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If you have been following this blog for a while, you would know that I(Chris) like to check out local bookstores when visiting a new city/country.  For example, in Budapest, London, Kuala Lumpur… for more bookstores, click on Books to find them.

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In Moscow, I stumbled upon this massive bookstore after having dinner in the touristy Arbat area.

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The street Novy Arbat is actually not so touristy as it is a major thoroughfare with 6-8 lanes of traffic. It actuality took me a while in the evening darkness to find a pedestrian underpass to go to the other side of the street.

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As I cannot read Russian, I was not sure that it was a bookstore – from a distance, I thought it could have been a record store – a Russian Virgin or Towers – well as it turned out, not exactly, it is a Russian Barnes & Nobles or Waterstones.

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It does indeed sell some music – CD, DVD – but it is a small collection.

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The store has a section selling vintage books.

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Downstairs are departments selling stationary, magazines and vintage books.

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They did not seem to mind me taking photos.

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Upstairs are the general sections, including some English books-10

Wish I could read Russian, I am so curious of all these books.

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I was happy to find that they stock a lot of sheet music – as gifts to IT who is learning a new musical instrument – I could easily pick up a few souvenirs.

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There was also a cafe (closed already since I was there after dinner).

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Similar to B&N, there was an area for talks, book signing, etc. which were filled with a small contingent of comfortably immersed readers.

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It is really a cozy place to hang out with books or a friend, away from the bitter cold outside. It was getting late and I needed to figure out how to get back to my hotel.

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Reading is good in any language.

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