After my visit to Porto, nearly one year ago, I realized that there is a top 10 of the most beautiful bookstores of the world.
I thought Livraria Lello in Porto would be the most impressive shop, but according to the Guardian, there are 9 others! And the most beautiful one of them all is only an hour or two drive from my hometown!
The new mission was created: I must visit Maastricht city and it's bookstore as soon as possible. The other 8 I saved in my travel to do list.
# 1 Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht
My very first visit to Maastricht took place in October last year. It was a very spontaneous trip. Unfortunately I was all alone and couldn't share this experience with anyone. It was definitely not bad, because I knew where to go and that I would not get bored.
Completely unprepared in Maastricht, I found the tourist information center immediately. The staff clearly explained to me how I can find the most beautiful bookshop. And there I was, finally!
The shop is actually a church with a new function. People do not come for God here, they enrich their reading or they drink and eat some.
The interior is fantastic. Despite to the floors and bookshelves, the architecture of this church isn't lost. The new elements are well placed so that the old nuances like frescoes, ceiling, arches, and everything can still be seen. The store itself is well and clearly divided.
All topics are easy to find and from every single you have a great view, especially if you are on the last floor and you're looking at the apse.
At the apse a nice cafe is placed. It is wise to come to sit there, to rest and recharge yourself and then return to the books. The menu here is very good. There are delicious and fresh cakes, great range of tea and coffee. Cheese and carrot cakes, chaipuccino and home made ice tea are tasty! No, I have not tasted everything in one visit.
This shop is like a museum where you look around, drink coffee and leave with a souvenir or a book in this case.
# 2 El Ateneo in Buenos Aires
# 3 Livraria Lello in Porto
# 4 Secret Headquarters comic bookstore in Los Angeles
# 5 Borders in Glasgow
# 6 Scarthin's in the Peak District
# 7 Posada in Brussels
# 8 El Péndulo in Mexico
# 9 Keibunsha in Kyoto
# 10 Hatchards in London
The Mexican and Argentine shops look just unreal on the pictures. Now I wonder how beautiful they must be in real life. There is only one way to find out.
When I was looking for pictures on the Internet, I actually realized that this list seems to be out of date. Which is a fact, because this top 10 was made 4 years ago. But I also understood the shop in Glasgow does not exist anymore. Perhaps I am wrong, but I found no clear information. Someone who knows more about it?