The vibrant, diverse landscape and culture of Malaga and its surrounding area has long attracted visits from great authors seeking inspiration, including the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote in his travel memoir In Spain, published in English in 1870, that “in none of the Spanish towns have I been so happy, so entirely at home, as here in Malaga”.
Nowadays, Malaga is full of places to sit for a while with a good book, whether it’s a cocktail and a thriller on the beach in July, or a hot chocolate and a romance in a café in January.
But if you’ve got through the books you packed faster than expected, where can you stock up on more reading material?
Luckily, Malaga city centre has some excellent bookshops, whether you’re looking to shop brand-new or second-hand.
And, if you’re here a while and venturing further afield, we’ve also included a gem to be found in the beach town of Fuengirola, which is a 40-minute train ride down the coast, and worthy of a visit in its own right.
One of Spain’s largest bookshop chains, Casa del Libro, has a store on Calle Nueva, offering three floors of brand-new books in every genre imaginable, including a selection of English books on the third floor.
They stock some well-known classics in English, as well as offering the best new and trending releases from contemporary authors. Can’t find the exact book you’re looking for? No problem – just ask and they’ll order it for you.
Read more: Casa del Libro
Librería Luces is an independent bookshop founded in 2003, which has worked hard to reignite Malaga’s passion for the written word, hosting events such as book launches, signings and readings and (successfully) lobbying to bring back Malaga’s Feria del Libro (Book Fair).
Books here are priced around the same as those in Casa del Libro, although they come with the bonus gift of supporting an independent business.
The English section is also around the same size, but offers a more offbeat selection than Casa del Libro, making it a good choice for the serious reader. And, of course, the staff are friendly and willing to help with recommendations.
Read more: Librería Luces
A more affordable and eco-friendly option than the previous two, Re-Read Libreria is a nationwide chain of second-hand bookshops, with a store on Calle Victoria.
It’s well-organised and extremely well-priced (3€ for one book, 5€ for two and 10€ for five). A lot of their stock is donated by people who live in the area, making it a good place to find some locally written literature or books about the region.
You can also sell your holiday reads here at 20 cents a piece, and earn back some of those precious baggage allowance kilos.
Read more: Re-Read Librería
Librería Códice is a more conventional second-hand bookshop, for the true booklover. The shop is small, but every inch of available space has been filled with the best books from a variety of world literatures, although most are Spanish-language.
There is a small English section at the back of the store, mostly offering beachy thrillers and romances, with a few classics mixed in.
And Codice has more to offer than just books, also boasting an interesting selection of vintage vinyls, CDs and comics.
Read more: Librería Códice
If you find yourself in Fuengirola, this charming, old-school second-hand bookshop is well worth a visit.
The owner, Javier, is happy to offer recommendations and even a stool to sit on while you browse his shelves.
Originally opened in 1966 by an American expat, the shop stocks a fantastic selection of books in English, divided by genre, including Classics, Contemporary Fiction, Thrillers, and Science Fiction.
It also offers books in 11 other European languages.
The books are very reasonably priced, averaging around 3€ each. But bring cash, as card is not accepted.
Read more: Julian’s Books
English teacher and part-time writer with a love for literature and culture, who first swapped the Scottish gloom for the Spanish sun in 2019 when she arrived in Córdoba for her Erasmus year, before moving to Malaga in 2021.