THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOKSTORES – Best Design Books takes you on a tour through the world’s most beautiful bookstores. Places full of history that inspire and fill our dreams with other lives and times. To complete the inspiration, we have also made a selection of 10 luxury and design books recently released. Let’s dream together.
Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid – Buenos Aires, Argentina
In Buenos Aires resides a spectacular building born in the 1920s which receives over one million visitors every year, while still maintaining the glamour of its first days as a movie theater. El Ateneo Grand Splendid is a breathtaking renovated movie theater now home to thousands of books. Sit down in one of the theatre boxes and discover your favorite books before purchasing them, enjoy a café on the back of the stage, and admire the auditorium lighting, the ornate ceiling, and the many architectural details that remain.
Polare – Maastricht, Holland
Renovated by the Amsterdam based architecture firm Merkx+Girod this 700 year old Catholic Church was once a warehouse, then an archive, and at one point even served as a bicycle shed. An unexpected combination of influences and moods transform this bookstore into a singular place. When Napoleon invaded the city of Maastricht the building was a Dominican Church, but in 1794 the Dominicans were forced to leave the country, happily since 2007 the building has a new soul as a beautiful bookstore.
Livraria Lello e Irmao – Oporto, Portugal
This is a dream space located in Oporto, one of the most beautiful European cities. We covet the amazing stairs and the astounding stained glass rooftop! If you’re a Harry Potter fan you should know that the author J.K. Rowling lived in the city of Oporto and that Lello’s stairs were the inspiration for Hogwarts stairs. The neo-gothic style of the building, decorated walls, and ornamented pillars are sure to impress you!
Livraria da Vila – São Paulo, Brazil
Time for a classic and modern bookstore where the books aren´t just for sale, but serve as part of the space’s decor! This unique bookstore was designed by Isay Weinfeld who made every corner of the place remarkable, including atriums on the ground level which allow visitors to peek at other floors. Here you can sit to drink coffee, play music, watch films, and of course read a book in peace in the middle of the bustling city of São Paulo.
Shakespeare & Company – Paris, France
Remember Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris? Behind the shadows of Notre Dame you’ll find Shakespeare and Company, an English language literature bookstore opened in 1951 by George Whitman. Named after a bookstore frequented by Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce during the 1920s, the bookshop has become equally legendary as a gathering place for writers like Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.
Corso Como – Milan, Italy
Founded by former editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue Carla Sozzani in 1991, this bookstore combines books and design with a café, hotel, and roof garden. The outdoor space exudes glamour and romantic decor, the ideal place to relax at the end of the day, or to get inspired. The bookstore combines art, architecture, and fashion titles with designer furniture in the fantastic city of Milan.
See also – Walking Through Milan Bookshops
Livraria Cultura – São Paulo, Brazil
Livraria Cultura is the way Eva Herz expresses her love for books. She left Berlin in 1938 to escape from the Nazis and ten years later, in 1948, she started Livraria Cultura, a place full of fantasy and dreams where dragons happily live.
She started with a spare room at her house as a rental library, and is now the owner of Brazil’s largest bookstore. Besides the dragon statues to play on, there are areas to lounge, and book-filled aisles to discover and dream.
See also – THE COOLEST BOOKSTORES IN THE USA
This article was first published at CovetED Magazine.
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