The Most Beautiful BOOKSHOPS in the World

Below are 10 of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.

Let me know which is your favourite.

I have a few, but my ultimate are numbers 1 and 6.


Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice (Credit: Photo: Justine Kibler)

  1. Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice

Could this be the world’s only underwater bookstore? Translating as ‘high water bookshop’, its canalside spot means an extra level of organisation for staff: the rubber boot-wearing owner has to move his books from the floor to bathtubs and higher shelves during regular flooding. Justine Kibler, who took this picture when she visited in November 2013, said: “Venice is flooded. People are wading along the streets in a foot or two of water and the buildings are boarded up. But the Libreria Acqua Alta is still open for business. In fact it’s in its element.” (Photo: Justine Kibler)

El Péndulo, Mexico City

2. El Péndulo, Mexico City

This branch of Mexcian bookstore Péndulo offers a cultivated way to avoid the heat of Mexico City. Customers can leaf through shelves spanning two storeys or sit at the cafe listening to live music. In 2013, the chain celebrated its 20th anniversary by ‘releasing’ 1,000 books stamped with the message “This is a free book. Read it and return it to another public place.” (Photo: Aquiles Carrattino/aqui_c)


El Ateneo, Buenos Aires (Credit:

3. El Ateneo, Buenos Aires

Visitors can go from stage to page at this Argentinian icon. First built as the Teatro Grand Splendid in 1919, before becoming a cinema in 1929, El Ateneo appeals to the dramatic reader. With frescoed ceilings, ornate carvings and plush red stage curtains, it has retained its original splendour: customers can sit in the theatre boxes to browse in comfort. (Photo: Carlos Toledo/catoledo)



4. Polare, Maastricht

As a start-up that aims to sell fiction through online subscription is hailed as the future of books, what place is there for the humble bookstore? The future of one iconic seller is currently uncertain. The Polare bookstore in Maastricht came under threat when Polare declared bankruptcy in February. It remains open for the time being under the name ‘Boekhandel Dominicanen’ but staff have launched a crowdfunding campaign to save it from closure. Converted from a 13th Century Dominican church in 2006 by architects Merkx+Girod (now Merk X), Polare is a temple of books that raises reading to a religious experience. (Photo: Merkx+Girod)


5. Librairie Avant-Garde, Nanjing

Called China’s most beautiful bookshop, Nanjing’s Librairie Avant-Garde was built inside a former government car park that had also been a bomb shelter. To find their way into the 4,000 sq m underground space beneath Wutishan Stadium, visitors follow a yellow-striped road; inside, a replica of Rodin’s The Thinker sits alongside a cash till made out of old books, and pillars with famous literary verses carved into them. Another branch of the shop is housed inside Nanjing’s Presidential Palace – this one has managed to bring the palatial underground. (Photo: PR)

library 3

6. Livraria Lello, Porto

This Portuguese landmark opened in the former Chardron Library at the turn of the 19th Century. Its Art Nouveau space is dominated by a curving staircase with ornate wooden carvings to match its intricate wall panels and columns. Stained glass windows with plant motifs and a skylight showing the monogram of the store’s founder José Lello add to the churchlike appearance. (Photo: Michal Huniewicz/

Bart’s Books, California (Credit: Photo : PR)

7. Bart’s Books, California

Bart’s Books – which calls itself “the world’s greatest outdoor bookstore” – was set up in 1964 by Richard Bartinsdale, who left book cases on the street to sell titles he no longer wanted. Passersby could leave money in a coffee can. Now, the store has nearly 1m books – many of which are still sold through an honour system – as well as a courtyard where browsers can play chess under the shade of an apple tree. (Photo : PR)


8. Shakespeare & Company, Paris

“I must go down where all the ladders start in the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.” Featuring the WB Yeats quote on its website, Shakespeare & Company is a place that does more than sell books. Named after a bookstore frequented by Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce during the 1920s, the shop on Paris’s Left Bank has become equally legendary. Opened in 1951 by the American George Whitman – and run by his daughter Sylvia since his death in 2011 – it became a gathering place for Beat Generation writers like Allen Ginsberg and William S Burroughs. From the start, Whitman allowed travelling artists and writers to lodge at the shop, which is also a lending library; the spirits of past authors haunt its crowded walls. (Photo: John R Rogers)

