The World’s Most Famous Bookstores

Book lovers across the globe often refer to “Shakespeare and Company” as the most famous book store in the world. Rumor has it, famous authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound and James Baldwin used to hang out in its emporium. Also, according to the bookstore’s website, they were forced to shut down operations during the occupation of Paris in WWII due to refusing service to Nazi soldiers. A pretty incredible history, no doubt! However, is this Parisian nook of literature really at the top of the world when it comes to recognition?

Selexyz Dominicanen, Maastricht, Netherlands

Previously serving as a place of worship until Napoleon Bonaparte turned it into a storage space in 1794, this 13th-century church now serves as one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. In 2005 the architecture firm known as “Merkx + Girod” restored the enchanted ruin to become the beautiful building that it is today. Some say just the building itself is its own attraction however, for us book lovers, it’s also the three-story black steel book stacks in the choir that create an incredibly fashionable bookstore for us to enjoy. As a result, Merkx + Girod was rewarded for their restoration work with the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize in 2007.

Powell’s, Portland, Oregon

Portland is home to the world’s largest independent bookstore. Occupying an entire city block, Powell’s is a family-owned and run business whose history dates back to the 70s. Priding themselves on having over a million books for sale, they are trying not to emphasize the sheer size of their store, but also claim to have curated their selection down to “One million of the best books”. Needless to say, Powell’s is an institution that has to be mentioned on a list such as this one.

Honesty Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, Wales

Book enthusiasts all around the globe are drawn to this small Welsh town because of its deep reputation as a true “book town”. The town of Hay-on-Wye houses upwards of 40 bookstores with a population of only 1400 people who host the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival which draws in tons of tourism. However, this list isn’t about book towns, the true attraction is an outdoor not like any other shop called “Honesty” which has dated back in various forms to the 1960s. Unique in just

about every way. There are no shelve-keepers, the shelves themselves line the streets of the town. Each book costs exactly 1 euro, and paperbacks are only 50p, which you drop into a payment box when you are ready to leave. The proceedings go to the Hay Castle Trust.

A Page In The Sun, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Not all that is good is recognized for its greatness and is rather appreciated by those who have been lucky enough to stumble upon those unbeatable hidden gems. With a large selection of new and used books in both English and Spanish, we take pride in our selection. Situated in our city's most historical streets, only steps away from the Pacific Ocean, there is a multitude of reasons why our store stands out. We offer local organic Mexican coffee and many delicious treats to enjoy while you relax with your book.

If you ever find yourself in Puerto Vallarta, be sure to come by and take a look at our complete menu of sandwiches, organic Mexican coffee, salads, and more in our cafe located in the Romantic Zone, Old Town of Puerto Vallarta.