August 9th is National Book Lovers Day, an opportunity to put down your cell phone and e-reader, close your laptop computer, and pick up a real book. Caress the cover, sniff the pages, and revel in the written word. Whether you read fiction or non-fiction, literature or graphic novels, today is all about you. And what better way to celebrate than with a look at some of the most beautiful bookstores and libraries from around the world? Let us know which of these are on your bucket-list as well!
Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal showcases all Portuguese literature in a space that has been a bookstore for more than 100 years.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina has been around since 1919, when it was a theater. It became a cinema before finally becoming a bookstore and a sight to behold.
The Strand Bookstore in Manhattan, New York has been open since 1927, with 18 glorious miles of books to peruse.
Librairie Galignani in Paris, France is the first English bookstore on the European continent! It opened in 1810 and boasts an eclectic collection featuring the classics.
The George Peabody Library in Baltimore, Maryland is a five-story library that is technically part of the Johns Hopkins University, but any member of the public in Baltimore can use this amazing library for free.
The Bodleian Library in Oxford, England looks like an ancient cathedral and has been around since the 14th century. Shakespeare’s First Folio and Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” are both housed here, but it is probably most recognized for being the Hogwarts library in all of the Harry Potter films.
The Trinity College Old Library in Dublin, Ireland boasts 7 million volumes spread out over two stories of space. Built in 1712, it houses many ancient texts.
Admont Abbey Library in Admont, Austria opened in 1776 and is attached to the oldest remaining monastery in Austria. Recognized for its baroque architecture, it houses the largest monastic library in the world.
The Library of El Escorial in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally a monastery with beautiful frescoes painted on the ceilings, it was also the site of the Spanish Renaissance.