Some of the Quirkiest Bookshops in the World


A bookshop in Venice is of course prone to flooding, so what better way to store books than in a gondola? For more pictures and a review of this bookshop go here.


This bookshop has opened since my last visit to Bucharest, so I haven’t seen it yet, but it looks gorgeous in its old villa setting at Piata Romană No. 5. Another firm favourite is Librăria Cărtureşti on Verona Street, but I couldn’t find any pictures to do it justice.


This is a floating bookshop, operated out of a narrowboat moored in Burton-on-Trent, UK, but chugging up and down most waterways in England and Wales.


If I had nine lives, I would spend all of them wandering up and down the Kanda district of Tokyo, where bookshops with both new and second-hand books abound.


A ten-year love story, as you can read on their website. In the spring of 2002, Oliver and Craig spent a week on the island of Santorini. The land inspired them and there was no bookshop, so they drank some wine and decided to open one.


And here is a bookshop that I do know from my student days. Situated just opposite the main entrance to the British Museum on Great Russell Street in London, it is over 110 years old and specialises in Oriental books: art and literature, music and film, plus out of print or rare books.

Finally, here are three modern interpretations of a bookshop, with a very designerish feel to them. Perhaps not as cosy and haphazard as the ones above, but certainly a pleasure to look at.

Suhrkamp Publishing, Berlin

The best colour-coordinated bookshop belonging to the renowned German publisher Suhrkamp Insel Verlag.


I want to be a child again and live in this bookshop/library.


Swedish designers Smånsk have created this bookshop for travel magazine Vagabond in Stockholm – a world away from Ikea. Or not?

17 thoughts on “Some of the Quirkiest Bookshops in the World”

  1. Oh, my goodness, Marina Sofia! These are incredible! This post makes me want to take a bookshop world tour. I know people do that kind of thing. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. You know, I find that Kindle-ing has just made me buy more books – the clicky ones and then the real ones. I’ve never been able to come out of a bookshop empty-handed.

  2. I love how you took us to unusual and special bookstores across the globe. I’ve been to none, but I think I’d particularly like the one in Venice with books in a gondola…two favorite things at once!

    1. Thank you, my dear, perhaps we should visit them quickly before they all disappear. I used to have 2 favourites in London (the Dancers’ Bookshop and the Travellers’ Bookshop, which was the inspiration for the film Notting Hill), which have since closed down.

    1. I think that would be the dream life for me: opening a bookshop on a Greek island. Or a barge. But I am sure the realities of running a bookshop are much tougher than the idyllic image suggests.

  3. I visited Aqua Alta in September and posted quite a few pictures on my blog.
    It’s quite something. I had a post before on different book shops but yours has many I hadn’t heard of before. Not sure which one I like best.
    Thanks for sharing them.

Do share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.