6 Book Temples Around the World

By 1605 Publishers
Books , Inspiration

Travelling and visiting unique bookshops is something that we all like doing. You never know what gem you can find in a hidden book venue somewhere in Paris or on a sunny holiday in Greece. It could be your favourite signed photobook or a rare art catalogue or maybe, even an out-of-print vintage novel. Here at 1605 Publishers, we have prepared for you a list of our favourite 6 sui generis book temples around the world that are worth a visit. 

Word on the Water, London, United Kingdom

An independent bookshop on a 1920s Dutch barge situated in Granary Square, King's Cross in the heart of London. It has indoor & outdoor shelves with a wide variety of titles. The book shop is open every day and offers poetry & jazz seasonal events. Recently, the bookshop also started with the online space, where you can purchase your book and get it shipped worldwide. 

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Argentina

Argentina is a famously literary country, publishing tens of thousands of titles a year. Buenos Aires is among the cities with the highest number of bookstores per person in the world.

Ateneo Grand Splendid opened in the space at the start of the 2000s in the former theatre building. Whenever you find yourself in the store, it is a wonderful experience browsing the colorful shelves arranged artfully in the former orchestra and mezzanine sections. The café inside the store is set on the theater’s former stage, so you can grab a coffee and enjoy it with a good book. 

Atlantis Books, Santorini, Greece

Atlantis Books is located in the Oia village on Santorini island. The bookshop offers literature in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese, and Greek. The focus of the store is new and used books of modern classic fiction and non-fiction. However, it also has a great selection of poetry, philosophy and art publications. In recent years, Atlantis began selling rare antiquarian books and collectors’ first editions. If you are the one who loves to enjoy a great view with a good book this place is for you.

Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France

An iconic English-language bookstore opened in 1951. Today, it continues to serve as a purveyor of new and second-hand books, as an antiquarian bookseller, and as a free reading library open to the public. Additionally, the shop hosts aspiring writers and artists in exchange for helping out around the bookstore. Since the shop opening, more than 30,000 people have spent nights between bookshelves. The shop's motto, "Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise", is written above the entrance to the reading library. Shakespeare and Company is featured in Richard Linklater's film Before Sunset and in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.

Boekhandel Dominicanen, Maastricht, The Netherlands

The location of the current bookshop was first constructed in the Gothic style in the 13th century for use as a Dominican Church. The actual bookshop has opened in 2006 and quickly became a place where bibliophiles can hang out and purchase new, rare, and vintage books. The store offers books in Dutch, French and English along with vinyl and of course, the amazing location for some great photos. 

Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

Founded in 1869 with a different name, this art nouveau gem became how we know it now in 1919. It has even inspired J.K. Rowling when she lived in Porto and started her Harry Potter octalogy.  

Starting from July 2015, the bookstore began requesting an entrance fee of € 5 because otherwise, the masses of visitors wouldn’t be able to get into the small, however, extremely Instagrammable bookstore. The entrance fee can be deducted from a purchase. If you don’t buy anything you can exchange your entrance ticket for a small brochure about the history of the bookstore of the Lello brothers at the exit.

Book temples around the world