11 Unique Book Stores Around the World

 
Imagine your perfect bookstore
 

Is it cozy and carefully curated? Is it stocked with every text you could ever hope to read? Can you sip from a craft cocktail while you browse? What makes a bookstore ideal is in the eye of the beholder. Luckily, the world is brimming with unique booksellers—from stores that are big enough to take up several city blocks to shops that are literally a New York City apartment, collections housed beneath stained glass ceilings to ones with no ceilings at all—you’re sure to find at least one that fits your personal description of “perfection.”


Biggest: The Book Garden

WHERE: Tehran, Iran

Over the summer, the Book Garden opened its doors to unveil 700,000 square feet of book paradise. The sprawling complex not only features shelves upon shelves of titles to choose from but restaurants, a theater, and research halls. Plus, visitors can pick up one of 1,000 free books to peruse while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine from the Book Garden’s rooftop park.

BookBar

WHERE: Denver, Colorado

What’s better than combining books and booze? How about books and $2 off beer and wine during happy hour Monday through Friday? With its regular events (Literary Game Night, BookBar Book Club, and the introvert-friendly Silent Reading Happy Hour) BookBar is the perfect place anyone that loves their literary discussion paired with a glass of rosé.

Booziest, Part 2: Kramerbooks & Afterwords

WHERE: Washington D.C.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords has been serving up literature and nourishment in Dupont Circle since the 1970s. It’s the perfect place for a late night spent with a good book and a good drink. The cafe side of this combination bookstore-café is no beer-and-wine-only affair. The bar is full service and offers such literary libations as the Are You There God, It’s Me Margarita or A Cocktail of Two Cities.

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Booziest Bookstore (Eccentric Gilded Age Heiresses Edition): Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar

WHERE: Asheville, NC

Are you more predisposed toward sipping bubbly than beer? Would you consider yourself winsome yet thoughtful? Are you a fancy 1920s heiress with a penchant for whimsy? Then look no further than the Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar for all your book and sparkling wine-related needs.

Most Romantic: The Ripped Bodice

WHERE: Culver City, California

The Ripped Bodice is the only bookstore in the U.S. that specializes exclusively in the romance genre. Whether your perfect match is a shapeshifting were-dragon or a brooding Regency-era duke you’ll be sure to find something that’ll set your heart aflutter. With its carefully curated selection and playful décor, it’s impossible to step inside this ode to all things literary and romantic without, well, falling in love.

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On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how it may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Available for download below for Free as Epub PDF, and Mobi. All we ask is for an honest review!

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

     

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

     

    Intro

    On Writing Fear amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of
    horror resides. When I returned to study for my masters in English, the
    University was in tumult. The union of professors was on strike against
    the University. And of course, the students were pawns in the battle. As a
    student, I realized I was powerless in this situation, yet both the professors
    and University felt the need to deploy a rhetoric of fear. On the one hand, the
    school was threatening to lower our grades if we did not attend a class
    that was being covered by fill-in teachers and administrators, and on the
    other, we knew our teachers would be back so we didn’t want to show that
    we attended classes, and did not support them in their strike.

    Continuing
    their abuse of power, the University sent letters and emails to both
    students and their parents explaining that the students were still expected
    to attend class. The University then controlled its social media space and
    print by removing comments that were made regarding the strike – they
    wanted to continue as if nothing was going on. They were in control of the
    narrative and we were left to rumors. The school paper was not allowed to
    print any stories on the matter and the University was threatening to hold
    us accountable.

    We have other books specializing in Horror and sci-fi here. Thank you for your interest in “On Writing Horror.”

Mad Men Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller that causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must-read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all men and women. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology was published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun, and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children Willy Martinez

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman's time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goosebumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins's short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on. Mary E. Wilkins was an American author born on October 31(Halloween), in 1852. She was at first dismissed as a serious writer because of her Feminine subjects. More recent scholarship has argued the importance of her work regarding spinster heroines or abandoned ghost children.

    The Lost Ghost

    The story of “The Lost Ghost” begins with two women conversing while they sew. Mrs. Meserve tells the story of a fine house that has just been rented but has been said to be haunted, declaring that she is done with haunted homes, yet she then goes into a story about her past experience with a haunted situation and the ghost story thus begins. As a young lady, Mrs. Meserve moved into a house with roommates, Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Dennison. Mrs. Meserve tells how she had just started school as a teacher and it was a cold year so she had a heavy coat to keep warm.
    One night while staying up she heard the sounds of a “very timid” knock with “little hands” at her door which she at first dismissed.
    She offered for them to enter but when they didn’t, Mrs. Meserve got up to check. She opened the door to the smell of what she associated with a cellar and noticed a little face holding up her heavy coat the little face says: “I can’t find my mother.” The child then flitters away and Mrs. Meserve calls to her landladies for help. The two roommates were aware of the hauntings and had come to accept the little ghost girl. Mrs. Meserve decided to stay regardless of the ghost and came to learn that the child had been poorly treated by her mother and father. The child was abandoned and found dead in one of the bedrooms by the townspeople. Then one morning Mrs. Bird wasn’t feeling too well and stayed in bed. During breakfast, Mrs. Meserve noticed a shadow walk by the window and when she got up to look she noticed the little girl walking hand in hand with Mrs. Bird. Mrs. Bird had died that morning.

