Header AD

10 bookstores every reader should visit in their lifetime

Old or new, all with fascinating stories, the bookstores below serve as historic sites, sanctuaries, salons of culture and must-visit entries in any travel itinerary.
1. Shakespeare and Company (Paris)

Opened in 1951, this Paris Left Bank fixture looks like something straight out of a Hemingway book -- for good reason.
It's the spiritual successor and namesake of the first Shakespeare and Company, run by expat American bookseller Sylvia Beach and immortalized in Hemingway's memoir, "A Moveable Feast."
Beach closed her store in 1941, but in 1958 gave her blessing for another -- called Le Mistral -- to take the Shakespeare and Company name.
From its opening day, the second Shakespeare and Company has incorporated writers' residencies.

Up to four scribes can spend the night in the store, with most staying a week to a month.
2. Eslite Dunnan Store (Taipei, Taiwan)

In 1999, the first Eslite bookstore delighted the city of Taipei by staying open 24 hours a day.
But the 17,000-square-meter store really made its name by stocking an impressive multi-language array of books and magazines.
It's been so successful, two more Eslite branches have opened in the capital.
One is the country's largest bookstore, while the other is a small city with retail areas, a commercial arcade, a theater and a music performance space.
3. El Ateneo (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Converted into a cinema in 1929, the building that houses El Ateneo underwent its most recent rebirth into a bookstore in the early 2000s.
Stunningly photogenic and vast, the majestic former theater retains its century-old ornate architecture and decor.
The stage and theater boxes have been converted into reading spaces.
4. Librairie Avant-Garde (Nanjing, China)

China's most beautiful bookstore is located inside a massive underground parking lot once used as a bomb shelter.
The 4,000-square-meter store's unusual features include large crosses, a copy of Rodin's "The Thinker" and a checkout counter built out of thousands of old books.
The store also functions as a sort of public library, with more than 300 reading chairs.
5. Assouline Venezia (Venice, Italy)

Located on the ground floor of the Bauer Hotel, a restored 18th-century palazzo, the newest boutique opened by luxury publisher Assouline is a study in beautiful interior design.
The store stocks many of the label's most expensive books, such as handcrafted volumes from its Ultimate Collection -- priced from $500 to $7,000 -- which range in subject matter from fashion and architecture to travel and lifestyle.
6. Livraria Lello (Porto, Portugal)

Previous incarnations of this sublime bookstore and its publishing house date to 1869, but this beauty was built in 1906 by engineer Xavier Esteves.
A century later, it remains arguably the world's most beautiful bookstore, with neo-Gothic architecture incorporating stained glass, a sweeping staircase and a plaster ceiling imitating wood.

7. Boekhandel Domincanen (Maastricht, Netherlands)

Built in the 13th century, this 1,100-square-meter former Dominican church was converted into a bookstore in 2006.
Before an award-winning redesign, the Gothic space had been used for numerous purposes: housing the Maastricht City Orchestra, hosting children's carnivals and slaughtering sheep.
In addition to stocking 40,000 books in Dutch, English, French, Spanish and Italian, and pouring the best coffee in town, the store hosts approximately 140 events per year.
8. Powell's City of Books (Portland, Oregon)

Visitors should set aside a good two to three days to get lost in this iconic Portland landmark.
The largest used and new bookstore in the world is housed inside a modest, multi-level building (currently undergoing extensive renovation) that takes up a full city block and is often crowded.
New and used editions are shelved side by side, giving customers a handy choice of price options.
The biggest names in publishing show up here to do readings and book signings.
The staff's passion for reading shines through on the store's treasure of a website, which features an entertaining book blog in addition to a comprehensive and ambitious online store.
9. Strand (New York)

Back in the 1920s, six blocks of Manhattan's Fourth Avenue were known as "Book Row."
Of the 48 bookstores that gave the district its name, Strand is the only survivor.
After moving to its current location on Broadway and 12th Street, the beloved NYC store built up a staggering catalog that now includes 2.5 million new, used and rare books.
The coolest section is the Rare Book Room.
"Our most expensive title in store right now is a copy of James Joyce's 'Ulysses' illustrated by Henri Matisse," says marketing manager Brianne Sperber.
The book is priced at $45,000.
"People still read hardbacks and books are still collectors' items so we expect Strand will continue to fare well against Amazon," says Sperber.
10. Foyles flagship (London)

In June 2014, the century-old London bookseller moved into its spacious new digs -- the size of 13 tennis courts -- just a step away from its former home.
Foyles' new space has its own interesting history as the former Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design building, where Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney once studied.
The stage where the Sex Pistols played their first gig in 1975 now houses the Foyles' children's department.
The store also launched a helpful in-store digital book search map that's automatically enabled on customers' smartphones when they connect to the store's Wi-Fi network -- the first of its kind in the country.
10 bookstores every reader should visit in their lifetime 10 bookstores every reader should visit in their lifetime Reviewed by Admin on 3:22:00 PM Rating: 5