Oporto, or Porto, is Portugal’s second largest city, and approximately 300 km (186 miles) north of Lisbon on the Atlantic Coast. The bookstore window seen in the photo belongs to the Livraria Lello & Irmao that inspired JK Rowling in one of her Harry Potter stories (she had evidently been married to a Portuguese man from Porto). An excellent video revealing the mystery and mystique of the unusual interior can be seen at Lello and Irmao Bookstore (When I visited the bookstore on August 4, 2011, however, photography was no longer allowed inside).
“Nobu” Nobuaki Honda has been sharing with us some of the finest photos of Paris during the past eight months. His photographs, shot with a state of the art Leica M6, analogue camera are all skillfully scanned, and they capture the essence of the City of Love. A common theme is found in his shots of shop windows, and especially windows of bookstores. Well, bookstores are a theme I share with my friend Nobu, one of the most gracious members of Trekearth. Accordingly, I am dedicating this shot to him. As I wrote to him, “Hanging around bookstores, whether strolling through or window shopping, is a theme we share. In a photo like this, I feel compelled to try to read all the titles, even if there is little chance that one of my books is on display (and sadly it was not). But the books include an art book on the great painter Caravaggio (1571 –1610), the unrivaled “l’enfant terrible” of the Renaissance; a book on the American singer, songwriter, musician, James Brown (1993-2006). And most relevant for members of Trekearth is a book on the photographs of the most famous National Geographic photographer, Steve McCurry. Mr. McCurry, whom I once met on a cruise in the Mediterranean, was previously featured in a photo by Izzet Keribar in his Tribute to Steve McCurry.
Finally, with this photo I would like to wish those who are observant Christians, a Merry Christmas. Books, especially mine, do make excellent Christmas presents! I have a dark confession. I have never been able to resist walking out of a bookstore without making a purchase.
Postscript. Right after I posted this photo, Bev Turner spotted Harry Potter in a bookshop in Carlisle, UK. I am grateful to her for sharing her experience.
Critiques | Translate
Glint (6171) 2011-12-22 23:29
as ever, your photos and notes together are a great treat. i too love browsing bookshops and as a school librarian get paid to do it too!(aren't I lucky?).This is window is illed with such interesting titles, though sadly yours are missing.Thanks for the link to the bookshop in Porto -so beautiful!I can see why it would inspire J.K.
You have inspired me to search through my files for a photograph i took in a favourite bookshop of mine. I have posted it this morning.
Best wishes and I hope you have many booksales and many books in your Christmas stocking.
Graal (102928) 2011-12-23 0:08
amazing exhibition in the window of shop. Good reportage and presentation from Porto. Photo I like.
Merry Christmas for You & family!
brianmcc (6219) 2011-12-23 1:36
there is something about book shop windows that always draw you to them. your picture manages to do the same. lovley composition, great colours, excellent detail and sharpness. and just a little bit of extra interest with the glimpses of reflections from the windows.
Royaldevon (39344) 2011-12-23 1:36
Good Morning Bulent,
As always, your notes give further insight into your photograph; always an interesting read.
Like you, I love books and never travel anywhere without one; usually returning with more than when I began! I've not yet succumbed to the kindle books which seem without soul, somehow, though very convenient!
Your photograph desires to be scrutinised, to be internalised. You have fine clarity and have somehow managed to achieve a great thirds composition.
Have a lovely Christmas, or holiday break,
snunney (100076) 2011-12-23 4:17
A fine capture of this book shop window, which has an interesting array of titles in a number of different languages. I too like browsing through book shops, particularly when dragged out shopping with the wife:-) Seasons greetings!
