About The Guide

Hello! We are Sonja and Ivan. And this is our Bookstore Guide - an amateur guide to book shopping throughout Europe. We hope this Guide will help you find the book(stores) you are looking for.

Sweny, Dublin

sweny dublin logo
Where? Dublin, Ireland

Recommended by
Cristina Cona

Cristina said: "Located in the heart of literary Dublin, Sweny’s pharmacy is known to Ulysses aficionados as the place where Leopold Bloom goes to have a lotion made, admires the wares displayed on the shelves and buys a bar of lemon soap. The pharmacy had opened for business in 1853; it kept going until 2009, when it would have closed for good and probably gone the same way as other shops nearby, most of which seem to have turned into rather soulless coffee- or juice-bars. Fortunately, a group of volunteers decided to keep it and its spirit alive, and now the premises double as a small bookshop, a venue for cultural events, particularly readings from Joyce’s works on several days a week, and a place where one can buy both vintage jewellery and the famous soap.

The stock is not large, consisting mainly of second-hand books: Irish literature, history and politics. However the shop, which apparently has not changed since Bloomsday 1904, has a charming interior, the volumes for sale are interesting, and you can find very unusual and rarely-seen volumes there. As for the soap, I can confirm it’s got a beautiful scent and feels smooth and delicious!”

There's not much to add to the wonderful recommendation by our friend Cristina. It's very nice to see that special places immortalized in the work of fiction do survive over time and in fact pay their debt back to the author, by serving as some kind of a very lively and cheerful monument to his work and life. And all that thanks to a bar of soap...
"Mr. Bloom raised a cake to his nostrils. Sweet lemony wax. I'll take this one, he said." Ulysses, James Joyce

sweny ulysses dublinSweny
1 Lincoln Place
Dublin 2
sweny bookshop pharmacy


Phone and Email:

Working Hours:
Mon-Sat 10-17

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Mint Vinetu, Vilnius

mint vinetu logo

Where? Vilnius, Lithuania

Recommended by
Natalia from Bratislava

Natalia said: "Being on a cycling trip visiting many places in Lithuania and exploring Vilnius made me visit several shops and small stores in the capital. This beautiful and cozy place, where the city center belongs to the UNESCO, is full of timeless shops. One of it was MINT VINETU - a bookstore which made me stop for a while. The store was divided into two sections, one offering Lithuanian books, other English books. Friendly atmosphere was also created by comfortable seating and an English speaking young fan of second hand books watching 'How I Met Your Mother'."

Mint Vinetu is certainly a specific bookstore, with specific crowd, stock and services. The name also reveals that Mint is also about tea, which you can sip while reading your books, even if it is cinnamon over mint that you prefer. We haven't, however, been able to solve the mystery behind the presence of Vinetu (Winnetou), the legendary last chief of the Mescalero Apaches tribe immortalized in the books of Karl May, in the name of the bookstore. Yet he is there, also embellishing the logo of the store.

"Mint Vinetu is a bookshop of used books, where good people meet", as is stated on their website. This bookstore specializes in secondhand books in both English and Lithuanian. but they offer a selection of titles in Russian, German, French, Italian, Spanish or Polish as well. The selection, people argue, may be small but it's "best anybody's managed to do so far" is what one review said. The prices of English books usually range from 3 to 5 EUR, though some more expensive pieces can be found. The friendly staff will also buy books from you, if you are willing to sell, that is - travelers passing through Vilnius can use this opportunity to exchange the books they've read and get a 50% discount in Mint Vinetu. What is also interesting about Mint Vinetu is that several months ago they launched a campaign, titled Become Someone Else, which became ubiquitously known for its originality. You can check it out HERE.

mint vinetu inside vilniusMint Vinetu
Šv. Ignoto 16/10
Vilnius, Lithuania
mint vinetu lithuania


Phone and Email:
+370 618 20 347

Working Hours:
Monday-Sunday 11-20

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