Most Intriguing Bookstores Around the World You Must Visit

Leakey's Bookshop in Inverness, Scotland - Bookshops Around the World

Finding Bookstores Around the World

Wherever I travel, I scope out the best bookshops in that town. For me, the excitement of walking into a new and undiscovered bookstore is invigorating. I am always on the lookout for books that I haven’t read before and rare, older books. I love to read although the hundreds of books on my bookshelves at home can attest that I tend to buy books faster than I read them. Here are some of my favorite bookstores around the world that I’ve found. Let’s start in my backyard:

Leakey's Bookshop in Inverness, Scotland - Bookshops Around the World

Read It Again Books

Read It Again Books in Novi, MichiganRead It Again Books is my mainstay book supply here at home. I love this shop for many reasons. The super friendly staff that personally greets me every time I walk through their door. The numerous selections of books they have. The ability to request old & new books which they set aside for me to pick up when they show up. And the capacity to trade in books I’ve read to get discounts on new books. Read It Again Books located at 39733 Grand River, Novi, MI 48375. (248) 474-6066

John K. King Used & Rare Books

John King Books in Detroit, Michigan - Bookstores Around the WorldJohn King Books is the largest used bookstore in Michigan. Where four stories filled with books piled high and on shelves are waiting for you to find a gem. Over a million books to choose from including a large selection of rare books. I recently picked up the American Annual of Photography from 1909 and a 1968 Boston: International Visitors’ Guide that has an interesting section on Etiquette. Oh, how we have changed! John King Books located at 901 W. Lafayette Blvd. Detroit, MI 48226. (313) 961-0622

The Book Loft

The Book Loft in German Village, Columbus, Ohio - Bookstores Around the WorldThe Book Loft is a whole city block long filled with so many books you need a map to figure out how to get out of the building. If you are looking for a particular book, this shop will probably have it and will be loads of fun trying to find it. I explored every one of the 32 rooms and left with more than a handful of books. Book Loft located at 631 South Third St. Columbus, OH 43206. (614)464-1774

The Strand

Inside Strand Bookstore - Bookstores Around the WorldThe Strand is the largest bookstore in New York City boasting 18 miles of new, used, and rare books. The rows of $1 books outside the store are what first grabs your attention. Inside there are stacks and stacks of books in which anybody can find something they’ll like here. Each time I visit New York I swing by here to see what is new in the travel section. I still haven’t gotten to the Rare Books section. Next time. The Strand located at 828 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10003-4805. (212)473-1452

Leakey’s Bookshop

Leakey's Bookshop in Inverness, Scotland - Bookstores Around the WorldLeakey’s Bookshop is one bookstore that I could have spent hours and hours here. I love old leather-bound and hard covered books. Leakey’s is the mecca of old books! I bought two but, could have easily bought more. Although that is all that would fit in my luggage. Leakey’s Bookshop located at Church Street, Inverness IV1 1EY, Scotland. +44 1463 239947

Fred’s Ambleside Bookshop

Inside Fred's Ambleside Bookshop

Fred Holdsworth Books is a neat little bookstore in the Lake District of England. Opened almost every day of the year. The shop has an excellent collection of maps and guidebooks of the area. Come in and chat with the staff, they are a wealth of knowledge. Fred’s Ambleside Bookshop located at Central Buildings, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9BS. 015394 333 88

Commonwealth Books

Inside Commonwealth Books in Boston, Massachusetts - Bookstores Around the World Commonwealth Books is a narrow little bookstore tucked away down an alley which happens to be the oldest street in Boston. There are piles of books everywhere you look and also old prints, manuscripts, and hardcover classics. I could have spent hours browsing through the shelves but, I only had a short time and limited space in my luggage so, definitely have to do a return trip. If you are looking for a unique book, you can contact them or even view their online selection of books. They are also part of Southern New England Antiquarian Booksellers and should be part of the best bookshops around the world. Commonwealth Books can be found at 9 Spring Ln, Boston, MA 02109.

The Yankee Bookshop

I found The Yankee Bookshop while wandering through Woodstock, Vermont. This is Vermont’s oldest independent bookshop since 1935. Browsing their shelves I found “The Photographer’s Guide to Vermont”. Lucky me! Now I need to go back and explore Vermont some more to find all the places this book recommended. The Yankee Bookshop is at 12 Central St., Woodstock, Vermont 05091.

Libreria Acqua AltaLibreria Acqua Alta in Venice - Bookstores Around the World

Libreria Acqua Alta which actually means ‘Bookstore of High Water” is one of the most unique bookstores around the world that I have stumbled upon. The store is packed to the rafters with books piled high on every surface available. Since Venice has a tendency to flood, this bookshop has a unique way of dealing with the rising water situation. Books are stored and displayed in bathtubs, rowboats and even a gondola. There is even an adorable cat that lounges on the book stacks waiting paitently for you to take his picture. The Libreria Acqua Alta is at Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa, 5176b, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy.


As I continue my travels I will add more bookstores to this list. Have you been to any of these bookstores? What did you think of them? Have you been to any other bookstores around the world that you would recommend visiting?

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Further Reading

If you are traveling and looking for a great bookstore, check out these posts for more travel inspiration:

    • Cecil Court – The Hidden Book Lovers Street in London



  • D 11July2019 at 4:36 PM Reply

    Powell books in Portland, Oregon is great. There’s even a second building with science and technical books.

    • Heather 11July2019 at 4:47 PM Reply

      That sounds wonderful! I will have to add it to my list to visit!

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