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Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world

http://www.china.org.cn/top10/2011-08/04/content_23142338.htm

By Wang Yanfang
 

While online sales are gradually driving some bookstores out of business, some are still thriving. Booklovers enjoy reading in their favorite shop, which can definitely afford great pleasure. Ten were chosen from around the world as the best of them all.

Atlantis Books, Santorini, Greece

Atlantis Books, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

The surroundings of Atlantis Books [indieday.cn]

Atlantis Books,one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

Atlantis Books [tumblr.com]

Located in the basement of a white house in Santorini, Atlantis Books was started by two 25-year-old Americans in the spring of 2004. Modeled on Shakespeare & Company, the English-language bookstore in Paris, Atlantis Books is willing to create a haven for booklovers in one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean. Rows of bookshelves, built by the staff themselves, are loaded with novels, poetry, short-story collections and philosophy tomes. With the shop getting international praise, it is becoming a landmark. To spend afternoons in the shop’s cool quarters with jazz on the stereo is a great enjoyment, no matter you buy books or not.

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Bookàbar, Rome, Italy

Bookàbar, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

Bookàbar [rafaqat.com]

The three-floor Bookàbar has a curvy ceiling and long, smooth shelves that form the perfect setting for its books, CDs, DVDs and other merchandise. Even hardened travelers might be charmed. It sells English language publications, mostly on art. It is part of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni exhibition centre, one of Rome’s leading exhibition centers.

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Selexyz Bookstore, Maastricht, Holland

Selexyz Bookstore, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

Selexyz Bookstore [artinfo.com]

The 800-year-old Dominican church in Maastricht has been turned into one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world – Selexyz Bookstore. The store retains the character and charm of the old church. The construction of a multi-story steel structure with a massive ceiling houses the largest stock of books in English in the city. Reading here is a religious experience. It is a bookshop made in heaven.

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Bookworm, Beijing, China

Bookworm, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

Bookworm [hexun.com]

The Bookworm is China’s premier English language lending library, bookshop, restaurant and events space. It now has branches in Beijing, Chengdu and Suzhou. It has been strengthening its relationships with overseas publishers to bring in more and more popular titles. Now it is able to boast 16,112 titles on its library shelves. Browsing thousands of books, savoring fabulous fare, sipping good espresso, being regaled by eminent authors here will be truly enjoyable.

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Another Country, Berlin, Germany

Another Country, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

Another Country [typepad.com]

Another Country is the largest English language second-hand bookshop in Berlin, which is mostly used as a library. About 20,000 books are for sale here. Some regular events are held at the shop, such as readings, cultural events, social evenings and film nights.

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Daunt Books, London, UK

Daunt Books, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

Daunt Books [travelsplendid.com]

Daunt Books is an original Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries and graceful skylights in London. It already has five branches in the city. Daunt Books specializes in travel books, travel accounts, non-fiction, history and fiction, which are all organized under the relevant country. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, providing the customer with helpful advice.

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Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France

Shakespeare and Company, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

Shakespeare & Company [travelpod.com]

Originally established in 1919 by Sylvia Beach, Shakespeare & Company is a combination of a bookstore and a reading library, specializing in English-language literature. In the 1920s, the store was a meeting point for literary icons such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, William S. Burroughs, James Joyce and Ford Madox Ford. Located in the 5th Arrondissement, in Paris’s Left Bank, the current store was opened in 1951, named after and in honor of the earlier store that closed during World War II. It is a cozy place to admire the packed shelves and poetic posters and choose paperbacks.

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Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

Livraria Lello, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

Livraria Lello [tugall.com]

First opened in 1906, one of the world’s most magnificent bookshops, Livraria Lello, is in Portugal’s second city, Porto. Its façade is a beautiful example of neo-gothic design, intricate decoration, volumes of books and panels carved with Portuguese literary figures, attract many admirers. The lolloping red staircase is the centerpiece of this amazing shop, which winds up to the first floor like an exotic flower. Books are available in English, as well as Portuguese and French. A small cafe upstairs is a great place to quietly read your new book and enjoy a selection of coffees, port wine and cigars.

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Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid [urban-review.com]

Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the grandest bookshops in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Occupying a 1920s theatre in the city’s downtown, El Ateneo has kept the sumptuous auditorium’s original furnishings – original balconies, painted ceiling, ornate carvings and crimson stage curtains – and added books. The former theatre boxes became intimate reading rooms. Putting finger to page, soaking in the cozy atmosphere of the café on the stage between red velvet curtains, will be definitely perfect time.

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City Lights Books, San Francisco, United States

City Lights Books, one of the 'Top 10 beautiful bookstores in the world' by China.org.cn.

City Lights Books [wordpress.com]

City Lights, an independent bookstore-publisher combination specializing in world literature, the arts and progressive politics, is still one of the world’s greatest bookshops since its establishment by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin (who left two years later) in 1953. It became well-known with publishing Allen Ginsberg’s influential poem "Howl and Other Poems" (City Lights, 1956). Having been a gathering place for American literary icons, like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, this ‘Literary Landmark’ attracts booklovers from across the country and around the world to browse, read, and just soak in the pleasant ambiance.

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