A literary tour round the world


In London, you will discover the stunning Marylebone High Street branch of . Situated in an Edwardian building built for this purpose in 1910, the most fascinating thing about Daunt’s is its own organizational methodthe majority of its titles aren’t shelved alphabetically but bynbsp;nation.

If you would like Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, it is going to be with the Russian travel guides. Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary will be with the Frenchnbsp;guides.

Daunt’s is the ideal place to navigate before travelling elsewhere, because it will offer the ideal inspiration for novels to take with you. And the entire organizational method highlights a strange and powerful link between bookstores and travelling how significant bookstores are to the careful traveller, the way they provide an oasis for those lost in a foreign land and the way the books lining the shelves can provide companionship at a place where everybody else could be anbsp;stranger.

A bookstore in a foreign country provides a window into culture and set in a manner that no museum or gallerynbsp;could.

Take, for example, the fairy-tale grotto of underwater books which is Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice. Acqua alta is a Venetian term that means “high water,” a reference to the periods when the tide is high and the town’s cobbled streets are flooded. The bizarre bookstore braces for these floods by keeping books in disused bathtubs and gondolas. Piles of ruined paperbacks form tables and are piled with popular titles like John Julius Norwich’s A History of Venice or the newest Commissario Brunetti mystery by Donnanbsp;Leon.

In the unlikely event of a crisis, there is a “fire escape” in the back that leads directly into thenbsp;canal.

For a more conventional — yet grandiose — bookstore experience, see in Porto, Portugal. Opened at the start of the 20th century, the magnificent neo-Gothic construction is regarded as a source of inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The celebrated author lived in Porto for a couple of years after she attended college, and if you look from a particular angle, the twisting staircases of Livraria Lello do almost seem tonbsp;proceed.

To get a more modernist take on bookshop layout, head to in Berlin. The space was constructed by the renowned architect of Weimar Germany, Hans Poelzig, in the 1920s, and the shop builds on this history by specializing in books on architecture, design, politics, economics and other functions that boundary thenbsp;in-between.

The minimalist design — much like a work of abstract and conceptual art — creates a space where notions and ideas can be tested out, bounced about and projected. The bookshop is famous for hosting events on technical topics; within the last few months, talks have ranged from urban networking to perceptions of motion in modernnbsp;lifetime.

Too cerebral? Craving a little relaxation, too? To get a master course on the timeless café-bookstore hybrid, look no farther than Massolit Books and Café innbsp;Budapest.

Found in the Hungarian capital’s Jewish Quarter, this quaint bookstore provides shelves of English-language names, delicious cake and a magical garden at the back where you are able to read, sip your cappuccino, contemplate andnbsp;dream.

But if it is star you’re looking for, the European bookstore with the most famous author clientele Must be in Paris. While it’s technically not the former stomping grounds of Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce — which one was closed in 1941 during the German occupation — this incarnation, opened in 1951 across the Seine and across from Notre-Dame, is conducted using the identical bohemian spirit. Inside its cluttered walls of new releases, philosophy poetry and books is a thriving community of artists and dreamers. A tradition since its beginning has been to welcome “tumbleweeds” — young travellers and writers — with a place to sleep one of the piles in exchange for a few hours of work daily (alumni include actor Ethan Hawke and award-winning novelist Sebastiannbsp;Barry).

Inspired by the exact same intellectual and bohemian doctrine, a group of idealistic and naive undergraduate students followed a similar version in Santorini, Greece, innbsp;2004.

Has been shown to be a enormous success, gaining global coverage and spawning an independent publishing arm. In addition, it is a hit with clients on the floor — and for good reason: After browsing the shelves, visitors can sit on the upper terrace and look out over the village of Oia, with its paper-white buildings and blue-domed churches, along with the tranquil Aegeannbsp;Sea.

Bookstores across the world are fighting against the incursion of e-books and online retail. Book publishing itself is a nervous wreck, not able to foresee what the future holds for print media, let alone the stores that provide it. Yet these terrific centres of civilization show no signs of disappearing and are, actually, thriving. Many have become tourist destinations. After all, who wants to ride the London Eye when you can read about it in Dauntnbsp;Publications?


Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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