nobuikehonda (3848) 2011-12-23 7:50
Hello Professor Atalay,
I … don’t quite know how to respond to the honour of being mentioned in your note. I am late in writing responses to everyone who has been most generous to provide me with their friendships and with very precious advice for my first eight months with TE. Above all, it is an absolute honour to be mentioned as your friend. I thank you Professor. I have been watching one of your lectures on Leonardo this evening, and I am most impressed with your lecture. How fascinating a person Leonardo was and how equally fascinating your lecture has been. Yes, it’s true how libraries draw my attention. I have a number of books still stored in a storage space. I just find it very difficult to part with them ever since my student days. Your image of the books is presented with the most stunning clarity and the most beautiful colour balance. I cannot help but to look through one by one at the titles of the books to see which book to add to my already existing collection. I did not find your book in the presented image. However, your book will be the next addition. This is a must. I wonder if it will be easier for me to read your book in English or the translated version or both. I am going to place an order. I would like to know more about all the fascinating stories of Leonardo and through your lecture I have learned how you are so intrigued by him. It is a pure pleasure to meet with someone who is willing to share his passion and his fascination with all of us. How proud I will be to have one of your books in my hands. I thank you once again for the most wonderful gift. You have just given me the best Christmas present in the world.
For those who are interested in Professor’s lectures I provide here one of the many the URLs
I am most certain that you will find the lecture most interesting and fascinating.
With my utmost admiration and warmest regards,
Have a wonderful weekend Professor,
Bluejeans (64251) 2011-12-23 8:03
Ola Bulent ,
Bela nota bem informativa sobre esta escritora do Harry Potter , bom grafismo neste reflexo ,boas cores , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
bukitgolfb301 (42330) 2011-12-23 16:50
Hi dear Bulent
This is another impressive shot by your own style.
Great artstic and tatseful presentation indeed.
Complex but well composed.
I hope today is a precious day for you.
Thanks for everything, best regrads,
macjake (68480) 2011-12-23 21:51
visually interesting glass window shot!
I want to wish you and your Family a Merry Christmas and Holidays :)
Hope to see you in Van some day
jhm (153748) 2011-12-24 0:47
You found a nice advertisement for different singers.
Also the French railways are present.
Sharpness and clarity are fantastic, taken through the glass of the window.
A difficult composition, but nice done. TFS.
carper (96) 2011-12-24 0:58
Your photo's have a message, mostly always with a fine note, a reason that people knows that it could interesting to read it. Like this one, a very good and interesting shot with a fine note, very nice Bulent, I wish you and your family a very good Xmas.
tober (8797) 2011-12-24 2:36
Merhaba Sayın Hocam, bu tür kaliteli kitapçı vitrinleri bana hep sıcak ve dostça gelmiştir. Bu vitrini de çok estetik bir biçimde görüntülemişsiniz. Buranın muhteşem iç mekânını görmek kısmet olmadı ama umarım siz fotoğraflamışsınızdır. Sizin bakış açınızdan görmeyi isterdim. Elinize sağlık. Tolga
Kielia (24077) 2011-12-24 3:48
this is a very fascinating image – accompanied by an even more interesting note! And I also enjoyed reading the other critiques!
The impression of the books is thoroughly composed with an excellent management of the light.
I wish you and your family a happy and peaceful Christmas too!
serp2000 (44290) 2011-12-24 20:45
Merry Christmas to you and to your family, Bulent.
Excellent eye-catching picturesque photo, and an interesting detailed note. Amazing mix of the books covers and a street reflection. I like it!
Best regards from Ural,
rodgerg (55767) 2011-12-25 0:42
I know this superb bookstore in Oporto, a very nice bookstrore with a superb interior. I like your shot with an excellent framing nad teh details well collected. The differents plans give too a plesanat depht to the composition.
patdeph (35748) 2011-12-25 2:33
I am like you, impossible to go inside a bookstore without buying 1 or 2 books, but I don't know yours.And in this picture, there is a few of them that I would like to look at.Excellent and beautiful idea to have photographed this shop window.
And I wish you and your family a merry Christmas.
jlbrthnn (76037) 2011-12-25 3:04
This contribution in TE is really of very high level, with a note and links so useful as interesting. The photo is at the level of the contribution. Excellent quality. Congratulations.
I wish you the best for holiday.
