Here Are The Most Beautiful Bookstores On The Planet
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
Bookstores may feel like things of the past, but in these locations around the world, they are alive and thriving, merging architecture, design, and literature for unforgettable experiences.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The location of this bookstore has taken on many personalities during its century-long existence. Once a performing arts theater, then a cinema, and now a bookstore, El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the most beautiful venues in the world. Its frescoed ceilings, ornate theater boxes, elegant rounded balconies, detailed trimmings, and plush red stage curtains are almost as fascinating as its robust variety of books.
Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy
The self-proclaimed “most beautiful bookstore in the world”, Libreria Acqua Alta is a magical place where books are stored in bathtubs, boats, and even full-sized gondolas to prevent damage from the frequent flooding of the canals. The name itself even means “Book Store of High Water”.
The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA, USA
The Last Bookstore is California’s largest used and new book and record store. The name was chosen with irony, but seems more appropriate as we continue to see the daily decline of physical bookstores. In addition to over 250,000 new and used books on two floors, the space includes tens of thousands of vinyl records and graphic novels, a huge mezzanine level that includes the Labyrinth Above the Last Bookstore, Gather Yarn Shop, and the Spring Arts Collective gallery shops.
Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal
Since 1906 Livraria Lello has been home to thousands of books within an architectural marvel. With colorful facades, stained glass, and a majestic ceiling, this space is as much a museum as it is a bookstore.
Book and Bed, Tokyo, Japan
Half-hostel, half-bookstore, Book and Bed is a readers paradise. Imagine sleeping in a bookshelf surrounded by thousands of books. Though the books aren’t for sale, the idea behind this concept is that the best sleep often comes after (or while) reading a great book.