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Friday, February 21, 2014

Everybody's Library in Malta

Here's one of the smallest pieces of paper in my collection from one of the smallest countries in the world--a cash sale receipt from Malta



In Valletta, the capital city of this densely populated Mediterranean country south of Sicily, is (or was) Everybody's Library at 35 Archbishop Street. An apparent sale is recorded on the front side, while the reverse seems to have some tax-related notation.

Did the customer buy a Penguin paperback or a book about the penguin? And would "-12-8" be a date? The answers to those questions don't exist. And maybe the book shop doesn't either. Judge for yourself in the photos and link further down.


Measuring 3.5 X 4 inches, this receipt, which appears to be at least 60 or 70 years old, is the only paper remnant of this book shop I can find on the Internet. In fact, the only other indication of its existence can be found in several photographs. The first two below are courtesy of Gulja Holland, an artist and photographer who posted these photos on flickr.com and granted permission to post them here.



These images appear to represent two entrances (front and rear) or an old location and new location for the book shop. Since these images were first discovered, I have found others on flickr.com to give different perspectives on this establishment, one which shows displays in the storefront windows, though there's not a book in sight. New and different business, old sign? Regardless, the images are interesting. See them HERE.

And for some perspective on Malta's location, see the map below. The red circle in the larger inset map shows Malta's location below the boot of Italy and Sicily. The country directly south of Malta is Libya.







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Bibliophemera by Chuck Whiting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.