This week I’m sharing my bookstore and library bucket list. There are SO many beautiful buildings that serve as havens for bookworms, and there are so many unique, quaint, and special places that house books. I had so much fun looking for pictures to feature this week. When I start falling down he rabbit hole on something like this, it’s very hard for me to stop. I had a hard time narrowing my list down to only ten places! I’d love to visit these and so many other bookstores and libraries in this world. I wish the USA had more book places that were pretty like these ones are.
Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy
I wish I’d known about this bookstore when I went to Venice a few years ago, because it sounds wonderful! The name translates to “bookstore of high water”, and it floods each year. To combat the water, which is a book’s worst enemy, the owner stores the books in waterproof bins, buckets, bathtubs, canoes, and gondolas. There are many books and maps of Venice, used and new books, and even some stray cats that have made the store their home. They seem to love people, and I’ve seen pictures of visitors petting them. There’s an outdoor courtyard with a stairway made of old encyclopedias that leads you to beautiful canal views.
Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal
The neo-gothic and art nouveau design elements make this bookstore a must-see for me. It’s so opulent and grand! I love the stained glass ceiling and that huge, sweeping red staircase. Apparently J.K. Rowling did some of her early Harry Potter brainstorming here, and is rumored to have inspired some of her designs of Hogwarts. Very cool!
Libreria El Pendulo in Mexico City, Mexico
This beautiful bookstore is known for looking like the city of Paris, France inside. It’s crammed full of shelves of books and trees and cozy places to sit. It looks like such a fun place to be.
Cook & Book in Brussels, Belgium
The Cook & Book is a bookstore and restaurant! It’s divided up into nine different rooms that each house different kinds of books, and you can choose to eat your meal at a table in any of them. The English books room is decorated like an old British library. There’s also a terrace and a playground for children. I particularly love the ceiling of flying books.
Book Now in Bendigo, Australia
This rare and out of print bookstore looks like a log cabin inside! I love this old nineteenth century building that was once owned by a wine and spirits merchant.
Boekhandel Dominicanen (Polare Maastricht) in Maastricht, The Netherlands
This bookstore is located in an old Medieval Dominican church. I don’t even care what kind of books this store houses, I want to visit this beautiful church!
Klementinum Baroque Library Hall in Prague, Czech Republic
This place is beautiful… “The baroque library was first opened in 1722 as a part of the Jesuit university based in Klementinum. It houses over 20,000 volumes of mostly foreign theological literature, coming into Klementinum from the beginning of the 17th century until recent times. Books with white painted spines and red marks have been in the library since the time of the Jesuits… The interior of the baroque library has remained intact since the 18th century. The hall is decorated with ceiling frescoes by Jan Hiebl depicting allegorical motifs of education, and portraits of Jesuit saints, patrons of the university and prominent representatives of this order.”
The Abbey Bookshop in Paris, France
I’ve been to Shakespeare & Company, which was so much fun, but I didn’t know about this cute little bookstore in the Latin Quarter until I was already home. Just another excuse to go back to Paris someday!
The Bookworm Bookshop in Beijing, China
This is a bookstore, library, bar, and restaurant, but I was sold when I saw these magical ceilings with lights and lanterns. It looks like such a cozy place to go to browse, buy, and borrow books; eat a yummy meal or dessert; and meet authors!
Leakey’s Secondhand Bookshop in Iverness, Scotland
Pictures of this bookstore make me smile. It’s positively charming! Look at the colorful panels walls, that spiral staircase, and the rich wood and cute little railings. I love the upper floor that runs around the perimeter of the store, and that you can find cozy places to sit anywhere. They even have an open log fireplace. Sounds perfect!
Have you been to any of these bookstores and libraries?
Do we have any of the same ones on our lists?