----------- soulful transformation through the stars. -----------

11 Jul 2011

{books} bookshop wanderlust

My first phase of travelling was all about leading the simplest hippie/boho life - a few belongings, a typewriter, my thumb.... mostly around the east coast of Australia. The 2nd phase was meeting ordinary people in beautiful cities.... Rome, Paris, Venice, Prague, London, Madrid, etc. The 3rd phase of travel was seeking out the Big Guns - Machu Pichu, The Great Wall of China, the ruins of ancient civilisations and the people still there now.

My next phase will be influenced by my shift towards simplicity, and what works with a small child, changing as she grows, but likely geared towards seeking out the small gems around the world.

Combining bookshops and travel sounds like sheer ecstasy to me.

The following are top of my list (keeping this one to Europe). I've actually visited some of the cities, but Other Things were priority at the time. In Paris it was the Louvre - I mean seriously, how big is that place?!

The Abbey Bookshop
29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, Paris, France
map

37 Rue Bûcherie, Paris, France
map


Acqua Alta Libreria
Calle Longa S.M. Formosa, Venice, Italy
map


Livraria Lello
Rua das Carmelitas 144, Porto, Portugal


"the town of books"


Do let me know of any beautiful bookshop you've visited or dream to visit.

49 comments:

  1. I love the tiny Atlantic Bookstore in Santorini Greece somewhere in Oia. It is on top of a cliff along those cobblestone paths. It is where I bought my English reads after I lost my ipod somewhere in Turkey. I couldn't find any English books in Turkey and Rhodes, Greece so you can just imagine my delight when I finally got in here. They also have a coupled books, for example: for the traveler: Jack Kerouac's on the road and some other thing :) I am still looking for the photo I took inside with the cat just lounging in one of the chairs. You will love it!

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  3. Sorry about that...what I was trying to say was that you have me completely drooling! I would never want to leave any of them!

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  4. they look amazing, love the look of the Abbey Bookshop, Paris, like a bookworms Aladdins Cave!

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  5. 'the town of books' looks interesting. I have to check this out!!!

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  6. Oh, I love these especially that second last one which reminds me of Harry Potter. There is just something to rich and beautiful and heartwarming about books and bookstores and libraries...
    Ronnie xo
    p.s. Great analysis/description of your phases of travelling!

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  7. What a wonderful traveling companion you sound...and what beautiful images of lovely book stores. Independent ones seem to be a dying breed in England but I have heard Persephone books in London (http://www.persephonebooks.co.uk/)is lovely - it specializes in 20th century neglected women writers, and of course there are all the lovely book shops on Charing X Road. Good luck with your travels.

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  8. What a stunning compilation. I am smitten.

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  9. Oh, how I envy you! I so wish to travel - there are so many places I want to see, so many cultures I want to experience - but, finances just don't allow it. I never stop dreaming and hoping, though.

    These images are tugging at my heart!! I don't think I could leave any of them.

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  10. that one sounds lovely mice, would love to see your pics. i took a quick look online and it's so charming.

    Anabella i didn't realise that Persephone had their own bookshop, that would be nice to visit.

    i'm the QUEEN of budget travel amanda, you'd be shocked how little i've spent over the years. although of course, with kids there is a minimum.

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  11. wow! these are dream bookstores! my favorite is a little one in Athens. just a little bigger than two square meters but with a -very- high celling... the man owing it can anything, everything and all about books. i asked him once about Ulysses but he wouldn`t sell it to me. i was too young he said ( i was 19 at that time) ...

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  12. Oh the Italian one, pulling up a chair anchoring the dog next to the water bowls and simply 'being', how wonderful.

    Sue x

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  13. What a beautiful post! You've set my imagination running this morning. I love poking around bookshops, especially in cities I've never visited before.

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  14. WOW!?!? I am deeply in LOVE!!! I can not even begin to imagine walking into any one of these places, I might never leave. Thank you for this beautiful post. I think you just made my week!!

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  15. what beautiful pictures! I love these! I suddenly feel the urge to go hide in a secret bookstore all day. The last one is my absolute favorite...

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  16. oh this left me wanting and dreaming again, a good thing I promise you but sometimes painful. the states have made some room for the dreamy independent bookshops that exist in your photos, but not much. They're here, I know it, but just have to do a little digging.

    there is talk of us going to France next summer, so maybe... just maybe...:).
    Happy Monday Mon!!

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  17. omg ive never heard of the town of books...in typical book addict style i just googled it...over the other side of England....eeeeeeek..one day..x

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  18. These photos bring me the chills. The books seem to just make their own architecture around the already marvelous rooms and buildings.

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  19. Me gustan mucho las fotografías, sobre todo la última, esa biblioteca al aire libre.
    Saludos!:)

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  20. I have always dreamt of having a home with a library like the ones pictured. Maybe like the one in Portugal?

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  21. Oh my, salivating at the thought of visiting any of those. I'd have to be dragged out kicking and screaming!

    Demie: "i asked him once about Ulysses but he wouldn`t sell it to me. i was too young he said ( i was 19 at that time) ..." Lolol.

