For the love of books, you’ve got to visit these architectural wonders and of course, score a bestseller, first edition or even just a new title.
#1 The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles
Located in downtown Los Angeles at the Spring Arts Towers, The Last Bookstore is an independent bookstore that harbours used and new books along with paintings, prints, sculptures and metalwork. Navigating the vast sprawling space, you will find books suspended in the air, tunnels made out of books and hidden rooms. Think of it as Alice being in Wonderland.
#2 Fang Suo Commune, Chengdu, China
The Fang Suo Commune is actually a retail space that features a café, a home living collection and space for cultural events. The two-storey store is based on the concept of a knowledge depository where a 100-metre long showcase of books is lined on either side of a giant room while handicrafts selected from all over the world are on display in the centre.
#3 Boekhandel Dominicanen, Maastricht, The Netherlands
This stunning bookstore was once a church. Stepping into the 700-year-old building, you will get to see incredible views of the restored sanctuary as well as find out-of-print books among the shelves. The choir area is now turned into a café where it also hosts regular talks and musical performances. You’ll be forgiven for losing track of time when you’re at Boekhandel Dominicanen.
#4 Cook & Book, Brussels
The name says it all! Bookworms not only get to taste both words and food at this supermarket-size bookshop. The Cook & Book store covers two buildings and is divided into nine thematic sections, each with its own décor and dining area. You can enjoy a nice meal while browsing through the selection of comic books, travel guides, fictions and even vinyl records.
#5 El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The grandeur of El Ateneo can’t be denied with its majestic domed ceiling and ornate balconies. This former theatre has been turned into one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Rows and rows of books now replaced the seatings while a café has been set up on the stage against the plush curtains. For the best view, head to the third floor and you won’t be disappointed.
#6 Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal
The neo-Gothic building that houses the Livraria Lello was first opened in 1906 and it was reportedly where J.K. Rowling got the inspiration for Hogwarts. It retains much of its charm featuring stained glass and ornate carved wood, but the attraction is, of course, the beautiful art nouveau staircase leading up to a café upstairs. Enjoy a good cuppa and read to your heart’s content here.
#7 Atlantis Books, Santorini, Greece
Atlantis Books is dubbed as the book lover’s paradise. The charming bookshop sits inside the basement of a traditional whitewashed building overlooking the caldera in Oia, a tiny village on the island of Santorini. It is now a landmark of sorts for visitors to see as it offers a sweeping view of the azure sea alongside picturesque white buildings and blue-domed churches.
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