You can visit the exhibition in the Aula of the Novi Sad Fair until 13 March, and since the Migration of Souls programme is dedicated to literature, we took the opportunity to explore all the great places in Novi Sad where you can buy a book – besides bookstores of major Serbian publishing chains like Vulkan and Laguna. Today, we are casting light on smaller stores, the ones that are often said to ‘have a soul’, and where you may even find rare books. They are also ideal for finding gifts, so start your tour of these literary places!
Location: 22 Zmaj Jovina Street, the building passage
As they say in Most, ‘sometimes you must descend to climb!’. To enter this charming bookstore in the city centre, you literally have to go down into the basement. But the fact that the space is underground does not mean that it is dark and uncomfortable – on the contrary! In the pleasant ambience of Most, which has existed (albeit not always on this address) since 1994, you will always find at least 12,000 titles, including second-hand classics, professional literature and antique encyclopaedias, as well as books about Novi Sad, textbooks and books on history, philosophy, sociology and film art. There is also the inevitable popular literature, and if you don’t know where to start, contact the kind salespeople of Most who will be more than happy to chat with you about their favourites and recommend something that will suit you.
Location: 12 Žarka Zrenjanina Street
You come to Nublu intentionally – otherwise, you may miss this bookstore-cafe across the street from the Isidora Sekulić High School. Although this place is better known as a cafe and a pleasant place to have a coffee or see a band play, it is also a bookstore and an antique shop. If you are looking for literature in a foreign language, you may find it right here. You will also find a wide range of second-hand books in the antique shop on the first floor, and as there are comfortable armchairs for book lovers in the bookstore, expect to explore, browse and window shop with coffee or some other drink in hand (be careful not to damage the books, though!). Nublu also occasionally hosts promotions of new books and authors, so follow them online to stay informed.
Location: 16 Mihajla Pupina Boulevard
What happens when three friends decide to open a bookstore? We get a colourful and pleasant space filled with books and music on three floors. Bulevar Books is a bookstore cafe that you must’ve seen on social networks when you noticed a comfortable sofa from a literary evening or their beautiful and instagrammable coffee. But while that’s eye-catching, it’s not the most important thing Bulevar Books has to offer. Here you’ll find small publishers and an alternative music scene, as well as comic books. The musical bookstore, as they like to call it, organizes many must-see events for fans of written and sung word, and if you come at a ‘more ordinary’ time during the day, take the time to grab a coffee and browse through interesting titles. As visitors and hosts say, you will most likely buy some of them!
Location: 24 Njegoševa Street
Although relatively new – it was opened in 2019 – Zenit bookstore quickly won the hearts of Novi Sad residents. And no wonder it did, because its founders themselves say that they wanted to open a place that would both serve as a bookstore and a cultural centre. They obviously succeeded in that, because in addition to selling books, Zenit offers book promotions, jazz concerts, film screenings, exhibitions, DJ performances, and presentations of writers and publishing houses. If you are looking for a unique gift besides a book, here you will find souvenirs by artists from all over the country. Don’t forget to read ‘why Zenit’ article on their website because it’s too good for us to spoil it, and after that be sure to stop by for a book, whether it’s something you wanted or is recommended by them.
Little Big Book
Location: 4 Ignjata Pavlasa Street
The Little Big Book is a bookstore that people know as a ‘bookstore in the hall of the Youth Theatre’. It has been open for over thirty years, and Radmilo Mulić, the oldest bookseller in the city, ‘reigns’ over it. Thanks to him, the Little Big Book also has a phototype edition of Miroslav’s Gospel, which you can browse. In here you can get lost among almost 40,000 titles! They are also active on Kupindo website with over 2000 second-hand books – if you are unable to get there in person, they will send you the second-hand book you want by mail. On their Instagram profile, they posted a piece of advice to save time and come to them first when you are looking for a rare book, because, as they say – it happened to them many times that customers came and said they went around the city looking for something and couldn’t find it until they got there.
The passage in Jevrejska Street
Location: 3 Jevrejska Street
This place does not need a website or a profile on social networks. Residents of Novi Sad know very well that they can find rare books as well as records in the passage in 3 Jevrejska Street. This space is also popular with students every Fall when second-hand textbooks are being sold there. Stop by next time if you are looking for a specific book or something interesting to read, the store clerk in Jevrejska Street may find exactly what you need.
Location: 1 Temerinski Road
Finally, we mustn’t leave out the famous venue that many Novi Sad residents deem priceless, a place where you can find practically everything – the Najlon Market. Although it requires getting up early and being ready to roll up your sleeves and dig well into what is on offer, book lovers will be able to find a lot of second-hand books there. So, if you are looking for a specific book that you hadn’t any luck with in bookstores, or you just like to discover various oddities and forgotten titles, spend at least one weekend with your friends there and you will surely have fun going through these small private libraries packed with history.
Author: Marina Marić
Photo: Jelena Ivanović, Marko Pudić