By the Book: When a digital device just won't do
Collected by Derk Richardson , AFAR Staff
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.
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...
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...
1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
For decades, Elliott Bay Books has been one of Seattle's best bookstores. So, a few years ago, when it was announced that the venerable institution was going to leave its historic Pioneer Square neighborhood digs, there was widespread...
Av. Santa Fe 1860, C1124 CABA, Argentina
Where in the world can you read Shakepeare's famous plays while on a stage, or in the box, and pretend to be the Bard while reading about the Bard? Only one place that I know of, El Ateneo in Buenos Aires in the neighborhood of Barrio Norte....
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...
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...
103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK
It's on again this Spring-- the Cheese and Wine Festival. Spend an afternoon sampling cheese, enjoying delicious food and sipping wine by the Thames. There's loads of food to explore and demonstrations from which to learn, but whatever you do,...
18 Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin, D01 T3V8, Ireland
37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
What traveller or aspiring travel writer has ever been to Paris and NOT stopped by George Whitman's Shakesepeare & Company, located just a stone's throw (if you have a good arm!) from the Notre Dame Cathedral? I cannot count the amount of...
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,...
Zehdenicker Str. 16, 10119 Berlin, Germany
A special antique shop in Berlin named The Bibliotheca Culinaria devoted to second hand cookery and baking books from around the world. The German owner personally greets you at the door and offers you a coffee while showing you some of his...
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...
Piazza dei Cavalleggeri, 1, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
I completely stumbled upon this gorgeous library in Florence on accident while wandering around the city by myself. It's about a 3 Euro entrance fee but being a book lover, there are few things more impressive than a reading library designed by...
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...
1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
At a time when it seems like another brick-and-mortar bookstore disappears every day, it is really refreshing to witness the throngs of readers crowding into Powell's Books in Portland on a sunny Saturday. When you go, if you're a word nerd like...
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...
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
Located in the basement of the Theological Seminary, the Seminary Co-op is the only bookstore I've encountered where you might actually get lost. It's a basement labyrinth of books where you must duck beneath pipes as you browse the endless, dense...
84 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW, UK
This independent bookshop resembles the libraries of a bibliophile's dreams. The Edwardian exterior is beautiful and befitting of the elegant High Street, but the interior took my breath away: long oak shelves, stained glass, and skylights....
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...
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...
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