As a bookworm, the lure of a good bookshop is something I am powerless to resist. There are a few in particular that have really caught my attention; ones that I am especially keen to try and visit at some point in my lifetime.
Persephone – London
Persephone is an independent publishing house and bookshop that carries beautifully produced forgotten classics, mostly by female authors, that are made onsite. I have a few of their books but have yet to visit their physical store. In a visit to London, a stop here would be at the top of my to do list.
Mál og Menning – Reykjavik
Icelanders are pretty obsessed with literature – yet another reason why I love the country so much. In fact, they have more bookshops per capita than anywhere else in the world, translate more books per capita than anywhere else, and used to have a blanket ban on TV broadcasts every Thursday to ensure people still had time to set aside for reading. I visited a few small bookshops during my visit to Reykjavik last year but hope to visit Mál og Menning when I return in October. It has multiple floors, carries both Icelandic and English books, and even has a café which has been decorated by local artists.
Shakespeare and Company – Paris
Shakespeare and Co. has a very interesting past that’s worth looking into if you have the time. It has since cemented its place within France’s literary scene and has welcomed many famous authors through its doors over the years. With a higgledy-piggledy layout and books stacked everywhere, people will tell you it’s easy to while away a day here and that sounds pretty good to me.
Foyles – London
Foyles’ huge London based flagship store once held the record for being the largest in terms of shelf space and number of books displayed. Its eccentric past and business practices made it something of a local legend, fast becoming a tourist attraction in its own right. Having been thoroughly modernised since, it still draws in huge numbers of visitors from far and wide, only now for the impressive selection of books more than the spectacle of its management.
What bookshops would you recommend I add to my list? Are there any you really hope to visit?