5 Must Visit Bookstores Around the World

After about a month of being absent from the blog I am making my reappearance! Although this reappearance comes around the time of finals it still counts!  This last month has been crazy busy and I hope that I will be able to update much more regularly now that the crazy busy month has ended.  So here is this Thursdays awesome update!

As Christmas approaches many of us book lovers are looking to make lists of books and bookish items that we want from our friends and families.  Now this post isn’t about bookish Christmas gifts for the book nerd in your life, that post will be happening though, but it is about fabulous places to take the book lover in your life.  I found that instead of getting bookish items for Christmas I really just want someone to take me traveling so I can explore these absolutely amazing bookstores.

So here are the top 5 bookstores around the world that I would love to visit at some point in my life!

5. Libreria Acqua Alta | Venice, Italy

If this isn’t the most gorgeous little hole-in-the wall book shop that you’ve seen then I don’t know where you have been looking but you should direct me there.  This book shop is located right on the canal and the owner keeps the books in boats and various other objects that float.  This is because every year the canal next to the shop floods and he wants to protect all his books.

alta acqua 2 alta acqua

I literally have no words to describe how gorgeous this shop is to me.  Anyone want to take a visit to Italy?

4. Shakespeare and Company | Paris, France

Once again, another hole-in-the wall bookshop.  I love the feel of walking into a store and seeing piles upon piles of vintage books.  This store has a long history as a hangout for famous authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound and James Joyce.  After closing in WWII the store re-opened in 1951 and is still a favorite to all those who visit it.

shakespear and company

3. Atlantis | Santorini, Greece

At first when I was looking at pictures of this bookstore I thought that it was just a little shop on the side of the street.  There are bookshelves built into structures of a house and it looks adorable at ground level.  However the most spectacular portion of this shop isn’t above ground, it’s below ground.  The book store was started by too men who were visiting the island and noticed a distinct lack of a haven for readers and writers.  Not only is this wonderful location a bookstore but they also host festivals and sunset readings out on their terrace which has a beautiful ocean view.

960x960xatlantis1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.wUzlLv72EDDX3uqP9DEv atlantis santori

2. Book People | Austin, TX

Now I’m going to venture a guess and say that this bookstore made it this high up on my list not only because of it’s awesome atmosphere and look but because I am moving to Austin next month and that makes this bookstore a viable option to visit. (If you have any awesome Austin hangouts feel free to let me know so I can explore them when I get down there).  The Book People is the largest independent bookstore in Texas and for that reason it made my list.  I love visiting and supporting bookstores that aren’t huge chains like Barnes and Noble.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but there is a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing that you are helping keep independent bookstores alive.

book people austin

1. Barter Books | England

From a young age my mother instilled a love of two things in me. Books and trains. In my parents basement we have a collection of model trains and train tracks and other odds and ends that we swear will be set up eventually into a model train display for our house.  So when I found Barter Books I instantly fell in love and started planning my imaginary trip there.  This bookstore is well known for it’s discovery of the lost wartime catchphrase that many of us have seen on the internet, Keep Calm and Carry On.  Even though this is the claim to fame for this bookstore, for me the draw is in the model train that runs along the top of the bookshelves.  It acts as a connecting force for each shelf and runs just over the heads of the visitors.  I don’t know when, if ever, I will be able to visit this shop but one day it will happen hopefully.



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