Books have always been a source of immense knowledge both before and after the proliferation of internet. Even though you could literally get your hands on any kind of knowledge in the cyber world, books still hold a charm untouched by all kinds of technological advancement. There is always something special about holding a book in its physical form and reading it. Imagine yourself on a beach with a kindle. One of the common features or attributes of most intellectuals is their love of books. The variety of knowledge one can get from reading different kinds of books is simply too irreplaceable. So for all the voracious readers who also happen to be travelers, here is a list of 13 most magnificent bookstores in the entire world. Next time you are in that city, you could just walk into one of them and soothe your senses.
- Atlantis Books, Santorini, Greece
Santorini is not only famous for the magnificent beauty and panoramic sights, but also can boast to have one of the largest bookstores in the world. Atlantis Books was founded by 3 friends from Cyprus, England and USA almost a decade ago. The store is located in a beautiful home in Oia and readers on the window side could see the beautiful waters. It has been a host to readings on food and film festivals and many other genres. So the next time you are in Santorini, take out some time and visit this iconic bookstore. The time you spend their will be worth it.
- Cafebreria el Pendulo, Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico is a beautiful city and so is this bookstore which is filled with books written in both Spanish and English. It is a large and open store with a beautiful pendulum suspended from the ceiling. It adds an ambience to the place for the readers to enjoy. Reading a book on a beach is now of a bygone era. Go to this store for a perfect reading experience.
- Munro’s Books, Victoria, Canada
It was founded by Alice Munroe and her husband Jim Munroe. The former was a Nobel Prize winner in Literature. She received the award in 2013; however, the book store was founded way back in 1963. Today the store is present in a fully decorated and majestic building in Old town, Victoria, British Columbia. The building was earlier used as a bank. While you are there in the city, visit this beautiful store not just to browse through books but also get some respite from the chilling weather outside.
- El Ateneo grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina
It was once a performing arts theatre and now is a magnificent bookstore. However, the grandeur and majesty is still there as the Grand Splendid still retains the ornate trappings, frescoed ceilings and red stage curtains. When you enter this place, you will still be amazed to see how this place has been transformed into a bookstore from a theatre. Even if you are not a book lover, visit this place just to appreciate the grandness.
- Powell’s City of Books, Portland, Oregon
This is the flagship store of the world’s largest book store chain. It is so huge that it stretches over an entire city block in the downtown area of Portland. The rooms are color coded to store books of different genres and still have easy accessibility. The place is extremely well maintained and a book lover might end up spending the entire day out there and yet not see all the sections. It has both new and old books in its huge sections. The store also hosts readings, story times for small kids and even various book groups.
- Prairie Lights, Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa city is one of those places which is drenched and immersed in literary life. Literature is in the air of the city. After all it is the home to renowned Iowa Writers’ workshop. Prairie Lights is the epicenter of it all. The bookstore boasts of regular readings by star writers and bestsellers and even the upcoming writers. To add to it, it employs the famous bookseller Paul Ingram. This makes it a place to visit even if you are not the most passionate book lover.
- Shakespeare and Company, Paris, France
The bookstore in Paris defines the old world charm and has a rustic decoration and a 17th century façade to it. It has a rich history and has been the home to some of the best writers like Allen Ginsberg, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes. The rich heritage and history of the book store makes it to the top 10.
- Gertrude and Alice, Sydeny, Australia
Sydney is not only home to cricket and world class beaches and but is also the home to a beautiful bookstore cum café. It was opened in 1998 and is a neighborhood symbol in Sydney. You can often spot a lot of young people hanging out to spend some time reading and dining.
- Librairie Avant-Garde, Nanjing, China
Unlike most other books stores which were ones a bank or a theatre or even a luxurious home, this one is housed in what used to be an underground parking garage and a bomb Shelter. However, today it is one of the most beautiful bookstores in China. Talk about a transformation!
- Cook and Book, Brussels, Belgium
As the name suggests, it is an amalgamation of restaurant and bookstore. It is situated near the metro in Brussels. There are nine different spaces and each offer a distinct vibe to the readers.
- The Bookabar Bookshop, Rome Italy
It boasts of the finest modern design and contains huge volumes of art books. It is a heaven for the art enthusiasts.
- The Plural Bookshop, Bratislava, Slovakia
What makes this store unique and beautiful are the stairs as the reading and display area, clean elegant design and wall to wall bookshelves.
- Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal
It was opened in 1906 and is a divine neo-gothic bookstore. It most aptly visualizes “stairway to heaven” for its readers.