Greece has served a pivotal role in the areas of history, philosophy, democracy, and especially language. For a time, it was the center of the world—a cultural mecca with an influence that lives on to this day. In addition to its storied place in time, Greece—particularly the island of Santorini—boasts an aesthetic backdrop unrivaled by any place on Earth. It is remarkably difficult to resist its beguiling beauty. Just ask the owners of Atlantis Books.
Initially inspired by a week-long trip to Santorini in 2002, Oliver and Craig didn’t exactly set off to become small business owners. They were, understandably, mesmerized by the scenery, the shimmering Aegean Sea in the distance. But then they noticed that the island was missing a bookstore. Considering Greece’s contribution to the world of writing—Socrates, Homer, Euripides—an island without a bookstore would not be tolerated. So, two years later, they returned to Santorini, drank some whiskey, found an empty building in the tiny village of Oia, signed a lease, and Atlantis Books was born.
Since 2004, Atlantis Books has operated as a full-service bookshop and cultural center, offering contemporary titles and first editions in a variety of different languages (English, French, Chinese, Greek) while hosting writers and artists of all walks within its modestly framed housing—and on its expansive terrace, overlooking the azure blue water.
But that’s not all. Oliver and Craig have fostered a real sense of community in the area by hiring a dedicated staff of members who are just as devoted. How so? Inside, bookshelves fold back to reveal secret lofted beds where employees can sleep. Now that’s dedication.
As its name suggests, Atlantis has gone on to become a legendary point—built upon another legendary point—beautiful and prosperous, with just the right amount of enchantment to draw wordsmiths from all over the world.