Have you been to any of the world's best bookstores?
1. City Lights Books (San Francisco, CA)
2. Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
3. Livraria Lello (Porto, Portugal)
4. Shakespeare & Company (Paris, France)
5. Daunt Books (London, England)
6. Another Country (Berlin, Germany)
7. The Bookworm (Beijing, China)
8. Selexyz Dominicanen (Maastricht, Netherlands)
9. Bookabar (Rome, Italy)
10. Atlantis Books (Santorini, Greece)
Okay — I’ve been to exactly none of these. But I do seek out bookstores whenever I travel and have my own short list of favorites: Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi; BookPeople in Austin, Texas; and Strand Books in New York. To me a great bookstore isn’t about cappuccino or easy chairs (though I’ll definitely take those amenities): It’s more about browsing, about having a great collection of titles to leaf through. It’s also nice when there’s a knowledgeable staff, people who read and love books, who can advise and make recommendations. I do buy books online (and I have an e-reader), but for me, nothing can replace the experience of a great bookstore.
How about the rest of you? What’s your favorite bookstore (of the bricks-and-mortar variety)?