Travel & Entertainment

Add these 6 lovely bookstores to your travel-later plans

Lovely bookstores worldwide cover image Image Credits: Instagram @thereaders_society / @go_bambi

As Stephen King rightly quotes, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

Books are famous for having a unique spell that draws us in and keeps us hooked. Book lovers everywhere can fall in love with a story from the first page and spend days captivated by the world they’ve been drawn into and the stories the authors are creating.

Bookstores themselves have also become portals to our access, creating a location where you can disappear into the racks with your favourite book and enjoy that little safe space you’ve made.

If that resonates with you, you must check out these stunning bookstores worldwide for some ideas on your next getaway when travel resumes.

#1: Seoul Book Bogo, South Korea

This former warehouse is now home to one of the largest collections of books and used books in Seoul. The symmetrical space features curved bookshelves and beautiful open-air spaces with racks that stretch up high to the ceilings.

Each and every book here is unique, from independent publishers to personal collections donated by celebrities, bestsellers, and more. And yes, it’s one of the filming locations for the famous drama, Hotel Del Luna.

#2: Book and Bed, Japan

 

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Book and Bed makes the phrase ‘curl up with a good book’ more realistic than ever. This “accommodation bookshop” lets you read and buy books that you love and welcomes you to stay in the hostel if you would like.

The fusion bookstore and hostel offer you over 1,700 books to choose from in both Japanese and English. Can’t read Japanese? Fret not as there are specific genres in English translations available as well.

Beds are placed directly behind bookshelves, so you can simply reach out to grab a book and read yourself to sleep.

#3: Yangzhou Zhongshuge, China

 

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Plunge into a world of literary magic by visiting Yangzhou Zhongshuge, an underground tunnel-like room with reflective surfaces and curved structures to create an endless mirrored space that almost looks like still water.

The Chinese bookstore features mood lighting, starry twinkling lights, and a designated children’s space with colourful walls. Even if you don’t like to read, this place makes an excellent location for the gram or TikTok.

#4: Livraria Lello, Portugal

This grand and ornate bookstore stands out immediately as a beautiful work of old architecture and literary sanctuary.

Tucked into a city on the coast of Portugal, this neo-gothic masterpiece boasts a stained-glass ceiling, elaborated wood carvings, and ladders to the highest bookshelves. It fits in perfectly with the cobblestone streets and medieval atmosphere of the larger Porto neighbourhood surrounding it.

Oh right, did you know that this bookstore was even rumoured to be an inspiration for Harry Potter for J.K. Rowling? Rowling treaded Livraria Lello when she lived in the city in the 1990s.

#5: El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Argentina

 

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El Ateneo Grand Splendid was formerly a beautiful performing arts theatre in the heyday of Argentinian performing arts!

Later a cinema, the elegant bookstore still has its original frescoed ceiling, theatre boxes and balconies, red stage curtains, and even the same elaborate decorations and carvings from the past.

As you grab your next great read, allow someone to serenade you live on the piano. Sip a cuppa or waltz through the splendid space for an experience you will remember for a long time to come.

#6: Shakespeare & Company, France

 

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Known for hosting famous writers and readers for about seventy years, Shakespeare & Company in France is a must-visit, picturesque bookstore on every book lover’s list. To be specific, it’s sited right in the heart of Paris.

Go beyond the whimsical green walls, and you will time travel to a display of some of the world’s most famous collections of books. From Voltaire to Ernest Hemingway, this bookstore has kept pieces of literary history alive within its walls since the 1950s.

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