Friday, 17 August 2012

Buildings Recycled Into Bookstores

While there are so many beautiful bookstores in the world, some of my favourites reside in buildings that were formally something else. Here’s a list of some bookstores from around the world that find their homes in recycled buildings.

Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore, Maastricht, Netherlands A different kind of place of worship, this bookstore has found it's home in a Dominican Gothic church from the 1200's. After the Napoleonic invasion, this church has housed a great deal of different things, from car shows to bicycles to boxing matches. After extensive renovations, the church was reopened as a bookstore in 2006. You can read more (and see more pictures, including the one above) here and read more here

Barter Books, Alnwick, Northumberland Books can take you places, so an old train station is the perfect location for this bookstore, which is one of the largest used bookstores in Europe. The store was opened by Mary and Stuart Manley in 1991, and the train station was built in 1887 by William Bell. In 2000, an old propaganda poster from the Second World War was found in the shop, featuring the words "Keep Calm and Carry On." The poster is now a cultural icon. You can see a fantastic video about the poster here, which includes brilliant footage of this lovely shop. More information can be found at the store's official website. The picture above is by Dave Morris.

El Ateneo Bookstore, Buenos Aires, Argentina This theatre house was built in 1919 and called The Great Splendid. Now housing books instead of plays, this store holds a huge collection of books, with private boxes converted into reading rooms. While the English selection of books is minimal, this store is high on the WOW factor and certainly one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. More information can be found here. Picture by CPX de Mex. You can also read about a theatre turned into bookstore in Toronto here

Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colorado First opened in 1980 and called Book Rack, this store changed its name to Old Firehouse Books when it moved into the town's historic firehouse in 2009. You can read more here. Pictures by kurki15.  


  1. I love these types of bookstores! I wonder if we can find one in London?!

  2. We definitely should! I'll find one for us!

  3. I love that bookstores are making a come back!

  4. I've been slowly toying with the idea of opening a bookstore, but I also wanted to consider recycling an old building... this concept is difficult since most of the buildings in this city are traditional, square and have no real history.



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