I love books—the kind that you hold in your hands, preferably with pretty pictures. As you can imagine, Morocco has inspired many writers, and it’s no wonder given the country’s history, beauty and culture. Plotting pashas, electric blue gardens, mosaic tiled homes and modern fairytales all make a showing in the pages of books. Moroccan writers have played an important role in the transition from French Protectorate to independence, and Marrakesh has been a refuge for many foreign writers from Tennessee Williams to Jack Kerouac. If you are intrigued by Moroccan style, you might check out my own book, Marrakesh by Design. Fable fans should consider Richard Hamilton’s book, The Last Storytellers and fashion lovers should pick up the charming, Yves Saint Laurent, Une Passion Marocaine.
Not surprisingly, Morocco, itself, is the best place to find gorgeous books on Morocco—the perfect souvenir for visitors and the ideal gift for friends back home. If you are in Marrakesh, stop by one of these bookstores.
This is one of the oldest and biggest bookstores in Marrakesh. Since 1965 it has offered a wide array of books, from novels and biographies, to design and cooking, to technical and professional books. This is a regular stop on my itinerary.
Jardin Majorelle Bookstore
This oasis in the middle of the city invites visitors not only to see its jewel-like garden and wonderful Berber museum, but also its fantastic bookshop. Many of the books focus on Yves Saint-Laurent, the Majorelle Garden, and tribal culture and jewelry. Make sure to bring your credit card.
Shop with the city’s fanciest visitors at the swanky La Mamounia Hotel. After entering through the Mamounia gates (before the hotel itself), you’ll find a cluster of shops, including Id Brahim, the bookshop. There’s a selection of books on Morocco in French and English, as well as stationary supplies.
Across the street from the Majorelle Gardens is a beautiful concept store, carrying merchandise from many of the city’s modern designers. It has a few books that are hard to find anywhere else, including city guide books, as well as Hassan Hajjaj’s book, considered by some to be the Andy Warhol of Morocco.
In the heart of the Medina there is a bookshop that has the city’s best collection of books on design and culture. It’s small but potent! Let’s just say that a good portion of my budget every month goes to the shopkeeper every month, with no regrets.