I love reading and would always jump at the chance of visiting bookstores. I grew up loving second hand bookstores and I still love them until now. Nowadays I also try to make time to visit independent bookstores too.
Independent bookstores are those bookstores that are owned by an individual. Usually, though not all the time, there is only one store of that kind. Sometimes these bookstores also have their own published books and also a selection of books written by local authors, which is why I love these kind of stores.
I visited some independent bookstores in my travels before although my list is still very short. I have to admit that I am gutted that I didn’t try harder to expand my list on my previous travels. There is always a next time I guess! Apart from independent bookstores I also love visiting book stores with discounted prices, I mean who doesn’t right?
So here are a few of my favourite bookstores that I stumbled upon my travels:
Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France
No matter how popular this place is becoming, it is still my ultimate favourite. I adore the front of the shop, with big black boards with writings on it. Often they would also put some books here where people, young and old, would stand and read the books before purchasing it. Inside, the place is really cozy, with books in everywhere, cramped in every possible corner – just the way I like it. This bookstore opened in 1951 and is perfectly located, near the famous Notre-Dame. There is a beautiful quote from the founder:
I created this bookstore like a man would write a novel, building each room like a chapter, and I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations. (George Whitman. Source from here)
It was indeed like a magic world for me entering this place. I love the little details when you purchase a book here, like the famous Shakespeare and Co. stamp. If Paris is too far for you, then you can always order a book online, but if you’re near Paris, give it a visit. Don’t forget to check out the many events that are often held at this bookstore too!
Address: 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Books Actually in Singapore
I don’t know how many times I’ve written about this shop but it is truly a must visit for book lovers visiting Singapore. Many of their books are also available online if you’d like to have it delivered, but it does take away the fun of seeing the books in flesh. You can read my #CeritaJalanAsik’s post on this bookstore if you have yet to decide whether or not to visit it on you next trip to Singapore.
Address: 9 Yong Siak Street, 168645 Singapore
Livraria Lello & Irmão in Porto, Portugal
I didn’t come to Porto just to try its culinary delights, I also came to see this bookstore. This store looks indeed very elegant, reflecting its Neo-Gothic style. The stairs and ceiling will amaze you, I know I went speechless by its beauty. This beautiful bookstore also inspired J.K. Rowling for her Harry Potter books when she lived in Porto.
At the time of my visit, visitors were not allowed to take pictures. However, now people are allowed to do so. So book nerds, be sure that this place is on your must see list when you come to Porto!
Address: R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal
Second Hand Books at Bras Basah Complex, Singapore
If you are looking for second hand books in Singapore then you should head to the Bras Basah Complex (BBC). BBC is known to be the centre for books and arts, so please do take your time to explore this place. One of the places that I went to even accept used books to be sold again (by them) and you will sure find a lot of bargains here too.
Mind that there are many shops here so do look around first to find the best bargain. Don’t forget to check out the art shops too if you are into art.
Address: Blk 231 Bain Street Bras Basah Complex, 180231 Singapore
Discounted Books at BookXcess in Malaysia
This bookstore is my favourite store whenever I am in Kuala Lumpur. They sell popular books at discounted prices, imagine up to 50%-80% discount! They have several shops all over Kuala Lumpur and around, so check out which one is nearest to you. I actually prefer to shop online and have it delivered.
The sister company of this bookstore also likes to organize huge book fairs. They did one in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, called Big Bad Wolf Books. I’ve not yet gone to their fair yet but I know how popular they were since I saw the hype on Instagram. The sale went on for days and even 24 hours! I advise you to check it out if you ever come across it.
There are still many bookstores that I want to visit in the future including Strand Bookstore in New York, Cărtureşti Carusel in Bucharest, Littered by Books in Singapore, POST in Jakarta and many more. I hope to be able to see them in the near future.
Are you a bookworm? Which bookstore is your favourite?
This week’s theme: Bookshop/Library