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.
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.
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.
“Every speech must be put together like a living creature, with a body of its own; it must be neither without head nor without legs; and it must have a middle and extremities that are fitting both to one another and to the whole work” – Plato in Phaedrus
Much has been said about this subject since its conception as an integral element to rhetoric by the Ancient Greek culture, at least in Western Traditions. Numerous treatise have been documented since then and there are many perspectives to look at when studying arrangement. This particular review will focus on a few rhetoricians of antiquity: Plato; Aristotle; Cicero and Longinus. Since the term “arrangement” is not a set definition, it becomes an idea or philosophy of how and where to apply its conditions. The canon of arrangement shifts in importance depending on the rhetorician, culture and even political background. But on the other hand, critics do agree on “at least this much: Every speech must be put together like a living creature, with a body of its own; it must be neither without head now without legs; and it must have a middle and extremities that are fitting both to one another and to the whole work” (Plato, Phaedrus.) So, lets take a step back into the days of the orator and begin with our Greek origins, at the heart of Athens.
From Plato’s text, Phaedrus the character of Socrates begins his inquiry into arrangement. Plato uses one of the prime literary pamphlets, One Eroticus by Lysias, distributed in Athens to begin the conversation and study on what rhetoric was thought to be. Plato was already been aware of the traditional four part structure being used in the Senate and knew exactly how important arrangement is (introduction, narrative, proof and conclusion.) Except Plato makes a jab at the four-part structure and draws an analogy that the characters Socrates and Phaedrus refer to its structure as having “distinguished four parts within the divine kind” (Phaedrus.) Calling these four parts something of a divine kind is a sarcastic remark on how all the major rhetoricians of the day follow that structure. Plato has already made it apparent at this point that arrangement is important, he is merely questioning the standard because he believes that rhetoric “takes many forms, like the shape of bodies, since, as we said, that’s what it Is to demonstrate the nature of something.” Even though these definitions are quite ornamental, nonetheless, Plato has begun to define arrangement.
A once claimed student of Plato, Aristotle eventually develops his own ideas on rhetoric which he expels in his lectures, published posthumously as On Rhetoric. In book 3 of this treatise, he applies his investigate methods to breaking down the different ways to talk and make a statement. The section addressed as arrangement was known as “taxis” to the Greeks which is translated by George Kennedy as having had a connotation to “the arrangement of troops for battle” because “the speaker needs to marshal the available means of persuasion for debate” (Aristotle.) He lets the reader know that since the orator acts as a guide through the facts, he has to be able to move the reader or listener to react with certain emotions (Aristotle.) Even though his method is aimed at objectively studying arrangement, Aristotle admits that any narration should be indicative of character, and that this character is reflected by how he manages the facts. Similar to Plato’s critique of the standard for arrangement, Aristotle agrees that “current [writers of rhetoric] make ridiculous divisions”, because they do not properly address the different contexts of the three different types of speeches; the deliberative, judicial and epideictic (Aristotle.) Aristotle then studies how to deliberate and narrate each type of speech (Aristotle). Different from the traditional four part structure is his foundation for a six part arrangement: Introduction, statement of facts, division, proof, refutation and conclusion. This new six part structure begins to develop what will become stasis theory, which is a way of looking at fact, or evidence in a case in order to build an argument. Stasis theory relies heavily on the arrangement of these facts and evidence.
Next up on the rostra is Cicero. In the introduction to Cicero’s On the Ideal Orator, the editor describes a time when the handbooks of the time were leaving the canon of arrangement emptier of content than should be. The handbooks were clumping the art of arrangement into the same process as invention. Cicero is said to have understood the importance of a more systematic approach, so he chooses to go back to Aristotle’s approach to arrangement rather than follow the trend at the time (31). The character Catalus asks his friend Antonius before his departure, “What do you think is the best order of the arguments” (Cicero.) Cicero expresses his ideas through guise of character and reinforces Aristotle’s presentation of the six part speech (intro, state facts, division, proof, refutation, conclusion) in order to find truth (Cicero.) In book 2, Cicero further investigates the importance of Arrangement. He claims that there are two main principals: “one is inherent in the nature of our cases” (208). It is important to have mastery over the arrangement of arguments because that is how the orator will stir up emotions in his audience. He then runs through the reasons of his arrangement model, but note that Cicero’s character only identifies three parts, he has condensed proof, refutation and the conclusion (Cicero.) Yet, still the same as Aristotle’s six parts, only condensed into three. In book 3, Cicero’s character expresses the importance of arrangement because even if the orator changes one word, they actually change the whole sentence and that an orator can say the same thing in different ways and still convene the same meaning. This same evidence can also be used to support his ideas of style which are closely related to arrangement.