Have a nice day
lakshmip1949 (19081) 2011-12-25 4:35
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
You have presented this book shop seen through the window with many interesting titles on display. Your note is always very informative .I even see an Indian woman on one of the front covers suggesting that the store sells books from other countries. Thanks for sharing this interesting image.
s_lush (16134) 2011-12-25 12:58
This is a well illustrated and interesting story about books and photographs. Your picture itself is a good example of masterful photo-technique. The composition, colors and photographic qualities are perfect in it. Excellent post!
paololg (31448) 2011-12-25 14:10
Ciao dear Bulent,
surely James Brown, between Caravaggio and Steve McCurry, he'll be singing "Feel Good", as I believe that every man of culture feel good in a library. Books are the bread of the mind. You've had a really excellent idea to capture the image of this showcase and I share the dedication to the good friend Nobu. The pleasant disorder of these books well twinned with the intriguing effect of reflections and transparencies. Excellent shot, my friend, congratulations!
Ciao, have a nice week and a pleasant end of 2011!
abmdsudi (54595) 2011-12-25 20:10
A different and interesting composition, a lot to see and colors to absorb, nice clear image and excellent framing all in all a very good every day subject. Attractive mixture of titles and I am with Steve McCurry here. equally intriguing are those cool reflections and shadows invite the eyes into another dimension, a great addition! but without overpowering the subjects inside as a whole. This is excellent and I really like the way you have presented it too. Wonderful write up as always and set-up, but this a great 'observational' image. Well done
ChrisJ (114689) 2011-12-26 4:55
Good repetition of the rectangular shapes & patterns of the books with an interesting mix of languages, & topics. Excellent colour & sharpness. Also some reflections to add interest. Tfs & hoping for a happy & healthy New Year for you & your family.
sacimar (26273) 2011-12-26 8:04
I didn't know the story, good image and note, I like the reflection game of this window, it's a different image with a good presentation,
TopGeo (38216) 2011-12-26 12:06
Excellent quality photo.Technically the picture of her facade window of bookshop they is splendid! It rightly helps also the filter! Note and titles of visible choices of books! inspired and are stressed advertising! Congratulations.I wish you the best for holiday
And I wish you and your family a Happy New Year
danyy (0) 2011-12-27 0:11
parmi les livres prisés, un sur la photographie, un art qui mérite toute sa place dans notre civilisation parce qu'il fige et immortalise des moments qui sans lui, disparaîtraient.
Une photo bien cadrée et nette, des reflets un peu gęnants.
mesutilgim (95380) 2011-12-27 14:27
Hello dear Bulent,
What a nice scenery; with such eyecahtching elements : Caravaggio, James Brown and Steve McCurry on the same stand !
TFS and a Happy New Year to you and to all your love and beloved ones !
vasilpro (41317) 2011-12-28 14:24
Wonderful composition, excellent POV, lovely light and colors, very nice framework from a window of a bookstore, TfS!
Happy New Year to you and your family, Vasilis.
kordinator (20521) 2011-12-31 0:09
Hello dear Bulent
I like a lot this kind of photos.
Fantastic colorful image of high quality.
Happy New Year to you and to your family.
emka (98830) 2012-01-01 13:25
I know this bookstore, but i didn't know it was an inspiration of JK Rowling. I was mainly impressed by the wonderful staircase and even one of my first shots on TE wasthis . Interesting books on display. I would be most interested by book on Caravaggio. And maybe the one in the right corner, looks as about India.
Happy and prosperous New Year!
Didi (60588) 2012-01-02 6:00
Hi dear friend
Very nice composition; nice choice of interesting books
I think this is a french library in Porto.
Al my best wishes for a happy new year 2012.
zoomer (6) 2012-01-04 17:15
Greetings,excellent capture of the essence.The multitude of books and their covers create a life of their own.Especially as displayed in smaller privately owned stores.All the best,Wolfgang.
aliabazari (16170) 2012-04-21 12:58
Beautiful combination of glass and the persons behind the bookstore window. Beautiful Home with great clarity.
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (38943)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2011-08-04
- Camera: Nikon D200, 18-70mm DX Zoom Nikkor, 67mm Circular Polarizer
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/80 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Bookshops [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2011-12-22 22:25
- Favorites: 1 [view]