    The Wind in the Rose Bush

    The second ghost story that will be examined is “The Wind in the Rose Bush”. This story is about a woman named Rebecca Flint traveling a great distance to bring back her niece Agnes to live with her. Rebecca’s sister had passed away and her sister’s husband had re-married. Rebecca came across some money and thought she would take her niece Agnes and raise her now that she had some money in the bank and also because she had no other family left. On her travels to find her niece she encounters the strangest of folks who either grunt at her or speak to her as an outsider, which adds to the resistance that Rebecca encounters on her journey. Rebecca arrives at the house and is greeted by Mrs. Dent, her niece’s stepmother.
    On the way into the house, Rebecca notices a pretty little rose bush being “agitated violently” except there was no wind.
    A short while later the two ladies are having tea and discussing the arrangements of having Agnes go home with her Aunt Rebecca when Rebecca sees Agnes pass by the window. The girl doesn’t enter and Mrs. Dent tells Rebecca that she must have been mistaken, Agnes never walked by. Rebecca stays the night and wakes the next day with still no sign of Agnes’s return. Mrs. Dent continues to make up excuses for Agnes not returning and Rebecca continues to be haunted by Agnes: she awakes at night by the sounds coming from the piano and also finds in her room that a dress was laid out with the rose from the rose bush lying on it. Rebecca continues to drill Mrs. Dent with questions but is forced to return home due to a letter she received calling her home to a sick cousin. Rebecca goes back home and through research and letter writing comes to find out that her niece Agnes had died a year ago; it was suspected to have been due to neglect but there was not enough evidence.

Most Colorful: Saraiva Bookstore

WHERE: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Remember that one rainy Sunday afternoon when you decided to re-order your bookshelf by color? Okay, now imagine that but this time it’s an actual store. The bright and airy Saraiva Bookstore is lined with ROYGBIV-tastic shelves, the books organized by the colors of their spines. The children’s section is also rounded out with a rainbow ramp, making a trip to this Rio de Janeiro bookstore a thoroughly colorful experience.

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Outdoorsiest: Bart’s Books

WHERE: Ojai, California

“Booklover” can tend to be synonymous with “one who cowers indoors far from the reach of the wretched, burning sun.” But Bart’s Books will make a nature-loving believer out of even the staunchest of indoor kids.  This bookstore’s wares are located outside with nothing overhead but sky and palm tree fronds.

Most Exclusive: Brazenhead Books

WHERE: New York City, New York

Everyone loves speakeasy. The mystery. The adventure of finding a hidden spot. The little thrill you get at feeling like you’re in on a secret. But in the case of Brazenhead Books, becoming a speakeasy wasn’t about finding a cutesy way to sell bespoke cocktails it was a method of survival. When the rent for his bookstore’s retail space became too expensive owner Michael Seidenberg moved his operation into his apartment. The by appointment space has become a legend for its Phoenix-like transformation born out of a love for literature and a creative method of skirting zoning laws.

Most Ironic Place to Buy ‘Murder on the Orient Express’: La Caverne aux Livres

WHERE: Auvers-sur-Oise, France

If you were to hear the description of La Caverne aux Livres and say, “That’s not a real place you’ve just told me about. That’s actually the setting for an upcoming Wes Anderson movie!”, you would be well within your rights to do so. But as far as we can tell, this bookstore, which is located in a suburb of Paris that Vincent Van Gogh once called home and occupies a former postal train station as well as several train cars, is a reality.

Most Likely to Have ‘Advanced Potion-Making’ and ‘Hogwarts, A History’ in Stock: Livraria Lello

WHERE: Porto, Portugal

Livraria Lello has gained a certain degree of notoriety for reportedly inspiring frequent visitor and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Whatever the truth is, it’s impossible to look at the stunning structure and not feel transported to a world of magic. The combination of Neo-Gothic and Art Noveau stylings housed under a stained glass skylight is so stunning it might just make the Hogwarts Castle library look a little shabby by comparison.

