We’re suckers for rounded ceilings and decorative lighting.
Barter Books, Alnwick, UK
These are some of the most innovative and extravagant libraries and bookstores from across the world - from Belgium to Taiwan to Slovakia. These spaces are merely a pipe dream for those who chain themselves to single desk-chair units during assessment time, or those forced to climb to the highest floors of their university libraries. With Amazon slowly taking over the publishing world, alongside the capabilities of various eReaders, it might seem a little grim for the brick and mortar booksellers across the world. For those who prefer the experience that goes beyond a few clicks and a bright retina screen - bookstores and libraries are community centres, places to browse and discover, and monuments to literature all at one.
A gorgeous converted Dominican church gives the power of reading its due diligence. Selexyz Bookstore, Maastricht, Holland
Modern design at its finest in a store full of art books.
The Bookàbar Bookshop, Rome, Italy
We love the stairs as reading and display area, the wall-to-wall bookshelves, and the simple, clean design. Plural Bookshop, Bratislava, Slovakia
Somehow, this bookstore manages to be both whimsical and slightly macabre all at once.
Cook & Book, Brussels, Belgium
For those browsers not as impressed by architecture as they are by the beauty of books upon books upon books in narrow hallways — not to mention a place to nap. Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France
This majestic converted 1920s movie palace uses theatre boxes for reading rooms and draws thousands of tourists every year.
Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina
This store has a flying bike and books to the ceiling. Need we say more?
Ler Devagar, Lisbon, Portugal
Almost utilitarian but filled with simple old-world grace, this store is a little like what we might imagine our ideal ship’s main cabin to look like.
VVG Something, Taipei, Taiwan