[Thanks to Silverback Peter (Hollywood SBs) for forwarding this. Remember when you you used to have great bookstores IN YOUR TOWN? I know, kids, this sounds unbelievable. SB SM]
Shakespeare and Company, Paris, France
Shakespeare and Company is arguably the most famous independent bookstore in the world. Located at the edge of the river Seine in Paris, France. The weathered shelves and the old-fashioned sign out front conjure up memories of times long gone, times when authors like Allen Ginsberg and Henry Miller stopped by the store to hang out and to sell their newly written works. And that is exactly the thing that makes this bookstore amazing — it has been visited by generations of authors like Anaïs Nin, William Styron, Martin Amis, Zadie Smith, and Dave Eggers, who we now hold in the highest of esteem, back when they were starting out.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The “Splendid” in the name of El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires is putting it mildly. This incredible bookstore is one of the most fascinating places on Earth. It started its life as a theater, then became a cinema, before ultimately being filled with books to become a bookstore. The incredible frescoes on the ceiling, ornate stage curtains, high-class theater boxes and stage from 1919 are all still there in all their artistic glory, making this bookstore seem like something out of one of the storybooks it holds inside.
Atlantis Books, Santorini, Greece
Atlantis Books in Santorini is so amazing that it topped the National Geographic’s list of most interesting bookstores, according to GreeceIs.com. Referred to as a “Hobbit Hole,” this small but mighty bookstore was created inside of a house — a house someone lives in. Classics (don’t expect to find modern guilty pleasures like 50 Shades of Grey) can be found on stacks on the floor, as if someone just set them down while they went to read another book. To make things even homier, there is also a dog and a cat that live in the bookstore to keep you company while you browse.