These 10 Picturesque Bookstores Are A Literary And Architecture Lover’s Delight!

These 10 Picturesque Bookstores Are A Literary And Architecture Lover’s Delight!
Here are some of the prettiest bookstores in the world Photo Credit: Shutterstock

From Netherlands to China, here are some of the prettiest bookstores in the world

Roop Sawhney
November 05 , 2019
10 Min Read

From Buenos Aires to Baku and Maastricht to Mexico there is no shortage of books or architecture that one can feast their eyes on. Treat the bibliophile and satiate the architecture enthusiast in you by looking at these beautiful bookstores from around the world.

The El ATeneo Grand Splendid was initially a theatre in 1919



Formerly a theatre in 1919, the El Ateneo Grand Splendid has since gained immense popularity as one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. With its frescoed ceilings, ornate rounded balconies and elaborate carvings, the building retains the original feeling of the grand theatre. Housing more than 120,000 Spanish titles and boasting of a fair number of music titles, Grand Splendid sees millions of visitors annually. There might not be many English titles, but visitors can simply enjoy the architectural genius that the building is or sit under the spotlight on the stage that has now been converted into a café. 

This bookstore was used as a storage unit and then a bike shed before its true potential was discovered

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A bookstore housed in the majestic and breath-taking interiors of a centuries old church is probably something you don’t hear every day. The Selexyz Dominicanen bookstore is one prettiest bookstores in the world. Initially used by Napoleon Bonaparte as a storage warehouse and then a bike shed, the church converted bookstore has seen a fair share of history. Having retained its ornate ceilings and intricate stonework, the bookstore sees over a 700,000 visitors annually and holds book titles and music records in multiple languages, making it a booklover’s and history enthusiast’s paradise.

It is rumored that JK Rowling took inspiration from Lello Bookstore for Flourish and Blotts in the Movies


The Livraria Lello or the Lello Bookstore looks like something out of a Harry Potter Movie. With a stained glass ceiling, painted plaster walls and dizzying red staircases, this bookstore is not only known for its neo-gothic architecture but also for the wide menu of books that it has to offer to its customers. Although, Livraria Lello largely has a collection of Portuguese fiction and non-fiction, it also houses some English and French titles. 

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A post shared by Leggo libri, Correggo romanzi (@eri_gibbi) on Jun 13, 2019 at 9:20am PDT


Situated in the hip Polanco neighbourhood, the Cafebreia El Pendulo, is part café and part bookstore. At the bookstore you’ll find spiralling staircases, floor to ceiling book shelves, ample greenery and a number of Spanish and English books. Live music, delicious food from the café and the perfectly arranged books make this bookstore all the more appealing.

The Baku Book Center is known for its sleek and modern architecture


Curvaceous staircases and modern architecture are two main characteristics of the Baku Book Center. Visitors can treat themselves to the wide variety of books and the café on the first floor of the building.

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A post shared by Alina Jaravete (@alinajaravete) on Nov 4, 2019 at 1:34pm PST


From the outside, the Carturesti Carusel, or the Carousel of light, bookstore might not look like much but once inside, the elegant and classy architecture is bound to leave visitors awestruck. Elegantly curved balconies and pristine white interiors hold over 10,000 books and 5,000 albums and music. The bookstore also has an art gallery, exhibition and multimedia area. The bistro café on the top floor serves delectable food and offers a splendid view of the bookstore in all its glory.

Barters Books was the place where the phrase

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Built inside an old Victorian railway station, the Barter Books Bookstore has a huge collection of second hand books and is known for its gorgeous interiors. The bookstore has wonderful ambience with beautiful murals, quotes joining bookcase to bookcase and a model train running over your head. The entire bookstore is lined with sofas and comfy chairs by firesides making curling up on one of these with a book, extremely difficult. Barter Books also happens to be the place where the “Keep Calm and Carry On” phrase was popularized, when the owner bought a box of used war memorabilia in an auction.

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The Zhongshuge Bookstore is nothing short of an optical illusion. With mirrors extending across the entire ceiling, the bookstore seems like an infinite mass of books. One of the most creatively designed bookstores; it can essentially be referred to as a forest of mirrors. Another room in the bookstore is called the book playground where bookshelves are designed as different rides in a playground. Awaken your inner child by plucking books off the Ferris wheel, a train or even a rollercoaster.

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The glee on my face when I found this bookshop in the middle of Inverness 😭❤ï¸ÂðŸ˜

A post shared by Mariam Jalloul (@mariamjalloul) on May 5, 2018 at 1:06pm PDT


Another church converted into a bookstore, Leakey’s second-hand bookshop is a treasure trove for people who love a cosy place for reading. High ceilings in the former Gaelic church are filled with books from floor to ceiling. You can also find old maps and prints and even some first edition books if you look hard enough.

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This bookshop is an absolute haunt for travel enthusiasts. With piles on piles of guide books, maps, travelogues, books on language, history, politics and culture, all three floors of the bookstore are absolutely full. Elegant balconies, stained glass windows and long oak galleries make this bookstore an architectural treat.

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