« | Home | »

Atlantis Books

Tags:

Atlantis Books is perched high on a clifftop in Oia, a village on the north-western tip of Santorini. Two American students, Craig Walzer and Oliver Wise, came up with the idea for the shop while visiting the island in 2002. ‘We read all of our books and couldn’t find anywhere else to buy some,’ Walzer told me. They returned with friends in 2004 and built Atlantis out of found objects from beaches, junkyards, and donations from the neighbours. ‘We took our time actually building the shower, because books were more important that hygiene.’

The names of the hundreds of people who have slept at the shop are written in a spiral on the ceiling: siblings, old friends, strangers, artists. Handwritten messages and bright murals leave no space untouched. Multistorey stacks include both Panos Karnezis and The Misunderstood Monsters of Greek Mythology; Coralie Bickford-Smith’s clothbound Penguin Classics are next to valuable first editions, including the Olympia Press’s Lolita (‘you could buy a small car with it’). They also publish books under the imprint Paravion Press.

Last May, their landlord announced that he had permission to build another floor on their upstairs terrace (Atlantis is below street level). He also said he’d been offered €1 million by someone who wants to turn the building into a jewellery shop. The booksellers were told they had two weeks to leave. But they’re still there, for now, and a campaign to crowdfund a counteroffer is ready if needed. ‘We’re not packing up,’ Walzer says.

The 2015 Caldera Arts and Literature Festival begins at the bookshop tomorrow, with David Sedaris and Billy Collins among the line-up.

Comments are closed.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • whisperit on When More Means Less: This has been the main impetus behind changes in mental health provision for some time. In my last job as a mental health nurse, I began by visiting i...
    • David Sharp on Don’t pretend you can’t see us: A good article. The gilets jaunes "have given me back my pride in being French," said the historian-sociologist Emmanuel Todd during an excellent t...
    • kirkmc on Don’t pretend you can’t see us: It's important to understand the context of diesel cars in France. For decades, the French government promoted their use, through much lower taxes on ...
    • Andrew McGettigan on Carlsen’s Fortress: To provide a little more detail for the diagram. The position is taken before White's 67th move. 67 Bd5-c4 would keep the black knight from e2 (and fr...
    • Graucho on Out of Stock: From the late sixties onwards I have witnessed the effects of cannabis smoking on any number of friends, acquaintances and loved ones. At best I have ...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement
Advertisement