12 of The Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

It’s every author’s dream: seeing their masterpiece grace the shelves of bookstores. Whether it be your local hotspot or a global chain like Barnes and Noble, publication is the accomplishment of a lifetime. As you are in the throes of writing your book, the journey can feel difficult. You may struggle with writer’s block, time management, the energy or creative juices to keep going, and the fear that it may never land in audience hands. To keep motivation up and stamina high, today we bring you a compilation of the most beautiful bookstores in the world! From coast to coast and scattered across hemispheres, these bookstores are the perfect setting to imagine your book! So enjoy this list, get inspired, and believe that you ARE good enough to land distribution in these stunning locations. Without further ado, lets dive in! 

1.Word on the Water Bookstore, London, England 

Imagine: A floating river barge of books! Now go visit, because baby, it’s real! Located on the Regents Canal in central London, this iconic bookstore is located inside of a 100 year old Dutch barge. Open from midday to 7 pm, stop by and browse their selection of classics, fiction, nonfiction, and childrens books! Check out their website or social media for events they host. Just be careful to not go overboard 😉

Word on the Water bookstore London England

2.Strand Bookstore, New York City, USA 

There’s nothing like the Big Apple, especially when it comes to the millions of books you can find there! The first stop on your NYC book tour needs to be Strand Bookstore. Infamous for its large collection of books-in fact, 18 miles worth, this towering bookstore carries over 2.5 million used, new, and rare books. Here, you can also find a community hub with famous author readings and events galore. What are you waiting for?! It’s so grand, it almost requires a full day off your itinerary.

Strands book store New York


Ever heard of a bookstore where you can also stay the night? Look no further than this ingenious bookstore-turned hostel in Guangzhou, China! It is Chinas first 24 hour bookstore. Buy books by day and stay for free in private rooms for backpackers, amongst the paper and ink. To apply to stay at the shop is follow 1200 Bookshop on WeChat (ID: gz1200bookshop), or email to 1200bookshop@sina.com to let them know your travel plans and why you need a place to stay. Sweet dreams! 

4.Cook & Book, Brussels, Belgium 

After you’ve had a fitful night of sleep at 1200 Bookshop in Guangzhou, fly over to Brussels, Belgium for a bite to go along with your book! This bookstore/restaurant in Brussels, Belgium is divided into nine different rooms. Each offers its own vibe and experience, from an English books section to a British library design. There is a variety of literature, from travel to music and the humanities. Enjoy the playground on the terrace, and dine in every single room. Bon Appetit! 

5.Arc N Book, Seoul, South Korea 

Arc N Book is more than a bookstore- its a lifestyle! This unique bookstore truly promotes the lifestyle of reading, with the shop separated into four different themes of Daily, Weekend, Style, and Inspiration. Being here is an experience, with guests invited to stay for a while, order food and drinks from the cafe, and settle into a comfy chair for the ultimate reading experience. Come and make a day out of it! There is an arch made of books, and with nourishment and words galore, there’s nowhere else you’d rather be. 

6.El Péndulo, Mexico City, Mexico 

A chain of bookstores in Mexico City, El Péndulo is bookstore, cafe, and community space for the masses. These are wonderful places in the city to eat, drink, gather, and read! Each are instagrammable and inviting. Come take a break from the city rush and relax for a few hours in one of these literary haven locations. We’ve heard a rumor that the location on Alejandro Dumas Street is particularly eye-catching.

El Pendulo Cafebrería El Péndulo mexico city

7.El Ateneo, Buenos Aires, Argentina 

According to National Geographic, this is the most beautiful bookstore in the world!! Visiting is now obligatory. Originally a theater in Buenos Aires called Teatro Gran Splendid (translating literally to the grand splendid theater) that first opened in 1919, it is now a book lovers haven. Browse over 120,000 titles under incredible architecture and ambiance. It is a bookstore and music shop, with a stage and grand piano for live music. Let this whimsical place sweep you away! 

El Ateneo bookstore in Buenos Aires Argentina

8.Atlantis Books, Santorini, Greece 

Known globally as one of the most beautiful and unique bookstores in the world, there’s no better place to enjoy a beach read than a stunning Greek isle. In operation since 2004, it is certainly the most beautiful bookstore in Greece, offering a variety of poetry, philosophy, modern fiction and nonfiction, and of course Greek classics and collections. The most amazing part of the bookstore is the terrace view, where the shop often holds readings, events, and community gatherings. Get here before the secret is out, find a new read, and hit the beach after!

Atlantis bookstore in Greece

9.Book and Bed, Tokyo, Japan 

Another perfect night of sleep coming right up! Why separate fiction from dreams when you can have both at the Book and Bed in Tokyo, a unique hostel experience. A bookstore where you can stay the night, they offer couches where you can even nap during the day! Outfitted with a cafe as well, this is the ultimate spot for a few days of stress free living: eating, reading, and sleeping. Located in the heart of Tokyo, you also won’t be far from the action if you so choose to venture out (new book in hand, of course).  Book your stay today! 

Book and Bed Bookstore Tokyo Japan

10.Barts Books, Ojai, California, USA 

The largest outdoor bookstore in the world, this California spot has been in operation since 1964! Offering a huge variety of second hand books and new, familiar titles, Barts is not to be missed. Enjoy the California sunshine as you browse, and the unique atmosphere.  Its fun and eye-catching location has been featured in TV series, movies, and novels. Check out the popular 2010 film Easy A starring Emma Stone to catch a glimpse. 

Barts Books bookstore Ojai California USA

11.Honest Bookshop, Hay-On-Wye, Wales

Did you know that there is a national book town in Wales? Welcome to Hay-On-Wye, location of the annual Hay book festival that draws book worms and literature buffs from around the world. The town is amassed with bookstores, a true book lover’s dream, but one of the most famous bookstores is on Hay Castle grounds: Honest bookshop. The open air bookshop is open for browsing 24/7 and prices rarely exceed five pounds! To pay, visitors are expected to be honest and trustworthy with payment, dropping the payment in the box that goes to the Hay Trust. A wonderful concept, and a magical place indeed! 

Honest Bookshop, Hay-On-Wye, Wales

12.​​Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal

We saved the best for last, as this is famously known as the most beautiful bookstore in the world!! Quite the claim to fame. Located in downtown Porto, Portugal, the store began its reign in 1881 as a publishing house, and then in 1906 moved locations to its current home as a full bookstore. It is renowned and famous for its eye-catching staircase amongst the architecture and design of the spot. Bring your camera for browsing and photos, and leave with a few new books and stunning shots! 

And that about wraps up our favorite book stores from around the world that you need to visit! From Japan, to Argentina and New York, there are truly incredible places to find and browse novels. More importantly, getting your book published and on the shelves in one of these exotic locations is a dream come true for many authors- and one that we are here firsthand to help you achieve! From the decision to self publish, to translating your book, and getting it prepped and primed for the storefront, we got your back. In order to make it happen, check out our myriad of other blogs to aid you on your journey with PufferPrint: 

-Learn how to effectively barcode your book 

-Understand the best publishing avenues 

-Discover how to sell your novel effectively 

And more on the blog! Thanks for reading, as always, and we hope you enjoyed this global literary tour. Let us know below what bookstore you would most like to visit, and more importantly, where you dream of your novel hitting the shelves!