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Amazing Bookstores

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After visiting El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, I took it upon myself to visit The World's 10 Best Bookshops according to The Guardian, or as many as I can at any rate. I'm not sure I'll manage Kyoto, and the jury is out on Los Angeles, but I'm pretty sure I can manage the others on the list that I still haven't seen. Why, we're heading to Porto in September, that's number 3 in The Guardian's list.

Shakespeare & Company, not in the list by The Guardian, but adorable just the same.

Shakespeare & Company, not in the list by The Guardian, but adorable just the same.

El Ateneo Grand Spendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina

This was the first monumentally incredible bookstore I visited, rated #2 by The Guardian. El Ateneo Grand Spendid is just that, an unbelievable bookstore where one is uncertain whether the books are the protagonists or the spectators of a perfectly staged show.

Text and photos also appear on the hub "Postcards from Argentina"

Text and photos also appear on the hub "Postcards from Argentina"

This magnificent building is located at Santa Fe 1860, in La Recoleta district, and it used to be a grand theater a la Scala de Milano, or Barcelona's Liceo. The building as a theater opened in 1919, and was reconverted into a bookstore, preserving all original paintings, boxes, everything, even the stage, in 2000.

Being the bookworm that I am, and in spite of my recent year's tendency to give in to the comforts of online shopping, I've been to a significant number of bookstores all over the world. I've visited quaint little businesses seconded in either corners of big cities or small towns that have a very personal touch and treat customers as old friends; I've visited mega bookstores that aren't particularly appealing to my eyes but that I frequent anyway because they pride themselves in carrying anything ever published, and they aren't lying; I've visited specialized bookstores that carry, or can get for you, absolutely everything ever published on a specific subject matter....

I, however, had never before been as fascinated, actually as dumbstruck, for lack of a better word, in any other bookstore I even visited. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but really, I don't think so. Seeing and experiencing first hand are two different things in some instances, and this is one of them. To be sure, I'm not even certain what this bookstore carries, from what I saw they have a bit of everything, including CDs, postcards, and other memorabilia, but I couldn't really focus much on what was actually IN there, I just couldn't get over the THERE itself, and kept looking around like a totally unsophisticated tourist, camera in hand and all.

View of the mezzanine

View of the mezzanine

View from the stage out, that's the curtain on the right

View from the stage out, that's the curtain on the right

The boxes have been turned into reading spaces, and some armchairs and coffee tables are arranged close to the stage for the same purpose. One can just grab a book and sit there –I realize this isn't unique, I just never had the pleasure of having a reading space it in a more delightful atmosphere. The stage itself is a coffee and restaurant, you can also take your books to browse them there, or you can simply sit down to have a bite and see the show. You'll be on a real stage, curtains and all, but you'll never feel watched, because the real show happens off stage, in the orchestra and mezzanine.

If you're ever in Buenos Aires be sure not to miss this bookstore. Buying a book there is a plus, it will be a great reminder of a fabulous space, not that it'll be easy to forget it even if you walk out bookless.

Boxes turned reading spaces

Boxes turned reading spaces

Posada, Brussels, Belgium


Posada is nothing like the grand show presented by Buenos Aires' pride and joy of a bookstore. This is, however, the best bookshop in the world when it comes to art books, and the reason it made it to #7 on The Guardian's list.

This absolutely adorable bookstore features art books of any variety, size, shape, language, specialty, branch, publishing house and year, you name it, if it's art, they have it or get it for you.

Typical Brussels Housing


Posada is housed in a typical Brussels abode, in Magdalenasteenweg 29, sitting on three completely book-packed floors that smell of old paper, second-hand (or who-knows-how-many-hands) editions, and old habits. It reminded me a bit of Shakespeare & Company, the famous Paris bookstore.

The nicest thing about Posada for this visitor was its bookstore around the corner feel to it. We struck a conversation with a young and enthusiastic employee, half in French, half in English, and he was that typical helpful guy in your neighborhood bookstore, downplaying the fact that his bookstore featured in the list of The World's Ten Best Bookshops, but displaying enormous pride in the fact that if it's art, they will have it or find it, no matter what or where it is.

This charismatic bookstore was a charming place to visit, very handy too, since it was 5 doors from our hotel in Brussels!

