Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Bookstores and Bookstores I’d Love to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics

Apparently The UK celebrated National Bookshop Day on October 1. I did not know this. Why did I not know? Not that I have money to spend on books at the moment, but even so!

But, to celebrate we are looking at favourite books shops, or book shops we’d love to visit and I thought I’d focus on the latter. Shops I’d love to visit. Perhaps in dreams, some of these, but we will begin with something both top of my list and potentially viable! There are some absolutely iconic bookshops in this list, followed by some local, independent gems.

Shakespeare and Company, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, Paris, Île-de-France

Whilst I would have loved to have visited the original Shakespeare and Company which was a meeting ground for James Joyce, Ford Madox Ford, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others, and which published Ulysses, the new iteration sounds delightful too. Beds between the bookshelves to house aspiring writers and the motto

Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise

City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco

Just like Shakespeare and Company, the history here is mind blowing: the store was created by Ferlinghetti as the heart of the beat movement, democratising and making available to all great books.

Libreria Acqua Alta, C. Longa Santa Maria Formosa, Venezia

It’s in Venice. And I have always wanted to go to Venice.

It’s a bookshop.

The books are in bathtubs, boats, bins and of course a gondola, so that they can float and bob about in (relative) safety on the high water tide.

And, according to one image on Trip Adviser, it has a cat.

The Hay Castle Honesty Bookshop, Hay Castle, Oxford Road, Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire

Slightly closer to home, let’s turn to Hay-on-Wye, synonymous with Books Festivals and all things literary. There are oodles of books shops here, but this is the honesty book shop, an unmanned open air book shop which trusts you to pay the rather nominal £1.00 fixed fee.

I believe that most visitors choose to overpay.

And it’s open 24 hours 365 days a year – perfect for those late night reading pangs when you just need another book!

Al Ateneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

A little further afield here, but how could anyone not want to visit and spend hours here? Sumptuous.

A little more intimidating perhaps than my other choices, but extraordinary!

Boekhandel Dominicanen, Dominicanerkerkstraat 1, Maastricht, Netherlands

Was the converted theatre of Al Ateneo not grand enough for you?

What about the Bookshop Dominicanen, located in a converted 13th Century Gothic church?

Cărturești Carusel, Bucharest, Romania

I mean, this is amazingly beautiful and socalmingly peaceful after the opulence and the gothic drama of the last two entries.

How could I not spend hours in a place like this?

For the last few entries, I am going to stay closer to home with shops that I have in fact visited, and which in the current climate need all the support they can! These are the charming local independent bookshops that we all need in our lives.

Black Pug Books, West Borough, Wimborne Minster 

Black Pug Books is a sanctuary for those of us who value books as one of the greatest treasures in life.

We carry a wide range of preloved books from holiday-worthy paperbacks though to rare and early editions that will delight collectors young and old.

More than this, there is space to sit and drink in the ambience of a location ideally suited to the discerning reader. 

The Crooked Book, Christchurch Road, Boscombe

We are a second-hand book shop, selling a carefully chosen selection of fiction and non-fiction books. We also sell a great and ever-changing array of antique and vintage furniture, home-accessories and bric-a-brac.

As if that weren’t enough we also have a coffee shop area under the same roof where we sell great tasting coffee and other hot and cold drinks, freshly made paninis, bagels, sandwiches and soup, and to top it all, delicious home-made cakes.

Westbourne Bookshop, Poole Road, Bournemouth

Westbourne Bookshop has been trading in Westbourne, Bournemouth, since 1994, but the first bookshop on this site opened in 1903! Westbourne is a buzzing urban village filled with independent shops, cafes & restaurants, all a short walk through a wooded chine to the beach.

As always, love to hear from you about your favourite bookshops and bookstores, both local and iconic! Happy Tuesday!

Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes

October 11: Books I Read On Vacation (bonus points if you tell us where you were!) (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)
October 18: Favorite Words (This isn’t so much bookish, but I thought it would be fun to share words we love! These could be words that are fun to say, sound funny, mean something great, or make you smile when you read/hear them.)
October 25: Halloween Freebie

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Bookstores and Bookstores I’d Love to Visit”

  1. I’ve seen quite a few of these on other lists, especially the Maastricht, Paris, Buenos Aires and Herefordshire ones and I also want to visit them now. The Bucharest store looks gorgeous as well 😍 Great list!


  2. What amazing bookshops. That’s twice recently that I’ve heard about the Venetian one. I only wish I had known about it before we visited Venice in the Spring. Next time, I will definitely hunt it out.


  3. These are all so lovely! I’ve walked past Shakespeare and Company, but wasn’t able to actually go inside because COVID restrictions made for super long lines just to get inside. I would have waited, but my family was not down for it. Bummer! I hope you make it to some of these one of these days.

    Happy TTT!



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.