Updated: May 17, 2020
When I saw Max Josep's vlog (American filmmaker and tv host) about his visit at Cook & Book, I was surprised I had never heard of this amazing bookshop that is situated in my home country, one hour from my house. It was June when I saw this vlog and I immediately decided to visit it during summer holidays. I brought my sister and parents with me on this trip.
Cook & Book is situated in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Brussels. This bookstore has 9 theme rooms in two building blocks. In block A you can find Comics, Youth, Travel, Arts and Music. In block B you have Lifestyle, Literature, Cooking and English library.
There is an English room because all other rooms only have French books. This was a bit of a disappointment, but I will guide you around nevertheless because this bookshop is breathtaking.
We started in the Literature section. When you walk in, your gaze is immediately drawn to the ceiling, where hundreds of books fly above your head.
This is where I noticed all books where in French and the saleswoman confirmed there was only one room with English books. However, if you speak French or want to try to read a book in French, Cook & Book has books in beautiful editions! Their collection contains both old stories and new and contemporary books.
The Literature section led to the Kitchen section with a really small fashion section in between. I went through the Kitchen section quite quickly because I was less interested in it. However, here I saw the first restaurant out of nine that Cook & Books owns in total. Perfect if you want to wander through the shops all day and get hungry in the meantime.
In the picture above you can find the little doorway to the English section. This is a rather small room but has a lot of different genres, both classics as recent novels, both YA as adult. I chose my complete book haul in this section.
After the English section we visited Lifestyle, which has also its own restaurant. If you haven't noticed yet, every section is decorated according to its literary theme. Lifestyle is the most neutral section, the least outstanding in my opinion.
So we started with block B (not knowing it was block B but that doesn't matter) and then went to block A. We first visited the Music section, where they have CDs, LPs and books about music and its legends. There was no one to be seen so I dared to comment to my parents that it was strange that no music was being played in this section, after which a salesman promptly appeared from behind the bar and music came out of the speakers shortly after. Oops.
I love art and design books. A lot of time has been put into their design that makes it aesthetically pleasing to the eye. However, they are often quite expensive, especially if they are written in a language (French) I only half understand.
Next was my favorite section (even though all the books were in French): the Comic section. Even though I don't read a lot of comics or graphic novels, I do love them aesthetically (what can I say? I like pretty covers and illustrations). Cook & Book has a beautiful selection and I passed every shelf three times. They also have a lot of mangas, although I cannot judge the selection because I have never read a manga (maybe I should put one on my reading list).
Lastly, there was the Travel section. A small corridor in the Comic room leads you to it. I was surprised by the amount of books (in a library or other bookshops you often have only a small selection).
If you are ever nearby Brussels and if you have even a little interest in books, should definitely visit Cook & Book! This shop looks really fancy, but the prices are no different in other Belgian bookshops. It is the most awsome bookstory I have seen in my life (uptil now).
The exact adress of Cook & Book is on their website.
You can watch Max Joseph's vlog HERE.