Books on Albanian folklore
In the book descriptions we used the books which we have in our own private library. They range from recently published books to really old books. Prices mentioned are indications of what may be expected to pay for them, what we paid or prices printed on the back or inside the books. In addition to the cover of the book, sample pages are displayed as well for most of the books.
In Albania a lot of books on folklore have been published throughout the years. However, never in very large quantities (from 300 to 3000 copies) and most of them in Albanian language as well, and not good quality printing and/or binding. In the years from 1970 till 1990 only a few titles were published in English or French.
Nowadays there are more publications in English like the book from Andromaqi about costumes and the beautiful volumes from the Academy of Science on costumes. More recent titles in Albanian have summaries in English, while the earlier books had summaries in French and/or in Russian.
I.B. Taurus has been publishing a whole series of books on Albanian history, by the Centre for Albanian Studies of which also some books were published in the UK, like the selected articles and letters 1903-1944 by Edith Durham.
Now that Albania is open for tourism some recent travel guides are published in English, German, French and Dutch, probably also in other languages. Although outdated the Blue Guide Albania & Kosovo by James Pettifer, 3rd edition 2001 is still a must have. It contains the best information on cultural sites, landscapes and other places of interest. Of course the information on hotels, restaurants, prices, travel etc is completely outdated. A special reprint is available in Albania and Kosovo, expressing the value of the content.
Where and how to buy these books
Outside Albania it is difficult to find any titles published in Albania and you will have to look in second hand bookshops. There are some antiquarians with some interesting titles in the UK or USA, but prices are extremely high. Some books will sell for 180 USD, while the original export price was just 6 USD….and probably you may find them in Tirana for just 3 Euro......Check out the different antiquarians on the Internet and search for reasonable prices. You even might find the 1959 album by Rrok Zoizi at a price of about 35 Euro! You won’t find it in Albania....
Inside Albania you may find recent titles in the Adrion English Bookstore in Tirana, situated at the grand square, next to the Opera or in the larger store in the Sami Frashëri street and in other smaller bookshops, also in other cities. If you are looking for older titles, just visit the small newspaper stands or kiosks along the boulevards and smaller streets in Tirana and other cities and you may find a lot of titles in Albanian. They may be damaged or discoloured by the sun, but prices are low and at some moment there will be none any longer. Never hesitate… But we also found editions of older Albanian books in regular bookshops, brand new, but with just a little dust on them…
So, it is just a matter of entering every bookshop and just ask for it or let your eyes scan the shelves..
Don’t forget to keep your eyes open in the streets. Some sellers have no fixed shop or place and just display what they have for sale in the streets and parks.
It is almost impossible to just order books from Albania at your local bookshop. It may take ages to get them, and usually at high prices, because of the extra costs or you just hear nothing at all about your order.
If you are interested in a particular title, just contact us and we’ll see what we can do for you.