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Top 4 Bookstores and Libraries You Must Visit

There are certain places where time seems to stop in its tracks. Suspended, cocooned in an air of wonderment, immortal yet ephemeral. Bookstores and libraries seem to have that same sense of ethereality to them.

Alive and well fed with the weight of words by writers long gone or soon to emerge, all those books nestled inside different shelves waiting, as if with bated breath, for someone to walk in and pick them up and thumb through their pages. This is what makes these places so special and why they are considered a bookworm’s haven.

So, if you happen to be a bookworm, congratulations, you’ve come to the right place. Consider this as your bucket list as we tell you about 4 of the prettiest bookstores and libraries you should visit at least once in your life.  

Admont Abbey Library, Admont, Austria

The library of the Admont Abbey is by far the most stunning part of it and is the reason why many visit it in the first place. With a hall that stretches 70 meters long, it is considered the largest monastic library in the world. Along with that, the library boasts a breathtaking collection of baroque artworks with gilded frescoes and sculptures nestled inside it. 

It is filled with 70,000 volumes that include manuscripts dating back to the 8th century all symbolic of the age of enlightenment. Undoubtedly the Admont Abbey library will leave you reeling with its beauty.

Shakespeare and Co., Paris, France

Shakespeare and Co. is undoubtedly the most famous independent bookstores of all time, and rightly so. facing the Seine in Paris, this bookstore is eclectic in its history and has been a sanctuary to some of the greatest writers of the literary world, like Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway, and Allen Ginsberg. 

Stepping into Shakespeare and company is like entering a time machine, one that takes you back to the older Paris with its 17th-century style building, green and yellow front, and worn-out bookstalls. 

If you’re tired from reading all day, you can visit other amazing places near this library like cafes and casinos such as Club Barriere de Paris, or you can also play online blackjack while relaxing at your home. All in all, if you’re in Paris, the Shakespeare and Company bookstore is a must-visit.

Upper Lusatian Library of Sciences, Gorlitz, Germany

Libraries are both purveyors of art and wisdom, playgrounds for both architects and writers. And the upper Lusatian library in Gorlitz is a perfect example of that. The library contains over 150,000 volumes and reigns as the biggest library in Gorlitz along with being the most vital regional library between Dresden and Wroclaw. 

Since it is a library of historical research, it enhances its aim by having the spines of all its books as the only decoration. The architecture is beautiful in all its neoclassicism glory and has the famous chestnut arches as the jewel in its crown. Elegant, simple, and bursting with knowledge, this Library in Gorlitz is indeed a wonder to behold.

Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

Often labeled as the most beautiful bookshop in the world, Livraria Lello deserves all the praise it gets and more. The famous bookstore is not only popular for its neo-gothic art nouveau style interior but also brags as the rumored inspiration for Harry Potter’s interior design. 

It holds many rare volumes and first editions behind gilded glass cases that celebrate Portuguese literature and also holds a variety of paperbacks and contemporary literature. 

The main attraction of this bookstore is undoubtedly the giant ruby staircase winding down to meet a mezzanine floor which further adds to its neo-gothic aesthetic. Safe to say, Livraria Lello is as stunning as everyone says.