Selexyz Dominicanen, Maastrich, Netherlands

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According to The Guardian, this is number 1, the best bookshop in the world. Evidently, I was prepared to be bowed by such a wonder, and that's maybe the reason why I wasn't as mesmerized as I should have been, but don't get me wrong and make no mistake, this is a most amazing bookstore, and I took plenty of photos to prove it!

This Dominican Church completed in 1294 is now a temple of a different sort, books are now the gods to be adored and, let me tell you, I found it quite ironic that an institution like the church, who single handedly burnt not only many books but also many writers back in its heyday, houses now such a magnificent collection of literature, including a very nifty stand for Angels and Demons by the (in)famous Dan Brown.  Like I said, ironic.

OLYA, flick

OLYA, flick

Curiously, this fabulous piece of architecture sitting smack in the middle of Maastrich's old district was "abandoned" for a few years and served as a parking lot for bikes, the popular transportation method in the Netherlands.

Back to the feelings I experienced when entering this breathtaking space, I would say it didn't bow me as El Ateneo Grand Splendid because of its setup. This is a converted church, but the books aren't an integral part of the architecture, they are set aside from the scenery. I believe this was done on purpose, and was very well achieved at that, the modern metal modular structure in the nave poses a striking contrast to the massive walls, the gothic arches and the ever present stained glass windows. It's like the interior designers wanted the visitors to make no mistakes between the house and its inhabitants.

I found that a major difference with El Ateneo, where the books --as I explained above, are completely integrated with the whole structure, they may be considered the spectators or the actors, but either way they are very much part of their home, and the visitor feels in the middle of a perfectly staged show. In fact, in El Ateneo, it wouldn't be the same without the books, it's the whole package that makes this an incredible bookstore.

In Selexyz Dominicanen one is in a church where books are on display and sold, but one doesn't feel like a mass will be conducted at any minute. As said, I believe this was done on purpose, and correctly so. Still, I'm of a mind to write to The Guardian and kindly tell them my slightly biased opinion on their mistaken ranking for bookstores #1 & #2. After thanking them for their wonderful list, of course!

In any event, as you can see below in the many photos I took, this is an amazing space, featuring books of any kind –they don't specialize in anything and carry a bit of everything as El Ateneo. This bookworm is elated to have visited the two best bookstores in the world in the span of six months. Amen.

The World's Best Bookstore in Photos

Will you look at the table shape in the cafe where the altar would have been?

Will you look at the table shape in the cafe where the altar would have been?


 As I said above... AMEN!

Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France


This isn't in The Guardian's list, but I'm sending a postcard from it just the same, because I simply adore this place, where the smell of old paper is probably the most powerful of any bookstore I ever visited.

This is a bookstore, all right, but so much more, too, it's really an institution in Paris. It used to house writers and students –some of the cots can still be seen in the upper floors, it also hosts book and literary clubs, weekly poetry readings and discussions, and all sorts of activities that keep the place young after its 58 years of life.

Shakespeare & Company sits on the Seine's Left Bank just in front of Notre Dame, and its website here linked offers plenty of further information if you are interested. You may also want to browse the Tripadvisor reviews. Note the fact that it's rated so very high in the mist of all of Paris attractions. It's not a coincidence, it's on account of its magic.

Take a look at these joys

Is this totally charming, or what?

Is this totally charming, or what?

Poetry corner.  I've been in this very spot as many times as I've been in Paris... quite a few!

Poetry corner. I've been in this very spot as many times as I've been in Paris... quite a few!

Yes, I know.  You love it, too.

Yes, I know. You love it, too.

I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of some of the best bookstores in the world.  I certainly enjoyed the real tour of them!

© 2009 Elena.


hugo van der wildt on May 11, 2019:

Amazing bokstores is amazing. We have that not in Belgium.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 18, 2010:

Thanks, Postcard seller, glad you enjoyed! :-)

Postcard seller on May 18, 2010:

Nice photos of the bookstores. I have a small bookstore where I sell various titles of books and some postcards. Nice hub, I like it very much, Thank you.

imad asaalwa on May 14, 2010:

no .. ! unluckily

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 10, 2010:

Hi Imad, have you gone and visited already? :) Facebook and I aren't great friends, really.

imad asaalwa on May 10, 2010:

hi Elena ... .

this is great.!

tthank u Elena > do u have facebook >?

