The Urbanist

Reading the city

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5 August 2021

Episode 512

30 minutes

Bookshops are anchors in our communities, where we can go to get away to far-flung places without leaving our own neighbourhoods.

5 August 2021

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Chapter 1

9 minutes


Photo: Alamy

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Chapter 1

Belgrade’s Bookastore

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The retail face of the boutique publisher Booka has expanded from one to three shops over the past couple of years. That’s much to the delight of Belgrade’s bookworms and lovers of stylish literary spaces.

9 minutes

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Chapter 2

4 minutes


Photo: Getty Images

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Chapter 2

Toronto’s specialist bookshops

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While Canada’s most populous city has a fine roster of independent bookshops, it’s the small array of speciality retailers that have been the most notable staple in the city. Monocle’s bureau chief in the city, Tomos Lewis, reports.

4 minutes

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Chapter 3

8 minutes


Photo: Navid Linnemann

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Chapter 3

Istanbul’s Türk-Alman Kitabevi

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Bookshops supply residents with something to read but they can also highlight a culture that might otherwise go overlooked. Monocle’s contributor in Istanbul, Ruth Michaelson, visits the city’s German-Turkish bookshop to explore this shared culture.

8 minutes

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Chapter 4

7 minutes

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Chapter 4

Mexico’s Crear Comunidad by Proyecto Reacciona

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Finding libraries in a poor condition across the country, this programme rebuilds them as centres of public life with input from locals, giving them a sense of ownership as they collaborate with the design team to determine how the space can be remade to meet community ambitions.

7 minutes

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