Corso Como, Milan (Credit: Photo: PR)

9. Corso Como, Milan

Hidden behind an unassuming facade, Corso Como was founded in 1991 by former editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue Carla Sozzani. She brought her fashion nous to the complex that combines book and design stores with a cafe, hotel and roof garden. The bookstore mixes art, architecture and fashion titles with designer furniture to create a flea market with its own high-end Milanese twist. (Photo: PR)


10. Honesty Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye

The tiny Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye is a bibliophile hotspot: its literature festival, set up in 1988, was described by former US president Bill Clinton in 2001 as “the Woodstock of the mind”. More than 30 bookshops line the narrow streets – but the most striking is a set of shelves in the grounds of the town’s Norman castle. Customers can admire crumbling Medieval masonry while perusing second-hand titles; all proceeds go to the castle restoration. (Photo: Bronwen Lee/digibron)


This article was taken from a BBC Culture post. You can view it here


Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Connect with me on my Website


Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.


My Eight Golden Food & Drink Writing Tips

Thank you so much, Taryn, for inviting me to share an article on your lovely blog today! I’ve decided to write about a subject that I just know is close to both our hearts… FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD  – and drink.

You write about it in such a gorgeously hygge-esque way in ‘Perfect Imperfections’, making us all want to run to the kitchen and whip up Blueberry Crumb Cake and proper hot chocolates. And likewise, I cannot seem to get a book out there without the culinary weaving a (hopefully) delicious thread.

But there are a whole bunch of rules, I’ve discovered – if you want to do the tastes and flavours you are describing maximum justice. So I’m going to let you feast upon what I have learnt so far after one novel that has more than an icing sugar dusting of all things sweet… and another that is choc full of exotic and unusual cocktails.

Come dine with me!

Now, just to be clear, I’m usually one for completely and utterly disregarding the standard set of writing rules, then proceeding to toss them over my shoulder like confetti (or should that be rice?). However, writing about food and drink is a little different. It’s an art and it has to be done sensitively and precisely.

christmas-stollen-1768907_1920 (1)

Napkins at the ready? Here we go:

1: Spelling is everything
It might seem like a pedantic point to start my list with, but the last thing you want is a native of the country whose food you’re waxing lyrical about, to get in touch with you to complain that you’ve spelt croquembouche wrong! Always err on the side of caution and double check. Then double check again.

2: Use your common sense
It’s always best to write about food you have eaten, food whose tastes, textures and fragrances you can put semi-eloquently into words. If a macaron has a place on a page that let it zing, give it a little raison d’être, describe the way it feels as the character bites into its delicate, almondy crumble tinged with a hint of pistachio. Give your reader a visual of the way it looks laid out next to the rest of the rainbow-hued backgammon set of delicacies in that patisserie window. Tell us why your protagonist needs the saccharine bolster after a particularly crap day.

3: Get your facts straight
Food and drink has a rich history. So if you have a know-it-all character spilling the coffee beans on Absinthe’s provenance, check those historical facts over and over. It’s not enough to head to one Google resource. Cross check this for consistency. This is your work and your credibility at stake – no matter whether you are writing a War and Peace style novel, or a newspaper article.

4: Ramp up the empathy
There’s no better way to help your readers root for your main character than via the stomach. Even antagonists need to display a slightly personable side, after all! By hinting at a childhood memory of vulnerability, softened with a slice of Victoria Sandwich, or the zesty fragrance of Grandma’s  Lemon Meringue Pie, you immediately help the reader to make a connection… encouraging them to engage in the storyline, despite the hideous actions of your baddie.

