10 Best Bookstores on Earth
From the Netherlands to Japan to L.A., a Guardian scribe picks his faves
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2008 3:35 PM CST
This is no Barnes and Noble: El Ateneo Bookstore.   ((c) longhorndave)
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(Newser) – Not all bookstores are mega-style these days. Some are even built in churches, theaters, and 19-century buildings. A Guardian scribe lists his top 10 booksellers worldwide:

  1. Maastricht, Netherlands: Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen. Owners converted an 800-year-old church into a divine bookstore.
  2. Buenos Aires' El Ateneo. Once a theater, its stage is now a cafe where readers flip pages and sip coffee.
  3. Porto, Portugal's Livraria Lello. Started as a bookstore in 1881, it boasts stained glass ceilings and ornate wood carvings.
  4. Secret Headquarters comic shop in Los Angeles. Nestled in hip Silver Lake, this boutique is for the refined comic lover.
  5. Borders in Glasgow. Okay, so this one's a chain—but it's tucked into a neo-classical 19th-century building.  

  1. Scarthin's in the Peak District, UK. Down-to-earth, mid-1970s, has a cafe. Exhibits books from centuries past.
  2. Posada in Brussels. Known for new and used art books and exhibition catalogs.
  3. El lugar de la Mancha in Mexico. Open architecture, cafe, books—a place where book lovers can dodge the afternoon sun.
  4. Keibunsya in Kyoto. Offers attractive Japanese art books and galleries fitted into the shelves.
  5. Hatchards in London. Britain's oldest bookshop, it supplies titles to none other than Her Majesty.