Do you know your ABC’s

By Jake Cleaver, in Books · 06-11-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
Do you know your ABC’s

As a little feature in our new book section, The Portugal News has been hoping to uncover cosy little corners across the Algarve, or in fact anywhere in Portugal, where you can find English books, possibly a cup of coffee, and who knows, maybe one day, a cat curled up by a fire.

We are going to be calling it the ‘Algarve Book Corners’, or ‘ABC’s’. If you know of any snug little hideaways with books that you feel deserve a little recognition for their efforts in keeping the English or other foreign language literary world alive in Portugal, then please write in to info@theportugalnews.com and let us investigate and spread the word.

To start the search I paid a little visit to Alvor, following down a lead that there were books to be found in an Irish Café called ‘Made in Belfast’. There’s a quote by author Jeanette Winterson that says, ‘Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through to another world’. It’s certainly true of this place. Going through the door feels like stepping into a café in, well… maybe not in another world, but certainly in another country. That is the idea that owner Rhiannon came up with - to provide a place for people who miss the taste of Ireland. And, along with all your favourite Irish and English foods, there are indeed books to be found spread across, and hidden in the gaps, of the coffee tables. Rhiannon told me that people bring in books all the time, and if a book grips you while you are eating your ‘bacon sarnie’, you don’t have to live with never knowing the ending, as you are more than welcome to take it away with you. But just remember to pass it along, and if you really liked a book bring it with you for breakfast and leave it on the table for somebody else to enjoy.

After brunch, my hunt for books took me down the road with a treasure map marked by Rhiannon. X marked the spot of the Association for the Protection of Animals in the Algarve (APAA) charity shop. Here I found, along with a whole host of other second hand treasures, a little room packed with previously owned English books - all for just €1 each.

The APAA have another shop in Silves and in Albufeira, and all the money raised goes to helping to support abandoned and rescued animals in the Algarve.

You shouldn’t need a treasure map to find these little ‘book nooks’. A little Google search should take you right to their doors, and yes, inside you should find stacks of portals filled with dark squiggles waiting to, at a glance, transport you to other worlds.

So there you go. “Now you know your ABC’s” (or at least some)… maybe go and get a book, breakfast, and a cup of tea?



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