Yes, Babel is basically a bookstore, but actually it is much more: with its huge stock of fiction and non-fiction and the expertly arranged genres, Babel is a biblioteca Borges would have been proud of. I could spend days in there, browsing through the shelves, rediscovering books I have always liked, finding new ones whose stories will soon become part of my own memories. And Babel sells two more things that make perfect companions for every reading: wine and coffee.
The different literary book sections also comprise English literature, French literature etc., but describe the author’s original language, not the actual edition – the books all come in Castilan or Catalan translation. If you don’t read and speak either, you might wish to have the Babel fish Douglas Adams invented for his famous „Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“, a tiny fish that, if placed in your ear, translates any language simultaneously. Or, simply go for the many beautiful coffee table books.
The store even features a small bar, and a patio where ardent readers may plunge into their new page-turner right away, whatever it is, with a cappuccino, or a cool beverage by their side. It stretches out on the lovely small plaça behind the medieval lime stone walls of església Sant Miquel, at times a calm and secluded oasis just off the vibrant pedestrian area. On a summer Saturday around noon, however, the stairs connecting Carrer de Sant Miquel and Las Ramblas and the many small, individual stores in the neighborhood draw a lot of interesting people. So if you are done with your book, just lean back, enjoy the view – and have another drink.