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Traveling Book Worms Unite! Check Out These 7 Book Havens Around the World!

Written by Javier Peinado

For some people, traveling without a book would be absolutely unthinkable. For some of us reading is more than a pastime: it’s an obsession. And what better to pass the the hours of travel than with a book that transports you to another time, another place, or even one that immerses you into the world that you’re about to explore.

And for some of us, there are book-related destinations that are reason enough to make the trip, and maybe grab a book or two for the trip back home. With that in mind, here’s a list of unmissable destinations for book lovers, places to behold rare editions of famous books, or simply rest with ease in the inspiration of scholarly surroundings!

Charing Cross Road, London

 

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Home to countless second-hand bookshops, Charing Cross Road in London might be the most famous place to buy a book in the world. Whether you’re looking for a first edition of The Great Gatsby or searching for the latest issue of a comic book series, you’ll likely be able to find it at one of Charing Cross’s independently operated bookshops, including Foyles Bookshop, established in 1903. Travelers looking to explore the surrounding area should also head to Cecil Court. Located just off Charing Cross Road and adjacent to Leicester Square, Cecil Court has 20 antique bookshops, earning it the nickname “Bookseller’s Row”!

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires

El Ateneo Grand Splendid has rightfully earned its reputation as the most beautiful bookstore in the world. Opened as a theater in 1919, El Ateneo Grand Splendid was converted into a bookstore in the early 2000s and has since become a major tourist attraction both for those interested in books and those who enjoy astounding architecture. In addition to thousands of books for patrons to choose from, El Ateneo has several other attractions to draw visitors. The stage area of the theater is now used as a café and the paintings and molding on its walls give the building truly palatial vibes.

The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, Rio de Janeiro

The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading in Rio de Janeiro is a dream come true for travelers hoping to see a library that looks like it came out of a fantasy novel. The nearly 400,000-volume collection housed at the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading has its roots in the early 19th Century. While many visitors of the library will be attracted by its extensive literature collection — which includes a first edition of the epic poem Os Lusíadas from 1572 — others will visit the place for its amazing architecture. The library is three-stories tall and ascends to a domed skylight of the finest stained glass.

Carturesti Carusel, Bucharest

Bucharest’s Carturesti Carusel has become world-renowned in recent years for its beauty and wide offerings for bibliophiles. Housed in a 19th Century bank, the book store is three stories tall and offers a selection of nearly 10,000 books in multiple languages. While Carturesti Carusel’s literary possibilities are amazing in their own right, the building itself is a wonder to behold. Newly renovated, the bookshop is adorned with sleek white pillars and spiral staircases that lead to a world-class café and reading area overlooking the entirety of the store.

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Strahov Monastery, Prague

The library of Strahov Monastery in Prague gives visitors a chance to witness medieval literature in the heart of the one of the oldest religious institutions in the city. Established in 1143, Strahov Monastery’s library is divided into two halls: the Theological Hall and the Philosophical Hall. While both contain centuries-old volumes and manuscripts, the halls are decorated with exquisite frescoes and magnificent sculptures, making the monastery an ideal place for the bibliophile who is also interested in art.

Book and Bed, Tokyo

A unique hostel located in the Lumiere building at the heart of the Tokyo, Book and Bed just might be the best place for book lovers to rest their head in the city. Home to over 1,700 books, Book and Bed allows guests to stay in special compartments located within the site’s bookshelves. Each room also has special book-themed decorations…including chandeliers made entirely of books! Tourists interested in the place can also visit for the day and relax on one of the hostel’s many couches. If you’re lucky enough to visit, we encourage you to read, enjoy a cup of coffee, and discuss your favorite works of literature with fellow guests to live the full experience.

Trinity College, Dublin

Established in 1592, Trinity College’s library contains many treasured artifacts from the history of Ireland, including a magnificent 9th-century manuscript of the Gospels known as Book of Kells. Its famous Long Room is also an iconic location at the library, being the home of 200,000 volumes of the school’s oldest books. With a length of over 200-feet, the Long Room is lined with marble busts of some of the most famous writers and philosophers in Irish history, making it one of most popular tourist destinations in Dublin and a perfectly good excuse to browse cheap international flights online for your next European getaway!

Know any other great place to get books across the world? Let us know on our comments section below!

About the author

Javier Peinado

Born in Barcelona. Raised in Madrid. New Yorker at heart. When he is not geeking out at a comic book convention or binge-watching superhero shows, this bilingual journalist loves to discover secret venues and hidden places around the world to fill his insatiable wanderlust. He also digs into ghost-busting, Bigfoot-hunting, and UFO-sighting. The truth is out there.

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