Elena. (author) from Madrid on April 29, 2010:

What's stopping you, Imad? :-)

Imad ASaalwa on April 28, 2010:

i wanna be in every one bookstore there now now now

Elena. (author) from Madrid on November 15, 2009:

Glad you enjoyed the virtual visit, J Rosewater. I'm very fond of this hub myself, it's a personal favorite :)

J Rosewater from Australia on November 15, 2009:

This is by far the nicest of any hub I have seen this week. My number One hub so far. Well done indeed. I missed it so many times - I wonder why. Sometimes things just happen. Thanks for this

Elena. (author) from Madrid on August 18, 2009:

Smell of old paper is powerful in Shakes & Co and Posada, not so much in the other two fave bookstores, but those moe than over with looks :-)

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on August 18, 2009:

Wonderful hub! A bit lost for words.. the smell of the bindings....

Elena. (author) from Madrid on August 11, 2009:

Seems you're preaching to the converted here, Bookseller? :-)

Bookseller on August 11, 2009:

If you don't like corporate bookstores, don't support them! It's that simple. Pay the buck or two extra and support local mom and pop stores and the U.S. will once again have fabulous, dreamy bookshops.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on August 11, 2009:

Cooli-o WannaB Writer -- can I get on that list? :-)

And stay tuned as I'm going to visit bookstore #3 in The Guardian's compilation in a couple of weekends, Porto there I go! I'm most certainly doing another article on that one!

Barbara Radisavljevic from Templeton, CA on August 11, 2009:

As a bookseller, I found this a most interesting hub. I'm going to post the link to my booksellers' email list. Someone posted the pictures of the Netherlands bookstore there already, but not the others. I also am posting this to the links pages of my main website. Great hub!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on July 31, 2009:

Thanks tdarby! You should do that, reality is even more spectacular than the photos :-)

tdarby on July 31, 2009:

The pictures alone make me want to get in my car and take a trip. Thanks for a great hub!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on July 30, 2009:

Isn't it, Woodson! I hear the one in Porto, #3, is also out of this world. Had plans to visit it in September, but that has moved to ... August! :-)

Woodson from Minnesota on July 30, 2009:

I've been to El Ateneo and it is indeed incredible. Cool hub.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 25, 2009:

Aren't they just incredible, Dan? One goes bananas in these establishments, not sure if to look at the contents or the containers! :-)

Camping Dan on May 25, 2009:

Those are some absolutely amazing bookstores! I can spend hours at just about any store no matter how big or small.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 24, 2009:

Mobmani, I've a few more graphic hubs so feel free to browse, but I can hardly report on more bookstores because these are the only ones I've visited! :)

MOBMANI on May 24, 2009:

hey man that was really really nice.i hope you will create one more like these.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 24, 2009:

De rien, WhiskeyChick! There's nothing like this in my city and I wonder in my country, I certainly don't know of any such magnificent bookstore in Spain. Well, I know of 3 that are similar to Shakespeare and Company, but nothing as grandiose as El Ateneo or Selexyz Dominicanen -- these two are unique in THE WORLD :-) I had to travel quite far to see them :-)

WhiskeyChick from North of Somewhere on May 23, 2009:

Amazing! I want to be in every one of them at the same time. There's nothing for miles around here even remotely close to this worldly! Thanks for sharing!

James A Watkins from Chicago on May 23, 2009:

Oh, yes. They converted that one beautifully and I agree it is good to find a use for them rather than tearing them down.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 23, 2009:

Thanks, James! Here's to your visit to these mighty places some day.

Regarding the conversion of some of these old churches to other types of establishments, I personally favor the reuse, which doesn't have anything to do with my total lack of any kind of beliefs, but has a lot to do with preserving the patrimonial riches of old Europe :-)

James A Watkins from Chicago on May 23, 2009:

I find it sad that these cathedrals, lovingly and beautifully constructed over hundreds of years, are no longer used for the purpose for which they were built.

