Discussion: Madalyn’s Favorite Bookstores Around the World

Posted August 21, 2017 by Madalyn || 15 Comments

Hi, friends! As some of you who know me might know, my dad works for a major US airline, so I travel quite a lot. And, like any respectable bibliophile, I always seek out bookstores in the cities I visit. Today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite bookstores I’ve visited around the world! This is by no means a comprehensive list (either of the bookstores I’ve been to, OR of all the amazing bookstores out there), but these are some of my most memorable. I’d love to do a part two to this discussion in the future about my wishlist of worldwide bookstores I’d like to visit!

little shop of stories | atlanta, ga, usa

Of course, I couldn’t write this post without mentioning my favorite hometown independent bookstore! Little Shop is an adorable storefront on the Downtown Decatur Square that focuses primarily on YA and children’s literature. Not only do they have the best selection of YA and middle grade for miles, but their collection of adult books is equally impressive! The store feels inviting and cozy (there’s a mock Platform 9 3/4, a storytime loft, and an entire section of the floor made out of pennies), and the staff is incredibly knowledgable and friendly. You can tell they love selling and talking about children’s literature! I also love Little Shop because of all the incredible author events they host. Because of them, I’ve gotten to meet and get books signed by soooo many of my absolute favorite authors. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Atlanta!

the strand | new york city, ny, usa

Yeah, yeah, I know this is an obvious one, but that’s because The Strand is MAGICAL. Four words: eighteen miles of books (that’s their slogan). Seriously, it’s paradise on earth for any book lover. My family, friends, and I make it a point to head down to the Village to pop into this bookstore every single time we’re in New York. Not only is their collection of books just massive, but their prices are amazing, too! They’re consistently a few dollars below retail price, across the board. They sell new and used books, and they also have an amazing collection of bookish merch! I especially love The Strand because I can always count on them to stock that one obscure book I’ve been hunting for for months. Their graphic novel section in particular is such a gem! Plus, their staff is super helpful and enthusiastic about books.

hatchards | london, england, uk

Oh, man, I could do a whole post dedicated to the amazing bookshops of London (seriously, I’ve seen them all, and I love them all), but Hatchards is the one that reigns supreme in my heart. It’s located in Piccadilly Circus (so, like all of the other bookstores so far, it’s very accessible via public transit). It boasts a reputation of being the UK’s oldest bookstore, founded in 1797. Because of that, it feels super homey, perfect for escaping those dreary London days. Plus, I’ve made some great finds here, from rare signed copies to gorgeous editions of my favorite books that I never knew existed. Do yourself a favor next time you’re in London and grab a book at Hatchards (and then head a few doors down to Fortnum & Mason for the best cup of tea in the city!).

no alibis | belfast, northern ireland, uk

My most recent bookstore find! My dad and I are both huge bibliophiles, so we make it a point to always visit an independent bookstore in every new city we visit. When we went to Belfast last month, we decided No Alibis looked intriguing, and it definitely did not disappoint! It’s primarily a true crime bookstore– how cool is that?! Seriously, if you’re a fan of mysteries, thrillers, or crime novels, this is your heaven. In addition to the shelves and shelves of those genres, No Alibis also had a great selection of local books, and, again, their staff was very friendly.

shakespeare & company | paris, france

Okay, so this one obviously HAD to make my list. Shakespeare & Company is an English-language bookstore located in Paris’s Latin Quarter, just a short walk from Notre Dame. Their selection is amazing across the board– every available surface in that store is covered in books. It’s easy to get lost, with all the little nooks and ladders and hidden corners. The upstairs level also boasts cozy reading chairs and an upright piano. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs for your loved ones, because they put an exclusive Shakespeare & Co stamp in every book you purchase from them! This one is just an iconic bookstore every book-lover should visit.

el ateneo grand splendid | buenos aires, argentina

This is absolutely the most aesthetically beautiful, awe-inspiring bookstore on this list. Located in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, El Ateneo Grand Spendid is a former-movie-palace-turned-bookshop. Yeah, you read that correctly: IT’S A THEATER FULL OF BOOKS. As I climbed the stairs to get a view of the whole store, my jaw hit the floor. They don’t have a huge selection of English-language books, but that’s okay, because just looking at all the books will bring you to tears. Plus, there’s a cafe on the former stage of the theater. I mean, could this place be any more awesome?

I hope you enjoyed learning about just a few of my favorite bookstores I’ve visited! Tell me about your favorite bookstore (whether in your hometown or in another city)! What bookstores do I NEED to visit next?

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15 responses to “Discussion: Madalyn’s Favorite Bookstores Around the World

  1. Jordann @thebookbloglife

    I now have the urge to go all over the world to all of these bookshops. The Strand is a big one on my list. I don’t know whether I’ll ever get there but it’s a dream! Great post!

  2. Ugh, this post is incredible and I want to visit all of these! You should visit the Dominicanen bookstore in Maastricht, The Netherlands. It’s like the one in Argentina but in a church! I was there a few months ago and it was so impressive.

  3. They are all fab! But the only one I’ve visited is The Strand, which was amazing. The others are all on my bookish travel list, especially the Belfast one as that’s not too far from me.

  4. Oh wow, these all look like such amazing places to visit!! The only one I’d heard about before was The Strand. If I ever happen to find myself near any of these, I’ll have to make a visit. What a fun post! 🙂

  5. That bookstore in Argentina is SO PRETTY!!! I wish I would have known about Little Shop of Stories when I was in Atlanta in January!! Next time I’m there, I will definitely make it a priority!!

  6. I love this post Madalyn! How cool would it be to travel around the world with someone who loves book and bookshops as much as you do? It looks like you and you Dad have an awesome relationship. I love all the bookshops you featured and your reasons for loving them. Thanks for sharing this!

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