I have seen many beautiful book stores around the world. It’s hard to make a definite list, but here a few of the most wonderful ones:
El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires
Once upon a time the opulent El Ateneo Grand Splendid in downtown Buenos Aires served as a theater and a cinema. Can you imagine the theater faced demolition in 2000! By now the Grand Splendid has grown as the city’s most spectacular bookstore. The transformation into a bookstore has done nothing to diminish the Grand Splendid’s opulence or impressive stature. The amazing 21,000 square foot showroom is framed by the century old fresco ceilings and gilded carvings. The private boxes serve as intimate reading rooms! Wouldn’t you love to sit there and just read? Better leave your tablet and phone on the side for a bit. Don’t miss seeing this most spectacular book store if you ever happen to be in Buenos Aires.
Daunt Books in London
Founded in 1990 by William Daunt, there are now branches of the shop across London Hampstead and Holland Park. It’s the original Marylebone High Street location, however, that holds a special place in our hearts. The Edwardian building, originally designed for antiquarian booksellers in 1910 has a bygone elegance that encourages to visit again and again. They also host regular author talks and book signing.s.
Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore, Maastricht
Housed in a former church, it was consecrated in 1294 but had not served a religious function since the turn of the 19th century, the space was being used as an anonymous bicycle storage facility when in 2005 it was taken over by the bookstore. A sleek, bordering on austere, two-storey black steel structure – essentially a giant bookshelf – holds the majority of the publications.
Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice
Luigi Frizzo describes his wonderful book store as the “most beautiful bookshop in the world”. Du to the flooding happening often in Venice the shop solve the issue by piling the books into into buckets, bathtubs and, in one room, a gondola, so that when the water does creep into the store. Looks great? Doesn’t it.
Barts Books – Ojai California
Founded in 1964 by Richard Bartinsdale, Bart’s is one of the largest outdoor bookshops in the world and is open almost every day. Some shelves face the streets, others to a courtyard where the sun shines and customers can pay by putting money into a coin box after hours.
The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles is California’s largest new and used book and record shop