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Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

Published in Flavorwire
Courtesy of By Emily Temple 

“I love books. I like that the moment you open one and sink into it you can

 escape from the world, into a story that’s way more interesting than yours will 

ever be.”

—Elizbeth Scott, Bloom





A gorgeous converted Dominican church gives the power of reading its due diligence. Selexyz Bookstore, Maastricht, Holland

Modern design at its finest in a store full of art books. The Bookàbar Bookshop, Rome, Italy


We love the stairs as reading and display area, the wall-to-wall bookshelves, and the simple, clean design. Plural Bookshop, Bratislava, Slovakia




This divine neo-gothic bookstore, opened in 1906, contains what we consider to be the ultimate definition of a stairway to heaven. Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal


Somehow, this bookstore manages to be both whimsical and slightly macabre all at once. Cook & Book, Brussels, Belgium

There’s magic in the air at this English-language bookstore in Beijing. Bookworm, Beijing, China

This majestic converted 1920s movie palace uses theatre boxes for reading rooms and draws thousands of tourists every year. Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina [images via and via]


How could any kid (or adult, for that matter) resist those delicious reading nooks? Poplar Kid’s Republic, Beijing, China


This is a bookstore that seems to be made almost entirely out of books — down to its dramatic front doors. Livraria da Vila, Sao Paulo, Brazil [photos via]

For those who like their green spaces (and coffee shops) to invade their bookstores. Cafebreria El Pendulo, Mexico City, Mexico [photos via]


For those browsers not as impressed by architecture as they are by the beauty of books upon books upon books in narrow hallways — not to mention a place to nap. Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France [photovia]


The huge space, high ceilings and stately pillars make for a lovely reading experience. The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA


For sailors and beach readers alike, this sun-kissed bookstore is a little less ostentatious than some of the others on this list, but no less lovely. Atlantis Books, Santorini, Greece



The biggest outdoor bookstore in the world, this photo doesn’t really do the place justice — it’s all about the view. Bart’s Books, Ojai, California [photo via]


The bookstore section of the larger complex dedicated to art and design certainly lives up to its mission. Corso Como Bookshop, Milan, Italy


We’re suckers for rounded ceilings and decorative lighting. Barter Books, Alnwick, UK [photos via]


This beautifully designed space has surprising shapes, cleverly constructed nooks and crannies and even a tree or two. The American Book Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands [photo via]


Almost utilitarian but filled with simple old-world grace, this store is a little like what we might imagine our ideal ship’s main cabin to look like. VVG Something, Taipei, Taiwan


This store has a flying bike and books to the ceiling. Need we say more? Ler Devagar, Lisbon, Portugal


This slick, super-modern store benefits from clean design and charming flourishes of light and mirrors. Daikanyama T-Site, Tokyo, Japan


“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who

 wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a 

book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit 

grows and strengthens.”

—Carlos Ruiz Zafón - The Shadow of the Wind.






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