Another month shot to hell! as we New Jersey cynics say. In truth January has been a cozy winter month for sleeping late, leisurely breakfasts, supermarket trips, naps, reading, TV, and the computer.
The Mayakovsky Library at 46 Fontanka (southeast of Nevsky) is wonderful! There is one large room overflowing with English language fiction... enough to last a reader for twenty years. It even has books translated to English from other languages! Sometimes books are placed in unlikely shelves so you have to search a bit.
There is a limit of five books for thirty days... which is good. They don`t allow you to renew a book by phone. My wife solves this problem by returning my unfinished books and checking them out on her card.
After the library, I often stop by the two foreign language bookshops at 38 Fontanka (northeast of Nevsky)... Anglia and Parsons. I shop and select the least expensive choice. They both say it takes around six months to get a special order!
Also there is a used bookstore with English language fiction hidden in a courtyard on the northwest side of Liteny Prospect, just about parallel with the bookshops on Fontanka. There are a few more used bookstores with some foreign selections in unusual locations around the city.
My expat English friend and I lend and swap books, videos and dvds. Once a year the International Womens Club sells used books and media at their Christmas Bazaar. I feel I am a lucky expat to have all these sources for excellent books in English!