That said, I have nothing but praise for your Hub.  The photographs are fantastic and I love books.  I am going to keep these stores in mind and hopefully I can walk in your footsteps some day.  I enjoyed this Hub immensely!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 23, 2009:

That's a novel idea, Trish! Quick, patent it, before someone (like Sufi!) snatches it from under your nose! Laugh!

trish1048 on May 23, 2009:

Hi Elena,

I think perhaps Sufi's idea has given me a reason to lose weight.  Every time I run to the fridge, I should just turn around and run out to a book store.  I'd satisfy my hunger for reading instead of packing on the pounds LOL

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 23, 2009:

Hello, Trish! It was my pleasure putting this together, as it was to visit these fabulous bookstores :-) I love books mightily, and like you and Sufi I'd probably skip a meal or two in exchange for a book, but I fear I'd eventually give in to hunger! Laugh!

trish1048 on May 23, 2009:


This hub just gave me warm fuzzy feelings.  I am an avid reader, and have been since I was a child.  Currently, I have probably over 1000 books, half or more of which I haven't read yet.  Books are one of my passions.  It doesn't matter to me that I have books to read, when I'm out and about there is nothing better then going to a bookstore.  I somehow don't feel complete if I don't buy a new book, or old, as the case may be.

I spent many years buying on Ebay, and found one or two sellers who sold vintage books/magazines.  I have a nice but small collection of beautiful old books from the late 1800s.  The books have the most gorgeous covers, and my collection boasts pictures of lovely Victorian ladies on the covers.  It was always a thrill waiting for my treasures to arrive.

However, there is nothing I love more than an old, musty, dusty bookstore.  I frequent a combination junk/antique store that houses the most amazing things, and of course, their small room filled with books is my favorite part.

Your pictures are beautiful and the one that strikes my fancy the most is Shakespeare and Company.  I also love the picture of the old typewriter.  Great job!

I'm with Sufi on this, why buy food when you can buy books?  :)  I too, saw the Twilight Zone episode that Randy mentioned.  Horrors!  To me that is a fate worse than death LOL.

Thanks so much for this hub, it makes me want to run out to the bookstore :)

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

Hey, AEvans! Exactly my feelings after first visiting El Ateneo. I thought, "I've got to see those other 9 places"! And that's what I'm doing, who knows how long it'll take me or if I'll manage to complete the list! :-)

Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on May 22, 2009:

Wow!! I can say that I have not been to any of them but would love to visit them all. ")

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

My pleasure, MindField! Methinks I was in City Lights last time I was in San Francisco, oh so many years ago, but the place is so well known that I may be imagining my being there once :-) Anyhow, glad you enjoyed!

MindField from Portland, Oregon on May 22, 2009:

Some images of City Lights in San Francisco, one of my favorites. A tiny return on the magnificent trip you've taken me on.

I have often thought of a trip around the world to eat, have joked about one to discover good-looking men in many countries - but why, oh, why, I of all people didn't think of a tour of bookstores before this, I'll never know! Bet someone could make a fortune on the idea. (Any takers?)

I can only repeat what Jama says: Thanks for an unexpected and deeply moving peek at heaven.

Sheila from The Other Bangor on May 22, 2009:

I love all the book stalls in Madrid, but holy smoke that Ateneo is gorgeous. (I also like the look of the superb ribbed vault ceilings in Selexyz Dominicanen). I was in Shakespeare and Co. once, but probably couldn't afford to buy anything at the time. . .

great photos, thanks, Elena.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

It exists this side of death, Iphi (what a great line, BTW!), and if there's anything on the other side, I hope something like this exists there, too!

Shakes and Co is wonderful, I can't help but go every time I'm in Paris!  If you go up north, how about a train to Maastrich? :-)

Teresa - Don't be jealous, be a vicarious traveler here with me & my photos! Plus, you're "close" (in a manner of speaking!) to El Ateneo GS, and it's #1 in my heart, so there's always time... this side of death! :-)

Sheila from The Other Bangor on May 22, 2009:




I grew up in bookstores, but these are fabulous.

Iphigenia on May 22, 2009:

What a great read - I savoured every moment and could just smell those books, the paper. Surely kindle can't beat this. I've been to Shakespeare and Company a few times - but not for some years. I feel a trip north coming on. 