Best Bookstore for Riding out the Post-Apocalypse: Underground Books

WHERE: Coober Pedy, Australia

The low-key dream of any bookworm is to have the world effectively end in order to have plenty of reading time on their hands. So if the world as we know it’s going to end, why not hunker down in Underground Books & Gallery. This subterranean book bunker is carved out of solid sandstone making it a great option for hiding from the radiations and making your way through your reading list. Plus, Coober Pedy is the opal capital of the world so when you do have to make the trek to Barter Town you’ll have something valuable to trade with.

Join 4,681 other subscribers

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how it may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Available for download below for Free as Epub PDF, and Mobi. All we ask is for an honest review!

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

     

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

     

    Intro

    On Writing Fear amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of
    horror resides. When I returned to study for my masters in English, the
    University was in tumult. The union of professors was on strike against
    the University. And of course, the students were pawns in the battle. As a
    student, I realized I was powerless in this situation, yet both the professors
    and University felt the need to deploy a rhetoric of fear. On the one hand, the
    school was threatening to lower our grades if we did not attend a class
    that was being covered by fill-in teachers and administrators, and on the
    other, we knew our teachers would be back so we didn’t want to show that
    we attended classes, and did not support them in their strike.

    Continuing
    their abuse of power, the University sent letters and emails to both
    students and their parents explaining that the students were still expected
    to attend class. The University then controlled its social media space and
    print by removing comments that were made regarding the strike – they
    wanted to continue as if nothing was going on. They were in control of the
    narrative and we were left to rumors. The school paper was not allowed to
    print any stories on the matter and the University was threatening to hold
    us accountable.

    We have other books specializing in Horror and sci-fi here. Thank you for your interest in “On Writing Horror.”

Mad Men Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller that causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must-read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all men and women. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology was published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun, and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children Willy Martinez

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman's time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goosebumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins's short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on. Mary E. Wilkins was an American author born on October 31(Halloween), in 1852. She was at first dismissed as a serious writer because of her Feminine subjects. More recent scholarship has argued the importance of her work regarding spinster heroines or abandoned ghost children.

    The Lost Ghost

    The story of “The Lost Ghost” begins with two women conversing while they sew. Mrs. Meserve tells the story of a fine house that has just been rented but has been said to be haunted, declaring that she is done with haunted homes, yet she then goes into a story about her past experience with a haunted situation and the ghost story thus begins. As a young lady, Mrs. Meserve moved into a house with roommates, Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Dennison. Mrs. Meserve tells how she had just started school as a teacher and it was a cold year so she had a heavy coat to keep warm.
    One night while staying up she heard the sounds of a “very timid” knock with “little hands” at her door which she at first dismissed.
    She offered for them to enter but when they didn’t, Mrs. Meserve got up to check. She opened the door to the smell of what she associated with a cellar and noticed a little face holding up her heavy coat the little face says: “I can’t find my mother.” The child then flitters away and Mrs. Meserve calls to her landladies for help. The two roommates were aware of the hauntings and had come to accept the little ghost girl. Mrs. Meserve decided to stay regardless of the ghost and came to learn that the child had been poorly treated by her mother and father. The child was abandoned and found dead in one of the bedrooms by the townspeople. Then one morning Mrs. Bird wasn’t feeling too well and stayed in bed. During breakfast, Mrs. Meserve noticed a shadow walk by the window and when she got up to look she noticed the little girl walking hand in hand with Mrs. Bird. Mrs. Bird had died that morning.

    The Wind in the Rose Bush

    The second ghost story that will be examined is “The Wind in the Rose Bush”. This story is about a woman named Rebecca Flint traveling a great distance to bring back her niece Agnes to live with her. Rebecca’s sister had passed away and her sister’s husband had re-married. Rebecca came across some money and thought she would take her niece Agnes and raise her now that she had some money in the bank and also because she had no other family left. On her travels to find her niece she encounters the strangest of folks who either grunt at her or speak to her as an outsider, which adds to the resistance that Rebecca encounters on her journey. Rebecca arrives at the house and is greeted by Mrs. Dent, her niece’s stepmother.
    On the way into the house, Rebecca notices a pretty little rose bush being “agitated violently” except there was no wind.
    A short while later the two ladies are having tea and discussing the arrangements of having Agnes go home with her Aunt Rebecca when Rebecca sees Agnes pass by the window. The girl doesn’t enter and Mrs. Dent tells Rebecca that she must have been mistaken, Agnes never walked by. Rebecca stays the night and wakes the next day with still no sign of Agnes’s return. Mrs. Dent continues to make up excuses for Agnes not returning and Rebecca continues to be haunted by Agnes: she awakes at night by the sounds coming from the piano and also finds in her room that a dress was laid out with the rose from the rose bush lying on it. Rebecca continues to drill Mrs. Dent with questions but is forced to return home due to a letter she received calling her home to a sick cousin. Rebecca goes back home and through research and letter writing comes to find out that her niece Agnes had died a year ago; it was suspected to have been due to neglect but there was not enough evidence.

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