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By the Book: When a digital device just won't do

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Bookstores and libraries offer the traveler places to retreat into the world of the mind and to get deeper glimpses of the local literary and popular culture.
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Douai, France
A great place to pick up some great books - Lille, France!
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Karlovo nám. 2097/10, 120 00 Praha-Nové Město, Czechia
One of the best things about Prague is the fact that there is excellent public transportation - a metro, buses and even trams. There are still many of the older ones around, which look great gliding past the 19th & 18th century buildings. Get to...
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Tempt fate at the Monkey Paw’s Book-O-Matic machine, where for the price of a toonie you’ll be delivered an archaic tome in the vein of Elementary Arabic, Vol. 3. I’ll let you know how my studying gets on. The Monkey’s Paw...
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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...
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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...
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Montclair, NJ 07042, USA
Montclair is known for many things, among them its many amazing writers. That's what happens when you become the suburb of choice for so many former Manhattan and Brooklyn-nites. Tucked on a side street, the Little Free Library is just one in a...
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103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK
South Bank has both the best river walk in London and the city's liveliest cultural centers, so a walk along it is a must. The path takes you from the Globe and the Tate Modern along the Thames—passing Gabriel's Wharf with its...
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R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal
A blend of neo-Gothic and art nouveau, the enchanting Livraria Lello bookshop dates to 1906 and is rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts in Harry Potter
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18 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin, D01 T3V8, Ireland
Sure, you fall in love with Paris through the literature about the city—Hemingway immortalized Paris, F. Scott Fitzgerald spent time there and so did James Joyce. However you can do the same with Ireland. Joyce is still beloved in his native...
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I first heard about Shakespeare & Company Bookstore while studying expat writers, mainly the Americans, in Paris. Sylvia Beach owned it and Ernest Hemingway used to borrow books from her. The current S&C in Paris was passed on from George Whitman...
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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 theshadow of Notre Dame, is what should be proclaimed one of France’s national treasures: the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. This is actually the second site of the...
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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...
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4035 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
An artist and an architect curate a cool mix of practical things here. You’ll find books on furniture and design, and interesting items like wooden radios and pencil sets. Lots of it is handmade. The store also sells chairs and tables that Luke...
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Levant
"I come to this beautiful, unique bookstore at least once a week. They carry an amazing collection of books on art, architecture, and photography, and they have a great magazine selection. You can have coffee, tea, and cake, then browse. I always...
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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,...
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Upper Normandy, 6 Place de Paris, 27200 Vernon, France
After touring the village of Giverny, I headed down the road and across the river to the town of Vernon. Nice place. The nicest part was finding an antique-cum-book store. I cannot get enough of books! I actually collect Hemingway and Kerouac...
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686 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217, USA
Since opening in 2009, Greenlight Bookstore has become a cultural mainstay of the Fort Greene neighborhood (there’s also a second, newer location in Prospect Lefferts Gardens). The oversized windows of the original store face...
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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...
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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...
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6 E Liberty, 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...
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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 Francisco...