5: Atmosphere
Food and drink shouldn’t just be randomly dumped on a table for your characters to eat/to pad out your chapters. Use it to set your scenes:
How can the smell of that approaching vat of bouillabaisse enhance/dissipate the family argument? How will your plate of ripe, juicy cranberry and white chocolate flecked cookies break the ‘no sugar before Christmas Day’ resolve of the steeliest businesswoman at the December 1st office meeting? What will your main female character do to escape her violent partner now that she’s let the heady ruby marigold mix of medicinal Campari and Blood orange slip down her throat and warm up her stomach?

6: Read your cookbooks
I have a giant bookcase positively bursting at the seams with calorific goodness and it is my absolute go-to when I am struggling to describe a food or a drink which just has to appear in my novel. I’m by no means suggesting you steal sentences from your favourite chefs, but just flicking through a couple of Nigella books cannot fail to kick start your imagination resulting in some of your own uniquely mouth-watering dialogue.

7: Make your settings authentic
If you’re going to feature a cocktail bar in your novel (or maybe I’m the only one crazy enough?), again, take your time to build up an authentic picture. Flick through pictures on Instagram and Pinterest and learn to put creative language to the things you see; rifle through the websites of the suave and sophisticated city bars of London, New York and Sydney. Leave no stone un-turned to ensure a realistic experience for your readers.

8: Liken your characters to food and drink
I probably shouldn’t divulge this one… it becomes seriously addictive and is a lot of fun. But for all that, I hardly ever see it happening in a novel. Food and drink, however, have distinctive personalities of their own, which make for quite a comedic image when we liken them to our characters:

“It was then that I realised I had my arms around a croquembouche, a rich tower of haute couture, the height of which was simply too majestic for a girl like me to scale.”

Harry Eastwood, the chef, does something similar to this, with stunning effect in her fantastically titled cookbook: Red Chocolate Velvet Heartache. Except she uses this technique the opposite way, almost anthropomorphising her cakes!

Well, I don’t know about you… but after writing all of that, my stomach is definitely rumbling.


Isabella May


Author Bio:

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.

As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).

She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!

The Cocktail Bar is her second novel, following on from the hit sensation, Oh! What a Pavlova, published in 2017. Her third novel is currently being polished up and involves copious amounts of churros con chocolate: watch this space…


Blurb for The Cocktail Bar:

Rock star, River Jackson, is back in his hometown of Glastonbury to open a cocktail bar… and the locals aren’t impressed.

Seductive Georgina is proving too hot to handle; band mate, Angelic Alice, is messing with his heart and his head; his mum is a hippie-dippy liability; his school friends have resorted to violence – oh, and his band manager, Lennie, AND the media are on his trail.

But River is armed with a magical Mexican elixir which will change the lives of the Three Chosen Ones. Once the Mexican wave of joy takes a hold of the town, he’s glad he didn’t lose his proverbial bottle.

Pity he hasn’t taken better care of the real one… – Universal Amazon link to buy The Cocktail Bar

Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Connect with me on my Website


Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

Real Hot Chocolate Recipe from Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh

For those who have read my book Perfect Imperfections, you will know that Sarah makes this amazing hot chocolate which she and Edward call ‘Real Hot Chocolate’.

This is actually my own real life way of making hot chocolate and it’s become a favourite amongst my readers.

So with this in mind, I thought it would be fitting to share this recipe even with those who are yet to read the book. Just remember that no one said it’s healthy! But it’s perfect for a winter’s day or to celebrate a special moment or memory with your family and friends.

So I will share the ingredients with you, but for the method, I’ve included an excerpt from my book, because Sarah does it best!


1 x slab of your favourite Chocolate (mine and Sarah’s is Lindt)

250ml of Full Cream Milk

Marshmallows (my version, not Sarah’s, to add on top at the end)



Sarah couldn’t sleep, and after tossing and turning in bed until four in the morning she decided to wake up, shower and make Katy some breakfast. She found her way into the kitchen with her Lindt chocolate in hand, and rummaged through the cupboards for ingredients to whip up some crumpets for breakfast. After using all the crumpet batter to make a pile of crumpets so high that they threatened to tip over, she left them covered on the kitchen counter with golden syrup and honey positioned on either side, ready for Katy when she awoke. For the life of her she couldn’t imagine Katy eating so many crumpets, but the process of mixing and flipping them one by one, was what keep her going; it was her early morning therapy session.

