Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Land of the People of the Book never really was the land of really good bookstores, i.e. if you wanted to find anything that is not in Hebrew. Until a few years ago Steimatzky, with stores in most malls and city centers, was about the only bookstore in the country. It usually had one or two shelves with books in English, French and German in each store, that was all. Then Tsomet HaSefarim started to open stores all over the country, and suddenly the service and choice in Steimatzky stores improved considerably. One year ago Ynet reported on the possibility of Barnes & Noble coming to Israel. Since then I have seen more and more books in English in stores in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Recently Steimatzky opened its flagship in the Grand Canyon ( kanyon = hanyon ( parking lot ) + kn"h ( to buy ): mall ) in Haifa. That mall already had a big Steimatzky store with a relatively large choice of books in English. Still, it is no W.H. Smith, Barnes & Noble, Broese Kemink, Donner ( or I should say selexyz ) etc., but it is an enormous improvement, you can choose from hundreds of classic and very recent novels, books on the Middle East, history, WWII, etc.
In a little more than a month I will have my birthday. My parents-in-law and my wife's aunt and uncle normally give me a book for my birthday. Because Steimatzky, together with the credit card company of the Leumi Bank, offers two books for the price of one until the end of May, this morning I - i.e. my mother in law - already bought four interesting books for may birthday, for the price of only two:

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