ? Always like walking into a mini USA !

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#92723 - 12/02/13 08:30 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: steve robinson]
filbert Offline
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Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 426
Loc: London
J&Js are doing very well as a meeting place and bar. Their intercambio nights and quiz nights do very well, I'm told.
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#93021 - 03/29/14 12:04 PM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
filbert Offline
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Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 426
Loc: London
Sad news - Looks like Petras is finally closing - this from their Facebook page

"Come and get it!!! liquidating all the books for the new store owners. Come get 2 books and receive 50% discount. Even more discounts in April. Huge liquidation sale!"

The page doesn't state if the new store owners are selling books, or something else.
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#93023 - 03/30/14 01:21 PM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
MadridMan Offline


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Awwwww... Thats's a shame, but I'm happy they location will have new owners. The website and name will remain the same? huh

Saludos, MadridMan
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#93026 - 03/31/14 06:25 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: MadridMan]
filbert Offline
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Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 426
Loc: London
The latest message on their Facebook group states:

Quote:
New owners will be remodeling and putting in new bookshelves, so we need to liquidate all books. Buy 5 books and get 70% discount.
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#93029 - 03/31/14 10:33 PM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
chivasusa Offline
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Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 117
..Sounds like it will be different, that could be good, it was a little bit cluttered and a remodel would be ok. The content was excellent I always found something, often titles I didn't know existed, especially about Spain. I just pulled one out of the bookcase ASHES OF IZALCO by Claribel Alegria, a rare El Salvador fiction. I would like they retain the name PETRA'S, they probably won't. Once again I will list some things I'm feeling nostalgic about in Madrid. MADRID ROCK, DON BALON, HOSTAL PAZ, TIO PEPE, Luis a vendor who used to set up a table every night on Puerta del Sol in front of Los Guerrilleros shoe store. He sold jewelry, incense, rolling papers, pipes, lighters, he was there usually from about 10:30pm to 1 or 2 am, anyone remember him. Probably not but he's a great guy he still wanders the streets at night, and I'm still in contact with him, I used to hang with him there at night. This is off the subject a bit but I will also miss Petra's.

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#93082 - 04/17/14 07:31 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: chivasusa]
filbert Offline
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Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 426
Loc: London
The new chain Tikbooks is opening in the area, just off Santo Domingo (and around the corner from my bookshop too), which may compensate for the loss of Petra's. Tikbooks use the "pile them high, sell them cheap model" and all their books have a 2,90 euros price (and they have special deals eg 5 books for 10 euros). I've been in their stores before, and they often have books in good condition too. An interesting article here, if you read Spanish, on how the (Argentinian) owner has been able to expand at a time of crisis in the booktrade. Profile here too


Edited by filbert (04/17/14 07:34 AM)
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#93133 - 05/07/14 10:05 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
filbert Offline
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Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 426
Loc: London
Well now, I've just been around the (closed-down) Petras - it's soon to open under a new name. 3 gents from New York behind the venture, operating again as a bookshop, so at least some good news in the sector.
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#93153 - 05/21/14 10:22 AM Re: Madrid:Petra's International Bookshop still open? [Re: filbert]
filbert Offline
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Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 426
Loc: London
The new concern is called "Desperate Literature" and they already have stores in Brooklyn and Santorini. Looks like the neighbourhood is now the coming place for book browsers!
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