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  22. how fun would it be to go around to all these? whenever i visit a city i try to get a book from there about it, it's a fun goal :)

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  23. oh!my!god!

    any bookstore, really. but robert and i happened upon a booknook, really, along a pier in a town. it was unexpected. it was a Sunday afternoon on an island where everything is slow and closed and yet it was open. just to walk on the old wooden floor and smell was enough.

    xo
    erin

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  24. oh how I wish I could travel back to Europe. Some day, some day...

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  25. oh my gosh. I am bookmarking this post, in case I visit any of these cities in the future. these bookshops look amazing! something you could completely get lost in, for hours on end...

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  26. The messier they are --> the better!

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  27. Wonderful post!I could stay for hours in a bookshop, especially in a new discovered one. :)
    Ada

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  28. Fantastic photos - bookshops are my favourite places. I could really spend a few hours in some of these.

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  29. All those books! Sigh. I could spend countless hours just thumbing through everything. I would love to visit each and every one of these! The Shakespeare & co in France reminds me of the one in Funny Face.

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  30. I am speechless, Mon. I want to tag along to each of those glorious book shops with you. Enjoy the journey.

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  31. OMGoddess, I love love love these photos and what a fabulous journey to take. I saw a documentary on the Shakespeare & Co once and the man that ran it was an unique individual who allowed young travelers to live for free in the bookstore and to work for him. We have a Shakespeare & Co, in Berkeley, ca but it is not as magical as the one in Paris.

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  32. Those are amazing! I've been to Shakespeare in Paris and it really is gorgeous.

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  33. where do you get the money? i know that's a personal question. so don't answer. i guess that's why i like blogging. i sort of get to travel. i don't know any bookshops but this post did remind me of a good book, Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

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  34. My kind of heaven i would be spending days in these places.. beautiful pictures..xxxx

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  35. A holiday without a bookshop isn't a holiday! haha

    Shakespeare & Company has been on my list since forever. If you find yourself in Brussels then you have to visit Sterling Books, an English bookshop: http://www.sterlingbooks.be/index.dll?userID=132238&webpage=index.htm&webfile=shop.htm

    There are so many good ones in Zürich but I no longer remember their names. And there are some in Reykjavik, Iceland ;-)

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  36. WOW!!!! These photographs are so dreamy..love the last one "the town of books." How amazing and beautiful is that?!

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  37. oh my!!! these took my breath away! i'm especially drawn to the photo of the town of books~ an outdoor bookshop? i never imagined this existed! lovely...

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  38. Love those bookshops! Okay, so it's not as unique-looking as the shops in your photos, but if you ever head out to the Pacific Northwest, you MUST go to Powell's City of Books. Largest bookshop in the world. http://www.powells.com/locations/powells-city-of-books/

    When my sister visited from out of town, THIS is where I took her.

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  39. this makes me yearn for thrilling bookshops... these photos are so fantastic...bookshop wanderlust, indeed :) xoxoxo brynn

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  40. Beautiful pictures, Monica! Loved reading about the different phases of travelling adventures you have had! I love bookshops! The first and third picture remind me of my own room till a while back. It was an absolute chaos for anyone visiting my place, but a charming place for me :) Things look a bit better now, but inspite of my best attempts, the room is getting back to its former 'glory' :)

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  41. thanks Lisa, will pop in if i'm in the neighborhood. ;)

    lucky you Vishy! i wouldn't mind living among all that.

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  42. What a wonderful post. My dear husband has been selling second hand books since he was at university - at flea markets. He still sells them at our local farmers market 30 years later - his slogan is 'fresh produce for the mind' - thought up by our daughter. His dream of owning a book shop is shortly going to happen - so i'm going to show him this post - definitively. I can almost smell those old books

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  43. oh my freakin GAWWWD!!!!
    I just want to climb into those pics - especially the Abbey Bookshop! I could sit at my computer and stare at them all day!
    You are so fortunate and adventurous to have travelled and visited these bookstores.
    And what fabulous pics you take...ahhhh...

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  44. oh i didn't take these photos nor visited these stores Boho mom!! lol they're where i WANT to go. :)

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  45. libraries are incredible! i will always collect books and will never own one of those kindle things! ;) What beautiful photos. Incredibly inspiring! xo Samantha

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  47. Sorry about that ~ I'll try again.

    These are fabulous. I hope you manage to visit them. We visited 'the town of books' some years ago. I wish I had visited it in the seventies, when I was a teenager, too.

    We used to sell second hand books in Cardigan market in west Wales, and in a shop there for a while.....my husband sold the books downstairs and I gave complementary therapies upstairs. It was a good time. We had an honesty box on the stall and only once was it broken into, and sometimes we would find buttons in there! But I love buttons....
    Mostly, people paid more than the price of the books :~)

    This one:

    http://daffysgarden.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-can-you-not-love-bookshop-with.html

    caught my attention some weeks ago....books, a harpsichord AND a snogging corner....perfect.

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  48. I don't think I've ever seen something as cool as that town of books. I need to see that, immediately.

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