From FlavorWire: “The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World” —
“We canâ€™t overestimate the importance of bookstores â€” theyâ€™re community centers, places to browse and discover, and monuments to literature all at once â€” so weâ€™ve put together a list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, from Belgium to Japan to Slovakia.”
Sure, now is a particularly apt time to wonder aboutÂ the fate of bookstoresÂ in general. I’ll admit that IÂ buy a lot of my books online — but for the sheer pleasure of serendipitous discovery, online bookstores are a completely different experience from the physical bookstores that we know and love. Â I have some fond memories of Shakespeare & Company in Paris.Â El Ateneo Grand Splendid (pictured, left) really Â is something.
And for what it’s worth,Â The Last Bookstore in the Old Bank District of Los Angeles is a personal favorite. There’s something about leafing through used books (more on that thought later) that makes for a more personal encounter with those old books: