I can’t be the only bookseller with a shelf of books on bookshops… children’s (The Missing Bookshop); memoir (David Elliot’s A Trade of Charms); Shaun Bythell; Death of a Bookseller. I could go on.
But maybe it’s time to take that world tour. Some of the bookshops are predictable: Shakespeare & Co., City Lights, Daunt’s Marylebone Street but most I’ve never heard of. If the other shop staff don’t mind, I’m nipping out to Cheche Books in Nairobi on my next day off. It’s a small, beautiful Pan-African feminist place. If the rota offers me a weekend, I’m off to the Yanjiyou Capsule Bookstore in China. It has twenty capsule sleeping spaces as well as a huge sunken reading room with a glass wall looking out to woods. I’ll skip the Tengda Zhongshuge place though, as its confusing decor looks like it was designed by someone who wants to distract the reader. If it’s a long weekend I’ll revisit the American Colony Hotel bookshop in East Jerusalem for the best selection of books on the Israel/Palestine conflict, and you can get an inexpensive coffee in the Hotel, watching those who come with a security detail…
Lots of the shops are in beautiful old buildings, lots are designed by architects and some are both, such as Van Der Velde in De Broeren, 500 years old yet contemporary and enormous. I could go on.
Great pics. Text a little cloying at times. Cover utilitarian and a bit annoying… the Enjoy! bit.
Available here: fiveleavesbookshop.co.uk/product/150-bookstores-you-need-to-visit-before-you-die/