|Here is the news.....
One of the curiosities of holiday-making, especially among those of us in 'foreign' lands, is an apparent need for news. Curios because the news seems almost invariably bad, downright scandalous or pure gossip about the place or people you are escaping from. Especially at foreign news-stand prices. And why anyone should want page 3 pin-ups with beaches full of the real thing is a bit difficult to understand. The weight of the English Sunday Times, to name but one, makes carrying it around like exercise for weight-lifters! If you know the secret please let me in on it......... It might just make the news.
|The good news is...
The good news is that newspaper distributors sell such massive numbers of copies precisely because they can circulate them almost everywhere. Although the Softex Labrador advert really has now reached the other parts (of Cretan plumbing) so don't look there! That being said, the main newspapers are commonly available from shops, stands and peripteros (Kiosks) almost everywhere there is tourist accommodation. Some of the smaller areas don't carry a wide range or many copies, but near major tourist attractions you will find a wide range of both newspapers and magazines from several European countries. English; German; French; Italian and Swedish editions of newspapers are common in the larger vendors, whilst books are commonly available in English; German and sometimes French.
Expect to pay a bit extra for the privilege of reading day-old news. It has to be flown here before history sets in!
|A word of Caution....
Pornography is a fact of life. News-stand magazine racks (and even postcard carousels) often contain material which leaves little to the imagination. Packs of playing cards with sexually explicit material on the back are on display in some shops. Although perhaps no more prominently than anything else. This may titillate; shock; or maybe offend depending upon your point of view. Card-sharps must find the card packs a boon - other players must certainly be distracted from their game! A novel psychological twist to playing cards worthy of Alfred Hitchcock.
|The larger book shops...
Such as this one in the top picture at the Halidon Street entrance to the harbour, are best described as a tourist book-shop and foreign news stand. In summer at least three rows of postcard racks, magazine racks and newspaper carousels stand about four rows deep under an awning in front of the shop. You could spend a day inside - a long triangular room with both walls lined almost top to bottom with books of all description and neatly labeled by country/language. This shop must contain maybe every tourist guide; map; learn Greek; cookery book and popular in-your-own-(European)-language novel in Chania.
The books on Cretan history - especially the second world war - on art; crafts; birds; flowers; architecture and people are a very good sample. Again, remember that books are expensive. Particularly books with photographs.
I have English friends who are planning to retire here who carry books over on every trip, and meanwhile send parcels for us to store for them because they can be obtained so much more cheaply in the UK. Nevertheless, there are many books on ready display in this type of shop which you might never see in other countries.