Bibliophile’s Dream: 13 of the World’s Most Beautiful Bookstores

Carousel of Light Bookstore, Romania
bookstore carousel of light

bookstore carousel of light 2

bookstore carousel of light 3

Peruse 10,000 titles in the six-story Carousel of Light, a preserved 19th-century building in Bucharest that also houses a first-floor modern art gallery and top-floor bistro.

Kid’s Republic, Beijing
bookstores kids republic

bookstores kids republic 2

bookstores kids republic 3

Designed by Japanese architecture firm Sako, the Kid’s Republic bookstore features colorful ribbons that twist around the space to foster an environment “that both creates and cultivates the curiosity of children.” Located in Beijing, the playful store offers circular niches of various sizes in the bookshelves that serve as reading areas for kids.

Virgin Megastore in a Bank Vault, Paris
bookstores virgin 1

bookstores virgin 2

A Virgin Megastore once occupied an old bank vault on the Champs-Elysées in Paris before the location was shut down in 2013 as part of the company’s insolvency. It was built into a former Bank of America building.

Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy
bookstores acqua alta

bookstores acqua alta 2

bookstores acqua alta 4

Named after the annual event that sees the water levels in Venice rise well above the city’s sidewalks and first-level floors, the Libreria Acqua Alta is a tiny space stuffed to the gills with reading materials as well as gondolas, bathtubs and boats.