Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finding Books

This....


is a bookstore. That magnificent place sells books. I originally thought it was a library or an auction house. But no, that's a bookstore. That, more specifically is the Lello Bookstore in Porto, Portugal.

This...


is also a bookstore. When I saw this I was sure that it was not. I've seen libraries that look similar. And have never seen any place as common as a bookstore that looked that grand. But then I realized my fallacy. Libraries aren't necessarily grand (I've seen some pretty plain ones) and bookstores aren't necessarily boring (I've seen some fun ones). So why are these bookstores so surprising for me.

I spent part of an afternoon looking at Google Images of bookstores. Try it sometime. There are some pretty incredible ones. And some pretty fun ones. Like this one in Mexico City (this is the Polanco branch of El Pendulo bookstore).


I scrolled through image after image savoring all the different types of bookstores. I clicked on a photo and found this linked list of Most Interesting Bookstores in the World as part of my search. And that's where I found it. My favorite bookstore. Shakespeare and Company in Paris is listed as one of the most photographed bookstores in the world. I can understand why. That is my quintessential bookstore image now. Nothing else will ever live up. Of course I'm not giving up. I'll keep trying to find something more perfect. Isn't that what bibliophilia is all about?


[Writers note: For those interested, Shakespeare and Company is (and has been) one of the foremost centers of all things literature in Paris. In December the long time owner of the store passed away. I read his obituary without ever having seen the bookstore itself. I'm even more saddened by his death now.]

Inside of Shakespeare and Company

2 comments:

Gabby said...

This post reminds me of the movie "84 Charing Cross Road". Books can be so lovely.

Cat B said...

Gabby,

Books can be lovely. Have you seen the video produced by Type in Toronto. I'll see if I can find it for you if you haven't.

I haven't seen 84 Charing Cross Road. I'll have to add it to my list to watch. Thanks for the recommendation.