|Where||St. Petersburg, Russia|
Liteynyi Avenue, 57
St. Petersburg, Russia 191014
One of the most fashionable bookstores in the city, frequented by students, tourists, intellectuals, and even writers and journalists whose work is on the shelves. The name means "Subscription publications" in Russian, but don't read too much into it: it's simply a holdover brand from the Soviet era.
The store's buyers know both their market and how to cater to its wants and needs. Ample attention is paid to the classics of modern Western thought as well as the exponents of the current intellectual trends. Most books by foreign authors sold at Podpisnye are translated to Russian and published locally, but there's a small section in the back of the second (right) room which sells imported originals. (Warning: reading in English is not exactly cheap in Russia; the sale price often exceeds the cover price by a healthy double-digit margin.)
The bookstore boasts a small espresso bar (the main, left room) and some sitting space on the mezzanine levels of both rooms where you can settle on a stool, sip the brew, sample the intellectual wares, and people-watch the crowd below. Purchase of expensive books is rewarded with a free espresso drink: a disarmingly nice touch which softens the possible shock received at the cash register.