What to Read When in Madrid

ME Madrid has a book collection that is perfect to explore Spain's most authentic city with.

by Tom George
Jan 6 2020, 11:59am

from Balenciaga in Black, Ollivier Saillard

It's hard to imagine that you will be lost for things to do while in Madrid. The beautiful city, untouched by the touristic nature of places like Barcelona and Ibiza while still just as diverse and cultural, has a multitude of markets, rooftops and exhibitions to explore. But in those moments in between the ME Madrid Reina Victoria hotel has got you covered. In partnership with VICE, the hotel has curated the perfect book collection to explore Madrid with and the streets that moulded some of the world's greatest talents.

Me Madrid
ME Madrid hotel

As you wait for your friends to finish getting ready so you can go picnic in Casa de Campo, the urban woodlands in the centre of Madrid that are 5 times the size of NYC's Central Park, why not have a flick through Madrid photographer Antonio M. Xoubanova's first ever book, dedicated to the park. Also titled Casa de Campo, the picturesque and fairy-tale nature of Madrid's famous woods are captured, coming to life within the pages.

Of course another stop on your Madrid tour was going to be the Museo del Prado but nevertheless, The Prado Masterpieces in the ME Madrid collection offers a unique insight into one of Spain’s most prestigious galleries. Situated in the city centre and holding the world’s finest collection of European art featuring the likes of Diego Velázquez, El Greco, Titian, Peter Paul Rubens and Hieronymus Bosch; the museum is a must for any visitor and this book a necessity for any art lover. Documenting the 12th century to the 19th, take The Prado Masterpieces as the bible of Spanish Art.

Out of the Darkness 1966-67, by Joel Meyerowitz

But obviously art didn’t stop in the 19th century, arguably it got better, reaching new, innovative and exciting heights. This is celebrated in the collection with an archival book of the best of legendary filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. Get lost in behind-the-scenes pictures and little known documents from some of his most popular cult films such as Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown and the academy award winning All About My Mother. Alternatively, be transported back to 1960s Spain by iconic American photographer Joel Meyerowitz as he documents his time travelling around the entire country. His book, Out Of Darkness, explores the streets, cafes and culture of Spain in a collage of colour and black and white pictures, that highly influenced his later works.

The Pedro Almodovar Archives, by Paul Duncan and Bárbara Peiró

If you're more of an architecture buff then LaFabrica’s Photography & Modern Architecture in Spain and Hatje Cantz’ Grand Hotel are perhaps more your cup of tea. While the former focuses on the avant-garde of 1920s' Spanish architecture to the International style of 60s' modernism, the latter looks at the history of the hotel industry from the ancient inns along Spanish trade routes to the globally dominating chains we know of today.

But of course a collection honouring Spanish culture can’t not mention Balenciaga - the fashion house that has left the entire world quaking. Cristóbal Balenciaga’s humble beginnings learning tailoring in Madrid led to an intense exploration of the colour black, using it to find new ways to innovate textures, shapes and details. In this book, Balenciaga in Black, 50 of the designers most iconic pieces that are now held in the Galliera Collection and Balenciaga archives are now shown like never before.

Balenciaga in Black, by Ollivier Saillard

These are just a few of the titles you can find in the ME Madrid book collection. An inspiring curation that documents some of the legendary and revolutionary creatives that have come out of the city from Balenciaga to Almodovar. Whether you're at the ME Madrid for a relaxing cultural getaway or a local looking for something new to explore in the city you love, make sure you check this book collection out!

ME by Melia