I since discovered it has its own website where you can order from its online catalogue. The website is www.dukagjini.com. Be careful with the spelling, as often it is spelt dukadjini, but not in this case.
I first visited this bookshop (Dukagjini in Pristina) in 2003 and was astounded as to what was packed into it. When I came back to Pristina two years later, I didn't really expect it to be there, as I wasn't sure I hadn't imagined it. But I easily found it, and it hadn't changed.
It functions as the university bookshop of Pristina and has a large selection of classics both in and out of Albanian. Basically the size of any other shop in Pristina, it has a Tardis feel about it, as you wander round discovering sections on art, medicine, management and computers, not forgetting architecture, maps and the children's corner. Upstairs on two balconies are selections of poetry, translated and Albanian originals, plus learned tomes written by Albanian professors. The shop is brightly lit and has a cozy friendly atmosphere, and the assistants never hassle you to buy anything. It also seems to be the only place in Pristina selling foreign newspapers and magazines, so I go there for the Economist.
All sorts of things are next to each other. "Children's Book of Dinosaurs" is next to "Colour and Art: War at Sea" and "Storybook Cakes". "It's my Money" is next to "Essential Skills in Family Therapy". "Little-known Museums of Rome" is next to "Las Vegas". "Car maintenance" is next to "The Book of Perfumes". Next to the usual Grisham, Coelho, Murakami and Irving are also the best sellers of Ismail Kadare, which I am working my way through. In the corner near them is a small pamphlet-sized book printed in Pristina -- "Run of luck, a collection of patrol stories by a policeman".
There is a large art and architecture section. All you want to know about Impressionists and Urban Gardens jostles with books of photos of Kosovo and Albanian vernacular architecture, described using such words as autochthonic.
I don't know why I find it so satisfying a place to browse. The stock presumably doesn't change that much, but it seems to get rearranged, so that new juxtapositions appear, surprising you and offering new discoveries. It's rather like supermarkets are supposed to rearrange their stock every now and again so you are forced to examine new items, on the search for the familiar items you always buy. But I am already like some of the Poles and Lithuanians in Oxford, gradually reading their way along the supermarket shelves, looking at the unfamiliar labels trying to guess what the disguised names really are. Here are a sample:
Mjermi i historicizmit by Karl Popper
Apokalypsa i marketing
Nje van per Boris Davidovicim by Danilo Kish
My absolute favourite this week is by Miguel Asim Palacio: Eskatologija Muslimane ne Komedine Hyjnore. I mean just the title, I never got as far as looking inside, I was distracted by some other gem.
Other books I am sure I saw last week but have been shuffled this week are:
Cursive writing for children
Marimbo bongo (in the computer section)
The Albanian princess
Who is Kosovo (sic)
The book I really want to buy is the Kanun of Dukagjini, but it only exists in translation in German. The Kanun is the codified set of rules the hill clans of Northern Albania lived by, when honour killings were regular, not so long ago. Actually (French) Wikipaedia says it is an Ottoman Code. Several of Ismail Kadare's stories include examples of the rules in action.
The only improvement to the bookshop would be to have coffee and comfy armchairs, and maybe newspapers to read, but there simply isn't room.
I think the bookshop reminds me of the library I used as a teenager. In those days I was already an avid reader but we couldn't afford to buy any books. So my busfare on Saturdays was to enable me to get my six books from the town library. The Harris Library in Preston was free, built along with the Art Gallery and the Arcade in neoclassical style by a Victorian philanthropist, presumably a cotton mill owner.
Thanks to its rather extensive selection, I worked my way systematically along the shelves of world fiction carefully avoiding everything written by an English name. This bias came from the boring classes at school, which turned me off Eng Lit. As a result, I have always had a rather hazy knowledge of English Literature but managed to read translations of Maupassant, Gogol, Chekhov, Ehrenburg, de Queiroz, Bashevis Singer and Arthur Koestler (he didn't sound like he was "English") already by the time I was sixteen. At the same time, I read Non-Euclidean Geometry, Stories from the Opera and Folktales from anywhere that was available.
Ever since then I collected books as soon as I could afford them, and to me it is still a luxury to browse in a bookshop and then bring some home to add to my collection.