After the frightening early months of 2022, and a brutal winter of drone attacks and blackouts, a crop of new independent bookshops is hardly what one would expect to find blossoming in the Ukrainian capital. But, in defiance of Russian's ongoing invasion, they are springing up all around Kyiv. "They have popped up like mushrooms after the rain. They are lovely places where you can drink coffee, read, and just sniff the books," said Maria Glazunova who works at Kyiv's film archive. The shops are one part escape, one part community center and one part hope, particularly for the authors. "When writers see bookstores they are happy. They have faith that the books they are going to write will find readers," said Oleksandr Riabchuk, co-founder of the Book Lion, a new bookstore in Kyiv.

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