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Entrance nr. 18 on Him Kolli St. in Tirana will be, from now on, not only the newest publishing house for Albanian up-and-coming authors but an ideal workspace where everything is about books.
Let’s begin with the name of this new cultural hotspot: Berk. If it sounds a lot like “book,” that’s because it coincidentally does mean “book.” While the modern Albanian word for “book” is “libër,” the word “berk” was used to refer to books during the long-gone period of Gjon Buzuk, around the 16th century. This name was aptly chosen by Berk’s passionate founder, Anna Shkreli.
The modern and cozy space is nicely located in one of the historical streets of the capital. It is relatively small, compared to its neighbors, which is something that adds to its uniqueness and beauty. It stands out, full of quiet vibrancy, among all the structures along the street. The 1920’s house “is organized in four separate rooms and a courtyard, according to the traditional Mediterranean model,” explains Shkreli.
For the Albanian reader, the types of places that focus on the country’s culture and language, as well as offer quiet working space, are very much welcome. But the place is equally wonderful for internationals who are interested in the Albanian language and in discovering the locals’ favorite spots, off the capital’s more popular center
It may be worth stopping by Berk to admire and browse its very specialized and fascinating library. Berk will release its first two books soon, as well. One is a collection of essays on Tirana and the other more of a study of the Albanian language.
The working space is another reason to stop by this pleasant corner of town. The 18 tables and working stations are nicely scattered both in the interior and the courtyard. If looking for a quiet place to read, work or simply relax, Berk stays open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Whether a local or an international visitor, you will come out of Berk having learned much about the cultural heritage of the real Tirana.
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