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Five Interesting Bookshops Worldwide


Following on from our previous blog, Five Unusual Bookshops Worldwide, we’ve discovered five more interesting bookshops we’d love to explore! Ranging from converted postal trains to transformed banks these magical bookshops are not to be missed.


Selexyz Dominicanen



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Location: Maastricht, Netherlands

This 700-year-old Catholic church was reportedly closed by Napoleon Bonaparte in the 1790s and used for storage. For the following 200 years it was used as a warehouse of sorts until 2006 when it was renovated and given new purpose. Now this historic building is a beautiful gothic bookshop. The towering levels of bookshelves sweep gracefully up into an ornate vault, topped with an intricately painted ceiling. The café stays true to the theme with a large cross-shaped table.

For more information visit the bookshop’s website.


La Caverne Aux Livres



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Location: Auvers-sur-Oise, France

This interesting bookshop is a converted old postal train which has been filled to the top with books. Its name is very fitting, translating as ‘The Cavern of Books’. This is a great place for readers to stumble across hidden gems. Occasionally, the railway track outside the train will also be used to display books. Check out this bookshop’s Facebook for more pictures.


Libreria Acqua Alta


Location: Venice, Italy

In the city of canals there is the famous Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice’s bookshop with iconic book steps and a gondola full of books. Depending on when you visit you may be browsing for books in ankle-deep water as the tide rolls in! Normally it’s business as usual but in November 2019 Libreria Acqua Alta lost a lot of books to the unusually bad flooding. Since then, their supportive fans have helped them get back on their feet; they’re open for business again so be sure to visit!

If you’d like to see more of this bookshop visit their Instagram. They also have adorable bookshop kitties.


Livraria Lello 



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Location: Porto, Portugal

This stunning bookshop is best known for its striking red staircase, an elegant masterpiece, complete with intricate carvings and ornaments. Once you enter the shop it’s also impossible to miss the breath-taking stained-glass ceiling. These, along with the detailed façade, have recently been restored to maintain their historic beauty. Livraria Lello creates an atmosphere of graceful sophistication perfect for book browsing.

To see more of the bookshop, visit their Instagram.


Cărturești Carusel



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Location: Bucharest, Romania

This gorgeous bookshop is huge, spread across six floors with plenty of high ceilings and open space, letting in an abundance of natural light. This is the perfect bookshop to spend hours exploring and discovering new books. In 1903 it was originally owned by the Chrissoveloni family and it operated as a bank until it was closed in 1948. After that it became a general store during the communist period but was left abandoned after the fall of communism. The building was finally saved by the great-grandson of the first owner. Jean Chrissoveloni had the building restored and it is now Carteresti’s flagship bookshop.

You can read about one woman’s visit to Cărturești Carusel here.


These five interesting bookshops are all incredibly special and would make great additions to a bucket list. If you’ve had the opportunity to visit any of these or other unusual bookshops let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @FairlightBooks.

In case you missed it check out our Five Unusual Bookshops Worldwide blog here.