Farewell to the bookshop

Elegy for a lost haven.



Today a cool March light is giving way to a humid afternoon, and I have just left the Anthony Frost English Bookshop in Bucharest, which has closed its doors. The reaction from the Bucharest’s passionate reading community has been shock and grief, as though a well-loved relative not seen for years has suddenly announced their death.

The city has no high street. No classic stores. Only chains and shopping malls. And a few dusty outlets that refuse to die. There is nowhere to take pleasure in retail. Only to browse, buy and leave. The enterprise with a unique identity, personal service, product knowledge and impeccable store design is absent.

But Anthony Frost was an exception.

Set up in 2008 by three Romanian friends with a fascination for the English language, the shop was hidden in an arcade opposite the Kretzulescu Church on Calea Victoriei, with a view onto the site…

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