The 20 most interesting and beautiful bookstores of the world

Old bank in Paris that was turned into a bookstore (Virgin Megastore on the Champs-Elysees)


Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore by Merkx+Girod

…the Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore in Maastricht in the Netherlands is an incredible church conversion that was originally consecrated in 1294. Located between Maastricht’s two major squares (the Markt and the Vrijthof), the bookstore is run by a large Dutch chain in collaboration with the city council of Maastricht.


Shakespeare and Company, Paris. Photo by Cameron Drake

From Wikipedia: Shakespeare and Company is the name of two independent bookstores on Paris’s Left Bank. The first was opened by Sylvia Beach on 17 November 1919 at 8 rue Dupuytren, before moving to larger premises at 12 rue de l’Odéon in the 6th arrondissement in 1922. During the 1920s, it was a gathering place for writers such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Ford Madox Ford.It closed in 1940 during the German occupation of Paris and never re-opened.
The second is situated at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, in the 5th arrondissement. Opened in 1951 by George Whitman, it was originally named “Le Mistral” but renamed to “Shakespeare and Company” in 1964 in tribute to Sylvia Beach’s bookstore.


El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the best known bookshops in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo by Mac Aque

From “The amphitheater’s former 1,050-person seating area now contains El Ateneo’s 120,000 book titles. The beautiful central dome retains the original Romantic-style frescos by Italian, Nazareno Orlandi celebrating the end of the First World War…”


Photo by Martin Rojas


Le Bal des Ardents Bookstore, Lyon. Photo by Isa.

From their website: “Located in downtown, just steps from the Place des Terreaux, the library of the Burning Bal was born in March 2003. General by the number of rays it offers, literature, humanities, design, comics, detective, film, youth, photo, erotica, poetry, art, etc.. The Ball of Burning is committed to defending unknown authors, publishing houses or independent themes little prized by traditional bookstores.”


John W. Doull Bookseller store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


Kid’s Republic Book Store in Beijing, China by Sako Architects


Livraria Lello & Irmão (open since 1906), Porto, Portugal


Lutyens & Rubinstein, London


The Last Bookstore, Downtown, Los Angeles. Photo by Omar Bárcena




Ler Devagar, Lisbon. Photo by Paulo Teixeira


Livraria da Vila, São Paulo


Leakey’s Secondhand Bookshop – Inverness, Scotland (click the image for the large version)


Cook & Book, Brussels, Belgium


The Bookworm, Beijing, China


Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy

Entrance (photo by griffinireland)…


…and inside!


Barter Books, Alnwick, UK. Photo by Dave Morris


The oldest bookstore in the World (1732!): The Bertrand Bookstore, Lisbon. Photo by Christoph Diewald


Cafebreria El Péndulo in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo by Aquiles Carattino


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