Walrus Books is the only English-language used bookstore in Buenos Aires, and stocks an impressive collection of classic English literature, travel guides, and vintage magazines, making it a target for both used-book collectors and those just looking to buy a good English read. Buenos Aires may be renowned for its long literary history and is a city swimming in used books, but, for the monolingual collector, finding some of the great books in English is more challenging than one might think.
Walrus Books, located in San Telmo, has accumulated a great selection of used English-language books, available at reasonable prices. Run by North American photographer Geoffrey Hickman, and his wife, Josefina, Walrus is a cozy, vibrant little shop that tends to attract an interesting mix of literary types seeking a rare edition and backpackers in search of some new material. The shop was formerly run out of the owners’ Palermo apartment and open by appointment only, making the new location with standard hours and reading chairs a welcome change to the English-speaking literary crowd in Buenos Aires.
Prices at Walrus are reasonable and most of the books are in good, if not great, condition. A standard buy will run shoppers somewhere between $2-20. Walrus is a small shop, but is crammed with over 6,000 books, oftentimes stocking several copies of the Argentine history books, Latin American classics, works by modern American and European authors, and poetry. The shop owners also buy books, but are quite selective (a stroke of luck for serious book hunters who don’t get their kicks from rifling through piles of books), so don’t expect to just dump off your old reads to make room for bottles of delicious Argentine wine.
Walrus’ great location in historic San Telmo makes it a great stop for antiques hunters who are interested in seeing a higher concentration of literature rather than some dusty, beat-up harlequin romance novels propping up the end of an antique sofa where the leg is missing.
Name: Walrus Books
Address: Estados Unidos 617 (between Peru and Chacabuco)
Telephone: (5411) 4300 7135
Walrus is open from 10a-8p, Tuesday through Sunday. All major credit cards are accepted.