Polare, Maastricht, Holland – Transformed from a 700-year-old Catholic church to an ornate bookstore, the Polare (formerly Selexyz) is indeed a class apart. It houses a massive three story bookshelf with staircases, elevators and walkways.
Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires – A gorgeous renovated movie theater that is now home to a variety of books. It retains the 1920’s glamour using theater boxes for reading rooms, painted ceilings and crimson stage curtains.
Livraria Lello e Irmao, Porto, Portugal – The neo-gothic façade, heavily decorated walls, stained glass ceilings along with ornamented pillars has not only an enormous amount of charm, but remains a hot spot for Harry Potter fans as it was featured several times in the movie series.
Shakespeare & Company, Paris – Named after a bookstore frequented by Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce during the 1920’s, the shop on Paris’s Left Bank has become equally legendary. Opened in 1951 by the American writer George Whitman, and run by his daughter since his death in 2011, it became a gathering place for Beat Generation writers like Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. Whitman allowed travelling artists and writers to lodge at the shop since its inception.