Is there any more pleasant way to while away an afternoon than browsing the shelves of an independent bookstore and adding a few new finds to your to-be-read pile? Throughout history, bookstores have been more than places to pick up the latest title: They are places to meet, to learn, and to plan social revolutions. In the age of Amazon and e-books, independent bookstores have faced more challenges than ever, but many have been able to persevere and remain treasured parts of their communities. If you’ve missed the aisles of your favorite indie vendors over the past year, a new book can take you back to those beloved stacks. In Bookstores: A Celebration of Independent Booksellers (Prestel, $45), photographer Horst A. Friedrichs and writer Stuart Husbands showcase an array of shops and the passionate owners who operate them.
The volume takes you on a tour of some of the world’s most beloved outlets, from classic booksellers that have served generations of readers to young upstarts bringing a fresh take to the industry. Read on to go inside the most intriguing bookstores around the globe and start planning your visit.
Baldwin’s Book Barn (West Chester, Pennslyvania)
Daunt Books (London)
Pro qm (Berlin)
Haywood Hill (London)
Livraria Lello (Porto, Portugal)
Stories! (Hamburg, Germany)
The Strand (New York City)
William Stout Architectural Books (San Francisco)
For design and architecture fans, William Stout Architectural Books in San Francisco is a must-visit. Former architect Stout opened the store out of his apartment in 1974 and now the shop occupies a corner location in the Jackson Square neighborhood. Offering over 70,000 titles, including international and out-of-print volumes, the store also has its own publishing company, which releases several titles each year.
Librairie Auguste Blaizot (Paris)
The family-owned Librairie Auguste Blaizot moved to its current location on Paris’s Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré in 1910. Now run by fifth-generation bookseller Paul Blaizot, the shop specializes in bookbinding, illustrated books, and first editions. The stunning setting, featuring floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with leather-bound books, transports visitors to another time.