I can't begin to comment on El Ateneo - I'm gob-smacked in wonder that such a place exists this side of death.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

Hi, Susan! I'm glad you visited :-) These bookstores make pretty much ANY other look dull indeed! They say the beauty that counts is the one inside -- for a bookstore that would be the books, right? But these places make me wonder!! Laugh!

Susan Gabriel on May 22, 2009:

These photos are truly amazing, Elena. Thanks so much for sharing them. This collection makes the Barnes & Noble in my town look really dull and sad. How I love bookstores and libraries with character!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

Thanks, Wanderlust! I wish I'd know of Hatchards on my last visit to London (Feb 08'), now I'll just *have to* schedule a new visit... oh, the duress! :-)

Wanderlust from New York City on May 22, 2009:

Great hub and fantastic places! Unfortunately not so many of good bookstores in New York. But I've been to Hatchards in London (it is on the Gardian list) and it absolutely great store and I am sure you would love it too....

Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on May 22, 2009:

Unfortunately, my partner would kill me - I go completely mad in bookstores and would spend my last Euro - Why eat when you have books!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

Yes Sufi, there is that, isn't there? Then again, they probably can and will ship the books for you :-)

Amanda Severn from UK on May 22, 2009:

It's a really delightful place Sufi, but I can see your dilemma!

Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on May 22, 2009:

Amanda - I have always wanted to go there, but I have a feeling that I would get hammered for excess baggage with the hundreds of books that I would buy.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

Amanda, you temptress, you! Arghhhh. To click or not to click, that is the question! Laugh! I will click, of course I will! Or maybe I'll ask my SO to do the deed and report back. AY! :-)

Amanda Severn from UK on May 22, 2009:

Elena, the festival is on right now:

Hay-on-Wye is famous for it's book stores. Every other shop seems to sell books! Maybe you could put it on your list!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

Thanks, Amanda! They are wonderful, aren't they! Now that you mention it, this content is a bit unusual, must be on account of the world being in the digital era, as friedrichshain commented above. Never been to that book festival, and I'm hesitant to google it out, least I find myself with even more places to visit BID (before I die... laugh!)

Jama! Hello to you! And thanks for your nice comment! I was hoping someone here at HP saw it my way about #1 & #2 ... then again, the way I told it, I was bound to get some nods! Laugh! At any rate, if you can/have to choose only one of these to visit, go to Buenos Aires :-)

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on May 22, 2009:

Elena, pictures of those bookshops and your narrative is the nicest gift anyone could ever bring us from a trip.  wowwwwwwwww....  Think my heart stopped for a second on seeing the first pic.  Was truly like an unexpected peek at heaven.  wowwwwww....

The Guardian needs to rethink its rating process.  I'm with you...they definitely have #1 and #2 turned around.  An opera house filled with doesn't get any better than that.  Makes me salivate just thinking about it. 

Welcome back!

Amanda Severn from UK on May 22, 2009:

Fabulous pictures Elena, and what an unusual idea for a hub. Churches and opera houses. Who'd have thought it! I'm a sucker for a good book store myself, and being a University town, Brighton has some great book shops, although nothing quite like those you're describing here. Have you ever been to the book festival at Hay-on-Wye? That's quite an experience too.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

Hola, Gloria! I took pics for the incredulous & skeptical types! :-) It's good to be back...not so great to be back AT WORK, though!

Gloria on May 22, 2009:

Amazing! I heard you talking about these bookshops, but seeing the pics make me realize what an amazing places they are! Well done.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 22, 2009:

Hello, friedrichshain! You're right, these wondrous bookstores become even more relevant now in the era of digital comms! You would love them, I'm sure!

friedrichshain on May 22, 2009:

Wow this is a great Hub, makes me want to go travelling just to see those bookstores. I think incredible bookstores like these are more relevant than they've ever been in this digital age, bringing home the sense of wonder and grandeur - and even magic - that can be found in the printed page.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 21, 2009:

KCC, same here, I just love bookstores, even though these days I do much of my book shopping online, I do find something magic in bookstores, and these are just from out of this world!

