There is something otherworldly about visiting a book shop that’s in a special or unique location, especially while you’re traveling. Flipping through books, old or new, transport us to another world. There are so many special and unique book shops that are truly a destination in themselves. If you’ll be visiting one of these locations, do yourself a favor and take some time to visit these beautiful and enchanting book stores.
Bart’s Books – Ojai, California
If you’ve ever wanted to experience a bookshop that’s totally outdoors, Bart’s Books is the place to go. Founded in 1964, it is the largest outdoor book store in the world. It was inspired by Parisian street book stores (more on that later) and now boasts over 130,000 titles showcased in outdoor bookcases.
Rodger’s Book Barn – Hillsdale, New York
Rodger’s Book Barn is as quaint as it sounds. The shop was first opened in 1972 and is home to over 20,000 second hand books. Walk into the barn to experience cozy rooms with lovely carpets and books from floor to ceiling all along the walls.
Bouquinistes – Paris, France
All along the Seine River from Quai Volatire to Île Saint-Louis, you’ll find the stalls of Bouquinistes. These open air bookshops sell second hand books and have been around since the 16th century! It’s no wonder that these are a staple for Parisians.
Atlantis Books – Oia, Santorini, Greece
Perhaps one of the book stores in the world with the best view, Atlantis Books was founded in 2004 in order to create a space that brings together literature, art, and conversation against the bright blue backdrop of the Santorini Caldera. There’s truly nothing like it. The book shop offers up books in several languages and a terrace with jaw dropping views.
El Anteneo Grand Splendid – Buenos Aires, Argentina
This incredible book store is perhaps the most grandiose book store you’ll ever visit. Located in an old theater that dates back to 1919, it was turned into a cinema in 1929 and then in 2000, it was converted into the book shop that it is now. The interior has retained its magnificently opulent style with huge red stage curtains, frescoed ceiling, and incredible carvings. You can get yourself a coffee from the stage area that has been converted into a cafe.
Cărtureşti Carusel – Bucharest, Romania
You might be wondering why this book store looks so elegant, and that’s because it was once a bank headquarters that was created in the early 20th century. It was then converted into a general store while Romania was under Communist control. In the 1950’s, it fell into disrepair and after a descendent of the original owners won the rights back to the building, it was fully restored. The book store takes up six floors and includes a bistro, contemporary art gallery, and multimedia space.
Livraria Lello – Porto, Portugal
This gorgeous library in Porto is absolutely breathtaking. Founded in 1906, it features ornate ceilings, an iconic red staircase, and even more intertwining circular stairs that inspired J.K. Rowling to write about similar looking spiral staircases at Hogwarts in her Harry Potter series. While the book store charges an entry fee, if you purchase a book that fee is deducted from the cost of the book.