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10 bookstores every reader should visit in their lifetime

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Old or new, all with fascinating stories, the bookstores below serve as historic sites, sanctuaries, salons of culture and must-visit entries in any travel itinerary.
 

 

 

1. Shakespeare and Company (Paris)

 
Opened in 1951, this Paris Left Bank fixture looks like something straight out of a Hemingway book — for good reason.
It’s the spiritual successor and namesake of the first Shakespeare and Company, run by expat American bookseller Sylvia Beach and immortalized in Hemingway’s memoir, “A Moveable Feast.”
Beach closed her store in 1941, but in 1958 gave her blessing for another — called Le Mistral — to take the Shakespeare and Company name.
From its opening day, the second Shakespeare and Company has incorporated writers’ residencies.
 
Up to four scribes can spend the night in the store, with most staying a week to a month.
 

 

2. Eslite Dunnan Store (Taipei, Taiwan)

 

In 1999, the first Eslite bookstore delighted the city of Taipei by staying open 24 hours a day.
But the 17,000-square-meter store really made its name by stocking an impressive multi-language array of books and magazines.
It’s been so successful, two more Eslite branches have opened in the capital.

One is the country’s largest bookstore, while the other is a small city with retail areas, a commercial arcade, a theater and a music performance space.

 

3. El Ateneo (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

 
Converted into a cinema in 1929, the building that houses El Ateneo underwent its most recent rebirth into a bookstore in the early 2000s.
Stunningly photogenic and vast, the majestic former theater retains its century-old ornate architecture and decor.
The stage and theater boxes have been converted into reading spaces.
 

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