Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookstores and Libraries I’d Love to Visit (#TTT 10th Anniversary Freebie)

Top Ten Tuesday is ten years old! Happy birthday, TTT!

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, this week’s celebratory prompt was more of a freebie. One of the options was to do a past #TTT that you hadn’t taken part in. I’ve only been doing TTT for about a year now so there were a lot of topics I hadn’t done, but when I saw this topic I knew I had to do it.

Being a book/travel junkie, this is right up my alley. It is actually physically impossible for me to not go to at least one bookstore when I’m traveling, but these are all bookish locations I haven’t managed to visit yet. Once the world begins to resemble some normalcy, I think a literary themed vacation is going to be one of the first things I do.


New York Public Library Main Branch- New York City, USA


When I went to NYC on my school’s graduation trip, we were only there for a couple days so had to cram a lot of sight-seeing into a very short period of time. This meant for the most part we were only able to see the outside of many landmarks, the New York Public Library included. I was able to see the famous lions Patience and Fortitude, but didn’t get to go inside this magnificent building. I hope to rectify that someday!

Los Angeles Central Library- Los Angeles, USA 


I lived in LA for a couple of years in college, but I never made it to the Central Library, instead using the branch closest to where I lived in West Hollywood. After reading Susan Orlean’s book about the 1986 fire, The Library Book, and hearing my mother’s stories about going to this historic building growing up I’m kicking myself for never making the trek there.

Admont Abbey Library- Admont, Austria


I don’t think I even need to give a reason as to why I want to go to this library. I mean…look at it.

Central Library of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)- Mexico City, Mexico


Aside from the fact this is the university my father attended, I would love to be able to see the incredible artwork that covers this library. Titled “Historical Representation of Culture,” the mural was created by a Mexican artist named Juan O’Gorman. In July 2007, the UNESCO proclaimed the Central Library, along with the Central Campus of the University City, as a World Heritage Site.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina- Alexandria, Egypt


While I’m well aware this is not the ancient library that devastatingly burned down (no book lover will ever get over it), it’s still the Library of Alexandria and I’d love to see it.  The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is built alongside Alexandria’s ancient harbor in the historic center of the city. City officials decided to create it in the 1970’s as a reincarnation of the ancient library in the city founded by Alexander the Great. The shining, titled roof is also a tribute to the ancient lighthouse that once stood on Alexandria’s shores.

Livraria Bertrand- Lisbon, Portugal 


This may look like just another corner bookshop, but Bertrand is credited as being the oldest bookstore in the world that is still in operation. I’d absolutely love to wander its meandering shelves- and buy a book or ten.

Atlantis Books- Santorini, Greece


Whenever I see articles about bookstores you have to see before you die, Atlantis Books is always near the top of that list. One look at this photograph is more than enough reason to see why!

The owners of the bookstore were English tourists who fell in love with the island but noticed it had one glaring thing missing: a bookstore. So in 2004, they found a building for lease, adopted some animals to live in the shop with them, and built some bookshelves. Thus, Atlantis books was born!

Bart’s Books- Ojai, USA 


Despite having been to nearly every corner of my home state, I’ve never spent more than an hour or so in Ojai as I was usually on my way somewhere else. Had I known there’s an outdoor bookstore there, I definitely would have stopped for longer.

Boasting that it is “the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A,” Bart’s Books was created in the 1960’s when a bookworm realized his collection of books had gotten out of control. He created a bunch of outdoor bookcases and left coffee cans on top of them for people to leave money for the books they selected. While it is now a full-fledged bookstore inside, the shelves outside still operate on the honor system.

Livraria Lello- Porto, Portugal 


Again, I don’t think any explanation is needed as to why I’d love to go to this bookstore. It would take every ounce of self-control I have to not just sprawl across that stunning staircase and spend hours taking in all the books around me.

Shakespeare & Company- Paris, France


Last but not least, we have a bookstore in Paris that is every book nerd’s dream come true. I’ve been to Paris at least two dozen times but for some reason I’ve never had the chance to stop by this iconic shop. Guess another trip to Paris is in my future!

Books are stacked in every available corner of this charming, meandering store. The creator of Shakespeare & Co, American-born George Whitman, saw his shop like a novel with each room, nook and cranny built up chapter by chapter. “I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations.” big-blue-divider-hi

Have you been to any of these stores or libraries? Which ones would you like to see someday? Let me know in the comments!

20 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Bookstores and Libraries I’d Love to Visit (#TTT 10th Anniversary Freebie)”

    1. Ahhh jealous! I’ve never had time to see everything I want to in Paris, including Shakespeare and Co, because I was usually working Now I really want to go back!


  1. Love this idea! I used to use a photograph of the New York Public Library’s reading room as my blog wallpaper, but changed it after a few years because it was so dark. I love to see it, though! The others are stunning as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was the same, I had some old book covers as my background because old books and wood paneling is my aesthetic, but it made for a very dark looking blog.


      1. That was a good aesthetic! But I can imagine the darkness problems. I have some older readers, and three of them commented that the current setup is a LOT easier for them to read. 🙂


    1. Thanks! Maybe I should start a tour company for book nerds. “We just go to pretty libraries and bookstores to read.” It would be an overnight sensation!


  2. Oh I love this so much!! I love to travel, too, and always stop at bookstores. My dream destination is Greece, and now I have even more of a reason to go. What a beautiful story! ❤


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