Moving swiftly through the kitchen, she warmed some milk in a pot on the stove and, once hot, poured it into a mug. She broke pieces of chocolate, and let them plop one at a time into the steaming hot milk, allowing them to sink to the bottom of the mug, melting into oozing brown streams as they sank. Leaving the chocolate to melt and mix with the milk, she made her way to a sofa in the lounge and pulled a cream cashmere throw over her legs.

She wrapped her fingers tightly around the warm mug of hot chocolate, and watched through the window as the landscape dawned before the eyes. The beauty of a new day always carried with it a sense of hope. Each day could be so vastly different to the one before. Life could change in an instant, from joy to sorrow and from sorrow back to joy. Nothing in life was guaranteed, no one held the promise of another day. She was determined to try to live each day as best she could. Eventually the darkness had to give way to the light. The rising of the sun each day testified to that.

I hope you enjoy your delightful mug of real hot chocolate, and I hope you think of Sarah and I and Perfect Imperfection whenever you make yourself a mug full.

Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Connect with me on my Website


Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

Book Review : The Carrero Effect by LT Marshall 


Emma Anderson has everything in her life worked out, the perfect job in a Manhattan empire allowing her to live a quiet organised and safe existence. A necessity to her. That is until a promotion sends her straight into the presence of her young, super hot, playboy billionaire boss, and stuck as his right-hand man every waking moment of every single day. Like chalk and cheese, two people with no longing for love or complication, this unusual pairing may either be just what she needs in her life, or the absolute path to disaster. He’s everything she’s not. Compulsive, confident, laid back, dominant and fun, with an ability to steamroller over her manicured ice maiden exterior. New love, overwhelming emotion and heartbreak. This tale will take you on a rollercoaster begging for more. Love-able sexy characters and deep emotional topics. Contains some mature, adult content and language.

My Review :

What an emotional roller coaster of a book! I didn’t know whether to love or hate Jake. In fact I’m still not sure whether I love or hate him and that is what makes this book so brilliant. It keeps you hooked until the last page and then leaves you wanting more! 

Being part of a Trilogy I didn’t know how LT Marshall would make a love story want to make you reaching for Book two, but she did a phenomenal job! Now all you want to do is reach for the second one in the series, to see if what you want to happen,  will actually happen. 

The dynamics of the relationships are definitely intense and left me wondering about Emma’s state of mind and why she is the way she is. 

For those who love Romance that deals with real issues, then these are definitely the books for you. There is love and lust and heartache and pain. There are friendships and relationships that can give you a check of your own reality. 

So now I’m off to read book two, so I can decide if I’m going to be #TeamJake or #TeamArry 

Let me know what you loved about these books and who’s team you’re on! Join the social media frenzy that is taking us by storm and be a part of The Carrero conversation. 

You can buy a copy of the book in Paperback or Kindle formats here

Connect with the Author LT Marshall on Facebook

Remember Sharing is caring so please feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Connect with me on my Website



Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections, which is currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

Now $0.99 on Kindle Countdown

Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh is now $0.99 on Kindle Countdown. 
What is Kindle Countdown? 

For those of you who might not know. Kindle Countdown is when a book is marked down for a limited time only and the price rises slightly each day until the promotion ends and it reaches its original price.  

What if I don’t have a Kindle but still want the book? 

No problem at all. The Kindle App can easily be installed on your Smartphone for FREE. So go to your app store. Add it and get yourself a copy of the book today!

How can I spread the word? 

If you would like to help me tell the world about this promotion then please post the picture above or below on Twitter and Facebook and say the following :

Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh is now $0.99 on Kindle Countdown. 


#PerfectImperfections #TarynLeigh #KindleCountdown

Every mention helps! So please share far and wide!

Thank you for your endless support!


Taryn Leigh