The next rhetorician to say something about Arrangement is Quintilian in his Institutes of Oratory. I will not go into detail as to what he says since these readings were not assigned for the class, I would just like to point out where to find Quintilian’s ideas on arrangement for further references. He devotes book 4 to managing the parts of a forensic speech, book 5 to proofs/arrangement and then promotes stasis theory at book 7. Stasis theory is something that began with Aristotle and gets added to, transformed or upgraded to the different rhetoricians.
The last of the rhetoricians to have said something about arrangement may come from Longinus. Except his thoughts on the subject are not prescriptive, in fact, Longinus sets out to identify the elements of lofty aesthetics in On the Sublime, so he deals mostly with style and arrangement is not spoke of in a technical manner. In section 10, Longinus says that there is “a law of nature that in all things there are certain constituent parts, coexistent with their substance” and that the rhetor must have “the power of afterwards combining them into one animate whole”. Longinus provides the reader with a passage written by Sappho because her “peculiar excellence lies in the felicity with which she chooses and unites together the most striking and powerful features” (Longinus.) Longinus’s mention of ‘arrangement’ as a canon is subtle and even implicit. This treatise does not spell out any tangible accounts of what arrangement should be.
“a law of nature that in all things there are certain constituent parts, coexistent with their substance” – Longinus
The classical rhetorical canon of arrangement and its studies by rhetoricians of antiquity still has merit. We still discuss the art of arrangement today, in our speech, our advertisements, and plans for the day and interacting in our daily lives. Even though we aren’t all Senate members or interested in legal language, the classical rhetoricians have identified parts of speech that affect all types of communication.
Sweden and its Nordic neighbors have some of the highest literacy rates in the world. The Swedes view equal access to education and knowledge as a critical component to an individual’s future success. This is true regardless of economic background and, apparently, geographic location.
Sweden has a floating library — the bokbåten — that brings thousands of books to people on dozens of remote islands in the Stockholm archipelago twice a year. Every spring and fall since 1953, the Stockholm Library Service rents a boat for a week, loads it full of books, and charts a course for about 23 inhabited islands. (Norway has one, too, called the Epos.)
When the boat docks, residents climb aboard to return books they borrowed during the last visit and check out the library’s newest offerings. The boat carries about 3,000 books, and residents can put in requests ahead of time. The three or four volunteer librarians who take turns working on the ship say that, as you might expect, the latest best-sellers are in high demand.
In 2018, a woman named Maria Anderhagen took over managing the bokbaten — in part because she had the largest basement in town and could store all the books in between voyages.
There are tall wooden shelves, large tables displaying sturdy hardcovers, book carts on wheels, a long checkout table, even event notices taped against the wall. There are picture books for children, popular thrillers, large-print books, texts about history and science and knitting, cookbooks, and audiobooks. Since island residents can order copies in advance, boxes of books are stacked around the boat waiting to be delivered.
Culture of learning with an uncertain future
In addition to a library boat, Sweden also has library buses that bring books to people in rural communities. They also develop impromptu libraries in places such as stores and social gathering spots. The boat started as a service for fisherman and island workers but expanded to serve residents who prefer to read hard copies of books over e-books or audio books.
The book boat is of great positive value for children and adults because they can in this way take part in the modern public library. The book boat has an important function as extraordinarily good public relations for the library’s services and has the effect of promoting reading not only in the archipelago but elsewhere.
Even in a nation of book lovers, the future of the floating library remains uncertain. Anderhagen told Literary Hub that if the Regional Library cuts funding for the boat, the bokbaten will be no more. Such was the case recently in Finland. To mark its centennial, the nation gave itself a brand new library with a price tag of about $11 million. However, in the process, it cut funding for a library boat that had been in service for 30 years.
Hopefully, Sweden’s bokbaten will continue to operate as a wonderful nod to past traditions while educating people for the future.
A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of University of Oxford‘s vast main library, the Bodleian, and how its staff are working to make this ancient institution ready for future generations of readers.
There’s nothing quite like the smell of a fresh, new book or the feel of a watermarked cover on an equally lovable used one. Whether new or old, all books are beautiful in their own, and there’s nothing better than seeing them lined up and ready for devouring in your favorite bookstore. At the risk of sounding cheesy, every bookworm can agree there’s something magical about strolling through aisles of books. You can pick up a book or two (or twenty), find a cozy corner to hide out in, and tuck into the folds of a whole new world. Given our undying love for bookstores, it’s tragic to think that bookstores could be a dying breed. Thankfully, there is hope. These bookshops opt for a truly unique book buying experience. Between cell phone free book bars and shops that provide an echo of another era, these places defy any waning bookshop culture.
London is home to an endless number of amazing bookstores, many of which house more tourists than books. Libreria, the newest noteworthy bookstore in town, opened just shy of a week ago. Inspired by a short story by Jorge Louis Borges, the store is unique in both its composition and culture. Here you won’t find cut and paste categories like fiction and fantasy. You also won’t find lattes or Wi-Fi. Instead, you’ll browse through intriguingly vague sections like “enchantment for the disenchanted” and sip whiskey, pinky up high. This bookshop creates a culture that goes against the grain of an in-and-out, search-find-buy philosophy. Here you can slow down, mull about, and enjoy the free drinks.
Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht, Netherlands
Image courtesy of Urban Ghost Media
Looking for a ‘religious’ book experience? Look no further. In the heart of the Netherlands, and the heart of a 700 year old church nonetheless, the Selexyz Dominicanen houses shelves upon shelves of books. The church has been appropriated to serve as a bookstore with newly built staircases and elevators, but much of the architecture is still intact. If it suits you, you’re more than welcome to pray to your favorite authors as you rediscover your faith in bookstores. If you are enjoying this article, we have similar content studying communication from discourse theory, here.
Word on Water (The London Bookbarge) in various places around London, England
Image courtesy of Barncott Press
You don’t want to rush through a great book, so why would you rush through the place that houses them? Instead, you should probably get lost at sea with both your book and your bookstore. Word on Water gets us. Floating somewhere in England, this bookstore makes you leave land behind, gussy up those sea legs, and enter the watery, wobbly terrain of a boat. On board you’ll find an array of carefully curated and affordable books, live jazz music, poetry slams, and maybe even a cute little pup named Star. Pretty much all the ambience you could dream of to enjoy a book at sea.
Books and sunshine makes for a happy bookworm. Like many of the previously listed book venues, this store offers a unique landscape for reading and encourages visitors to slow down and enjoy. Serving the California clichés all too well, the bookstore has organic wine and celebrity sightings a plenty. It also boasts the title of “largest outdoor bookstore in the U.S.” So, buy a book (the store goes by the honor system), sip some locally grown grapes, and absorb all the vitamin D you can get before hitting the highway and coasting down the 101 freeway. Mmm, paradise.
Keeping it U.S. domestic for the time being, let’s move East to Massachusetts. Here you’ll (hopefully) find the Montague Bookmill. With a tagline like ‘books you don’t need in a place you can’t find,’ what’s not to love? The store offers hidden gems in an even more hidden location, and wary website directions that could just as easily lead you to Dwight Schrute’s Beet Farm. Specializing in Academic books and secluded spaces, this one is definitely a gem worth searching for.
Coney Island Book Store and Barber Shop in Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A.
Image courtesy of Library Thing
Just a little further East we hit the Coney Island Book Store and Barber Shop. Although much of this list incites us to be the best lazy readers we can be, this shop is about efficiency. Haircut and a good read? Two birds, one stone. For whatever reason, this funny kind of symbiosis feels natural to Coney Island. Here you can pick up an affordable read while your barber trims those luscious locks. If you have an exceptionally tangled mess, you can probably even get a few chapters deep before paying!
Yes, yes ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ away – this shop has been called one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world and were not about to disagree. It’s hard to complain in any bookstore, let alone one that sits on the sun-drenched canals of Venice and carries ruminating smells of the sea, old peeling books, and…pizza? I think that’s Italian pizza we’re smelling. The shop sells books new and old, and across all languages. Just don’t get your hopes up for any kind of Dewey Decimal system here. It’s a messy, glorious free-for-all.
Although it may not have the foreign charm of Italy, Wild Rumpus does house a life of its own. This widely unknown bookstore is home to bunnies, chinchillas, cats, and a giant scary tarantula named Thomas Jefferson – naturally. The bathroom is secretly a glow in the dark aquarium when you dim the lights, and don’t be surprised if something happens to scurry past you while you’re in there. After all, the store is home to roughly 20 animals. It’s a petting zoo and a bookstore, all wrapped up in one, so make sure to bring your reading glasses along with the anti-histamines.
If you are enjoying this article, we have similar content studying communication from discourse theory, here. Pop-up bookstores on the beach, Everywhere!
This one can’t exactly be google mapped, but it is definitely something that should be a staple in every beach town. After all, when you finish your book but you aren’t ready to leave the beach, wouldn’t it be great to have a shelf full of literature to come to the rescue? One of our favorite pop-ups was the Ikea sponsored pop-up on Bondi Beach, Sydney. Since this one-day appearance of books on the beach in Australia, other cities have taken up the same idea, creating beachy bookstores in Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv, and Siene-Maritime.
(Sydney)Image courtesy of Falv
(Abu Dhabi) Image courtesy of Roustourisnnews
Want a more permanent store? Head over to Venice Beach’s Small World Books in California for a near-beach experience. It’s about as close to the beach as you can get! Thanks Bookstr for this awesome list of 9 unique Bookstores. Support indie authors and shops!
The Adler Planetarium was a blast! Wish we had more time to see and read everything. #travel #vacation #family #planetarium #chicago #lakeview #lake #city #chitown #adlerplanetarium #photography #boss #Entrepreneur