Lonely Planet, a publisher in the business of providing guides to all corners of the globe, has posted its list of the 10 best bookstores in the world. It reads like a travelogue wish list for the bookishly inclined.
There’s Lello Bookshop in Lisbon (pictured), a neo-gothic extravaganza with serpentine staircases that opened in 1906. Bookàbar in Rome, Atlantis Books in Greece, Selexyz Dominicanen in the Netherlands, Another Country in Berlin and Paris’ Shakespeare & Company to round out the European selections. Their London bookseller of choice is travel bookseller Daunt Books.
Only a single Asian bookstore makes the list: The Bookworm in Bejing, which has, in addition to books for sale and for loan, an annual book festival and celebrations of wine and whiskey.
In the Americas, Buenos Aires’ Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, housed in a 1920s movie palace saved from destruction, is often cited as one of the world’s most beautiful. And then there’s City Lights in San Francisco, less gorgeous than iconic, known for being the literary hub of the beat scene.
Of the list of 10, three appeared in a similar list of the top 10 bookstores put together by The Guardian in 2008. One that made their list, which Lonely Planet missed, is Los Angeles’ own Secret Headquarters, “known for being one of the neatest, friendliest comic stores anywhere.” (Reprinted from the L.A. Times, Thanks for the tip Mike Brady)