14 Wonderful Bookstores You Need to Visit
Shakespeare and Company – Paris, France
Shakespeare and Company, located along the banks of the Seine River in Paris, is a beautifully quirky bookstore that also features several hidden sleeping nooks. It was built in 1951 by an American named George Whitman who wanted to contribute to Paris’ growing literary scene.
He encouraged young writers (whom he called tumbleweeds) to come visit the bookstore and trade a few hours of labor for a safe place to sleep. Even now, you can apply to sleep at Shakespeare and Company – a dream come true for bookworms with wanderlust. They also carry a huge variety of classic literature, in both French and English.
Libreria Acqua Alta – Venice, Italy
Acqua Alta is a particularly Venetian phenomenon – it’s the high water that floods the city at certain times of the year. Venetians have adopted a casual attitude towards the water that covers their floors, and the same attitude has been cultivated by the owners of Libreria Acqua Alta.
To keep their stock safe, they store all of their books in waterproof containers. The central room of the bookstore even has a mountain of books piled onto a retired gondola. Just don’t go into the store if you’re allergic to cats. Libreria Acqua Alta tends to collect strays, who use the book stacks as warm, dry beds.
The Bookworm – Beijing, China
The Bookworm is a joint event space, bookstore, restaurant, and library that serves the Anglo expat community of Beijing. It’s a gorgeous, book-centric place that allows the community to explore the world of literature together.
The store regularly hosts author talks, and they allow people to both borrow and purchase their immense quantity of books. At last count, they had over 16,000 books in their library alone.
They have three locations around China, but their Beijing location is the most beautiful, with a central area lit by floating electric candles.