If books were your religion, here’s your place of worship. This beautiful converted cathedral in Holland seems to me to be exactly how much reverence books should be given. I suspect, however, that getting book lovers to actually vacate the premises might be problematic.
In terms of books as art and inspiration, this incredible Toronto bookstore is – gasp – owned by a national chain. Chapters Indigo owns several different brands of bookstores, including Chapters, Indigo, and Coles. Instead of tearing down the old theatre, they did a gorgeous restoration, resulting in an environment where so much creativity is concentrated, you almost feel like you could set your laptop down and a book would write itself.
To me, the bookstore environment is so important. People keep coming up to me and telling me that buying bestsellers at Costco is “so cheap!”, but it feels like a Faustian bargain to me. I hate Costco stores. They are cold, and soulless, and the people shopping there always seem angry.
I like to linger over books, looking at covers, reading jackets, trying to figure out how many books I can buy if I only eat peanut butter for a week. The bookstore I work in has coffee available, chairs, and fireplaces(!), meaning that people genuinely want to be there, and are happy to stay.
Bookstores should be a source of knowledge, comfort, warmth (preferably caffeine) and company, be it fictional, or non-fictional. Like the best places of worship.
If you’d like to have a look at some more unbelievable bookstores, here’s a link: http://flavorwire.com/254434/the-20-most-beautiful-bookstores-in-the-world