KRC from Central Texas on May 21, 2009:

What wonderful photos! I loooooooove bookstores! There is nothing more empowering to me than to walk into a bookstore. So much knowledge, so much imagination spun into words that can take you anywhere and teach you anything. Gives me goosebumps! Thanks for sharing Elena, glad you had a good trip!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 21, 2009:

Hello, Golden!  You have number 4 of The Guardian's list right there in LA, it's called  Secret Headquarters comic bookstore. As I said in the hub I'm not sure I'll return to LA "just" to see #4, so maybe you can go and tell me all abut it? :-)

I think you would love it in Shakespeare and Company, well, you'd probably love it in any of these places really. 

Good to be back home, got to catch up with your stuff --though I read here and there that stuff is being taken down... will have to see what's what around here. Besos!

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 21, 2009:

Hi VioletSun! Very glad you enjoyed the virtual tour! I thought if anybody would like these amazing places that'd be the readers and writers at HP :-)

goldentoad from Free and running.... on May 21, 2009:

I gotta get out of America! All we have is the corporate bookstores anymore. Fabricated energy, everything with pretty covers.

That's an amazing tour and that picture with a typewriter, I could imagine myself there, with the energy of all those books, just pounding away at it.

Nice to see ya around, this place is nutso futso right now.

VioletSun from Oregon/ Name: Marie on May 21, 2009:

Elena: I loved visiting with you virtually. I know, just know, if I were to sit in of the bookstores your shared, I would be in book heaven. I always look for bookshops to relax, and went to a simple B&N yesterday, purchased two books by Osho; I feel a trip into town is complete after visiting a bookstore.   

Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on May 21, 2009:

Well worth it, Elena - it is many years since I visited, but they make great coffee and you are welcome to pick a book off the shelf and have a read whilst you are there. Have a pint of Guinness for me next time you are there - Would you be interested in a job-swap for a couple of months? All of that travelling to interesting places must get you down ;)

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 21, 2009:

Hello, Randy, you sexy hips you! Never caught that episode, I've only ever seen a few of the Twilight Zone episodes, and I wouldn't be so lucky as to catch this one. Would that be terrible luck or what, stepping on his glasses! Laugh!

Randy Behavior from Near the Ocean on May 21, 2009:

Elena you got some great pics!  Did you ever see the Twilight Zone episode where the book worm, bank employee, is reading his book in the vault during his break when a bomb destroys all of civilization.  He's left with all the time in the world to read his books no interuptions,  but then steps on his glasses. 

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 21, 2009:

Hey, Sufi! Would you believe I've been in Dublin about 100 times in the past few years and still haven't managed to go the TWS?! Shocking, to say the least! I'm slowly getting around to visit Dublin sites when I go on business, I shall do my best to mark that cafe off my list! :-)

Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on May 21, 2009:

Hi Elena - Glad that you enjoyed your trip! You have made me very jealous - those places look awesome, and I hope to visit some of them. I have been to Borders in Glasgow, and it is a small piece of heaven on Earth!

If you ever visit Dublin, there is a wonderful bookshop/cafe called The Winding Stair - a great place to spend a day reading, looking out over the Ha'penny Bridge.

Elena. (author) from Madrid on May 21, 2009:

Hey, guys! I'm back from an awesome trip ... as you can see :-)

Feline, I hear you, oh how I hear you. I died & went to heaven three times on this trip, plus once back in November 08'! Laugh!

Cindy, I don't know which one you mean, but since Charing Cross Road is well know for hosting many second hand bookstores and the couple I've been to were marvelous :-) Glad you enjoyed the tour!

Cris, hello to you! You would simply adore Posada, I just know it! And about rooftops, some are forthcoming, I visited 2 in Istanbul, 1 in Paris and 1 in Berlin, that together with at least one and maybe two in Madrid will make for some nice postcards with a view :-) Why, I think I just got myself a title for a hub! Laugh!

Cindy Vine from Cape Town on May 21, 2009:

Excellent Elena, think one of the nicest bookstores I visited was in London in Charing Cross Road

Cris A from Manila, Philippines on May 21, 2009:

WOOOOOWWWWW! This was a great hub, it's beyond postcards. The way you described each - in the unique way that you do - I could almost smell the books and the establishments!

Awesome pictures as usual! (but I'm looking for rooftops! LOL)

Btw, glad to see you back mi amiga, besos! :D

Feline Prophet on May 21, 2009:

Oh my...I feel like I've died and gone to readers' heaven! What fabulous places, and you've actually been in them and smelt the books? Sigh...

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