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About Paperback Exchange

Florence ! What better place to run a bookshop than this magnificent renaissance city? A place where the past contends and blends with the present and exerts a potent fascination on sensitive visitors.

Established in 1979 as a second-hand trade-in English bookshop, Paperback Exchange began life as a small, higgledy-piggledy store crammed with jumbled piles of books. The bookshop moved in 2005 to Via delle Oche, a tranquil street in the heart of the city, tucked away under the immense shadow of the Duomo. The original owners, Emily Rosner, of New York , Maurizio Panichi, a Florentine, and their son Jacopo still run the enterprise with a passion.

Paperback Exchange has evolved over the years not only into a well-known and respected independent bookstore but also a focal point for the English-speaking community in Florence . The store actively supports local Anglo-American initiatives and holds regular events such as poetry readings, literary discussions and the children's story hour where members of the Florence International Theatre Company read and perform.

the owners

Our old location in Via Fiesolana.



See our picture gallery !!

Our Aims....these four factors are most important to us!

1. Personal Attention - We strive to offer a continuous personalized service, giving immediate feedback whenever possible. We are flexible and do our very best to accommodate your needs. Our comprehensive bibliographic services are available to all.

2. Speed - Over the years we have developed solid relationships with publishers and their distributions, wholesalers, and shippers. We expect tip-top service from them, so that we can in turn consign orders with speed.

Martin Myster
Paperback Exchange
appears in Martin Mystère !

Our new location in Via delle Oche

3. Efficiency - In running the shop we are always on the lookout for new methods towards better efficiency. The salespeople are multitask. They are not only responsible for ringing-up cash and stocking shelves, as may be the case in other bookstores, but are also prepared to make reading suggestions, take orders, do research, and give courage to a culture-shocked traveler or student as well.

4. and Transparency! meaning, “tell it like it is!” If there are doubts as to whether or not goods will arrive punctually, we say so. If something has gone wrong, we say so. We are confident that because our bookshop is run as a “tight-ship,” wrong things rarely happen. We do not make false promises on arrival dates, but base them on average delivery times we have recorded in over 25 years of experience.


Today, Paperback Exchange stocks thousands of new and used paperback and hardback titles while still continuing to welcome trade-ins. As business has thrived over the years the store has built up a strong rapport with publishers, wholesalers and distributors in the US and UK , which translates into speedy delivery times for stock titles and individual customer reservations. Paperback Exchange has also become a ‘campus bookstore' and library supplier for the North American universities in central Italy , offering a special order service for the academic community.

Paperback Exchange has come a long way since 1979 but still maintains its welcoming, cosy atmosphere and is a lovely place to browse and hang out.

So come in, or fax/call/e-mail for anything you need!


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