The magic of small bookshops

January 5, 2021

Lausanne is home to around 15 independent bookshops. Four book lovers tell us about their favourites!

Conor Devlin is an analyst. His first language is English, and he likes fiction from the 1950s and up to the present day

“I don’t read books in French, so Books Books Books is really important for me – I buy a book a week there. I don’t buy any books online because I love being able to talk to the shop staff about them. Matthew Wake is the owner and he’s a fount of knowledge, as is his team – they have introduced me to all sorts of books. I especially love the fact that they invite authors to come and do signings of their new books and read extracts.”
Books Books Books,
Rue Jean-Louis Gaillard 2, Lausanne

Daniela Bollhalder is a web designer and plant lover

“A thirty-something has been running the Librairie de la Louve for the past nine years, and it’s the place to go for second-hand books. I go at least once or twice a month. The manager always remembers what you’re interested in, does research for you and gives you recommendations. I’ve found a lot of rare gems here, like an old book on plants: out of print and selling for a lot of money online, but there they picked it up for me at the original price.”
Librairie de la Louve,
Place de la Louve 3, Lausanne

Sébastien J. F. Vincent is a chemist, and he loves sociology and music

“I have a huge collection of books and music. I do research in sociology, and I come to Basta! independent bookshop every week because it stocks a massive range of all the best books on human sciences. The record shop downstairs is excellent, too. The staff are all experts on music, we talk a lot. I don’t buy online anymore because I need this kind of interaction. I buy everything here, except for scientific literature and graphic novels, which I go to Payot and Raspoutine for.”
Basta! and Obsession Records,
Rue du Petit-Rocher 4, Lausanne

Jean-François Semoroz, a civil servant, collects graphic novels, and loves drawing

Belphégor is a particular favourite of mine because the staff are always cheerful and there’s always a wide selection of new, second-hand, and collector’s items to choose from. I come here at least once a month, often with a specific idea in mind, but I also ask the staff for recommendations because they know what I like. You can look at graphic novels online, but coming and flicking through them in a bookshop and unearthing a great read on the bookshelves adds a whole new dimension to the experience.”
Librairie Belphégor,
Boulevard de Grancy 10, Lausanne

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