Collected by Caroline Eubanks, AFAR Local Expert
If you worship on the altar of books, these stores are your mecca. Take your time wandering the shelves around the world.
84 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW, UK
Daunt Books really is special. Even if you are not a big reader, it is well worth a visit because the space is so beautiful and filled with exceptionally well-chosen books. Daunt is the ultimate antidote to the Amazon generation and connects you...
Spui 12, 1012 XA Amsterdam, Netherlands
We woke up on day two, intending to wander around, grab lunch and then spend the rest of the day in the park. However, our host suggested a book market only open on Fridays. Within minutes of the suggestion, we were out the door, armed with...
55 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801, USA
Malaprop's bookstore is an independent bookstore for gifts, books (including banned books), and a cafe in one. Check out their calendar as Malaprop's plays host to many authors. A trip to Asheville isn't complete without a visit to Malaprops.
Via della Vite, 102, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Anglo American Book Co. is my best source for English-language books in Rome. They have an amazing inventory of beautiful books on the city. 39/06-679-5222. By Pepi Marchetti Franchi, as told to Elizabeth Minchilli. This appeared in the...
37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Located at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, a stone’s throw from the Seine and draped in the shadow of Notre Dame, is what should be proclaimed one of France’s national treasures: the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. This is...
6 Liberty Street, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Nothing makes me happier than stumbling upon a really great bookstore, and this one in Savannah takes the cake! While strolling down East Liberty Street in gorgeous Savannah—my favorite of all the beautiful Southern cities—my husband...
17-5 Sarugakucho, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0033, Japan
A short walk from Daikanyama Station is one of the metropolis's iconic bookstores, Tsutaya at T-Site. Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture, the Tsutaya bookstore is celebrated not only for the beauty of its three buildings but also for the...
1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
The Elliott Bay Book Company is the Seattle bookstore and, thankfully, survived its move from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill with soul and towering cedar bookcases intact. Elliott Bay lost a significant chunk of square footage during the move...
Calle de Cervantes, 10, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Obviously most of the books that you find in Spain are written in the Spanish language (a no brainer, I know) but you can find lots of English ones too. Libros is a chain bookstore, much like Barnes & Noble back in the USA, and they always have a...
210 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4QQ, UK
I love old books, and this secondhand shop has a huge range, from classics to modern literature. —Gaynor Salisbury 204–206 Morningside Rd. 44/(0) 131-446-9169. This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s...
Sacca della Toletta, 1214, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
This place was one of those shops you stumble upon, then wish you could spend the day. Not only did the Toletta have a really good selection of English books—from classics (including Thomas Mann's Death in Venice, of course) and recent novels to a...
4839 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, USA
Tucked away behind an unassuming storefront you will find a shop with a misnomer of a name: Ravenswood Used Bookstore (it's located in Lincoln Square, not Ravenswood). Our hero and proprietor, Jim, has gathered such an incredible collection of...
Av. Paulista, 2073 - Bela Vista, São Paulo - SP, 01311-940, Brazil
Located on the bustling Avenida Paulista, the Livraria Cultura has multiple storefronts in the same shopping center. One store is dedicated to all types of travel, food, art, and design books. Another serves as a movie theater, showcasing the...
4000 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
When visiting Seattle, make sure to stop by the University of Washington—one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States. Cherry trees, lakeshore, and views of glaciated Mt. Rainier surround a cluster of Neo-Gothic buildings....
R. Marquês de São Vicente, 476 - Gávea, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22451-041, Brazil
Instituto Moreira Salles, founded by the late Walther Moreira Salles, a banker and diplomat, houses thousands of historic photographs, books, paintings, and recordings. The auditorium hosts film screenings—a nod to his son, Walter Salles,...
476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA
The main branch of the New York Public Library is one of the country’s grandest Beaux Arts buildings, a temple to learning on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets. At the end of the 19th century, John Bigelow, who oversaw the Tilden...
96 S Grant Ave, Columbus, OH 43215, USA
The Columbus Metropolitan Main Library has served the community for over 100 years with the motto, “A fountain of learning: Our treasures are within and open to all.” Today it’s a great place to visit either to read,...
Josefsplatz 1, 1015 Wien, Austria
Entering the Austrian National Library is a momentous moment in one’s life. This place looks like something out of Harry Potter. I wasn’t allowed to use my tripod inside for this triple exposure four-shot panorama but it obviously...
1 Rue de la liberté, Fort-de-France 97200, Martinique
If this library doesn’t look much like your average Caribbean building, there’s a reason for that. It’s not. The entire library was first built in France back in 1889, then shipped piece by piece to the island Martinique as an...
Herengracht 427, 1017 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Exploring Amsterdam aboard a canal boat is an iconic way to see the sights, with myriad tours and cruises plying the 65 miles of waterways that lattice the city. From many spots you can join simple, hour-long cruises with narrators describing...
Av. Santa Fe 1860, C1124 CABA, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a city of readers—it supports more bookstores per capita than any other place in the world. The crown jewel of the librerías here is the Ateneo Grand Splendid. Housed in a theater where music legends such as Carlos...
4519, 261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
In an age when many independent bookstores have surrendered to the advance of chain stores and Amazon, City Lights is a true survivor. Since it was founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1956, it has served as a gathering place for San...
835 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
My favorite independent bookstore, located in Seaport Village, is Upstart Crow—a mix of eclectic nostalgia items amongst coffee drinks and stacks of books. Here is where you find peace amid the tourist busy bodies.
Salzstraße 31, 79098 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Maybe even all of Germany. Buchhandlung zum Wetzstein is located just off of Augustinerplatz. Upon entering, you will be greeted by the friendly and helpful staff, and then you will be completely absorbed by beautifully displayed books,...
1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
An iconic name in Portland retail—as well as among readers who have never been to the city—Powell’s has multiple locations on both sides of the Willamette. The downtown store remains the one best suited for visitors to explore,...
686 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217, USA
At this independent bookstore, sunlight streams onto industrial tables covered by books. They’ve got a range of titles about New York, Fort Greene, and photography.—Jason Lampkin
See all of Jason Lampkin’s favorite places in Fort...
See all of Jason Lampkin’s favorite places in Fort...
5751 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
For 50 years, it has been growing in the basement of the seminary located at 5757 South University Avenue. Back in 1961, 17 book lovers each pitched in $10 a piece and founded The Seminary Co-Op Bookstore. When you arrive, you won't think you're...
1/46 Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia
Stacked between an internet café and a grocer stands this little gem of a book shop and café. I came here after a windy day at the beach, had a cup of tea and perused the endless lists, not to mention brilliant layout, of their book collection....
154 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Three Lives bookstore in the historic West Village caters to serious book-lovers. The individually owned store and its employees are warm and full of character—it feels like you wandered into your best friend’s (large) library in which...
2246 Broadway, New York, NY 10024, USA
Westsider Rare and Used Books is a great off-the-beaten-track shop where you can check out books ranging from Oscar Wilde to Malcolm Gladwell (two of my favorites), to “rare and used books” in other languages. The treat is really in...
1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Known for hosting readings by big stars in the literary firmament, Tattered Cover Book Store originally opened in 1971 in a mere 950 square feet of space in the Cherry Creek North area. The enterprise has grown to...
Universiteto g. 5, Vilnius 01131, Lithuania
Ask my college age nephew and he’ll tell you that the only thing he does when he goes to his campus bookstore is to get books and other study materials he needs for his courses. It’s an in and out kind of place. You don’t linger...
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