For the longest time, barber shops used to be places where you got your hair done or beard cut and exchange the latest news – about your neighbours and the rest of the world. Sadly, this wonderful tradition gave way to more efficient, rather impersonal cut-and-go-stores. Only to see it slowly returning: today, you find hairdressers with a lovely small café, fancy boutique or an adjoining bookstore in major cities all over the world. After all, a personal chat is just as important as a new, proper look. At Los Oficios Terrestres, the unique book- & barberstore in the heart of El Terreno, this idea has been cultivated for almost a hundred years, now.
Once founded as Peluqueria Picornell, the store has a long and checkered history, filled with devotion for the barber’s daily routine and the love for books. You can still feel it when you step inside. The furniture is not the work of interior designers but it’s the chairs, tables and shelves that belong and have been here for many years. There’s a very personal, almost private atmosphere. While the barbershop is in the back and offers the latest beauty treatments, the larger book section occupies the front room.
Unlike many bookstores, Los Oficios Terrestres does not so much offer popular bestsellers but specialises in poetry, graphic novels, history, literary classics, and books on feminism and gender theory. There is even a hand-picked selection of English and German titles. The small team, that runs the store, also organises book presentations, readings, exhibitions and other cultural events. Todo para la cabeza – everything for your head, so their witty motto.
As an apprenticed bookseller I have worked for a large publishing house for many years, so places like Los Oficios Terrestres are like paradise for me. I love to browse the racks and rediscover books I have long forgotten, and I wish I had more time to read. Come summer holidays, I might be lucky.