The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

From FlavorWire: “The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World” —

“We can’t overestimate the importance of bookstores — they’re community centers, places to browse and discover, and monuments to literature all at once — so we’ve put together a list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, from Belgium to Japan to Slovakia.”

Sure, now is a particularly apt time to wonder about the fate of bookstores in general. I’ll admit that I buy a lot of my books online — but for the sheer pleasure of serendipitous discovery, online bookstores are a completely different experience from the physical bookstores that we know and love. I have some fond memories of Shakespeare & Company in Paris. El Ateneo Grand Splendid (pictured, left) really is something.

And for what it’s worth, The Last Bookstore in the Old Bank District of Los Angeles is a personal favorite. There’s something about leafing through used books (more on that thought later) that makes for a more personal encounter with those old books:

“The name was chosen with irony, but it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy as physical bookstores are dying out like dinosaurs from the meteoric impact of Amazon and e-books.”


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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

tyler shores cambridge

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