Libraries may be temples of knowledge and wisdom, but a bookstore offers the luxury of keeping the wisdom to yourself, forever. It's the place you can go to after having read an amazing book that you want for the keeps. These bookshops got famous and are much loved not just for the books they offer, but also the ambience, and the history they share. So here are the most wonderful bookstores from around the world that'll charm you to them, one quaint little place at a time.

1. Libreria El Pendulo - Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico, it is said, resembles the city of Paris when it comes to bookstores and this one store will be your answer to why. It has a small bar, a cafe and a bookstore, all under one roof. You can also enjoy live stand-up comedy once in a while.

Source: Static

2. Polare - Maastricht, Holland

This bookstore opened its doors in the year 2007, and continues to attract people with its Gothic charm. Ranked as one of the most beautiful bookstores, this one is a 700-year-old church built in 1294, and still has all the grandeur it used to, back then. And yes, it's huge.

Source: TheDailyTop

3. El Ateneo Grand Splendid - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ah, this one. You can actually sit in old theatre boxes and read. That's because this used to be a theatre in the 1920's and has lost little or let's say none of its charm with the lusturous ceilings and ruby red curtains. 

Source: TheDailyTop

4. Kids Republic - Beijing, China

This is the first bookstore in China that specialises in children's books. But looking at the colours and reading cubicles, one can imagine being tucked away with a book here, for hours at a stretch.

Source: RetailSquare
Source: RetailSquare

5. Shakespeare and Company - Paris, France

For every friend who's visited Paris, I've had a simple request of buying themselves a book from here, so that I get to keep the wrapper in which the book arrives. Now I have a closet decorated with the same. This bookstore featured in the movie Midnight in Paris, and is one of the cosiest places in Paris to sell the kind of variety that they have.

Source: Talentedreader
Source: Wordpress

6. Barts Books - Ojai, California

Richard Bartinsdale built a collection of bookcases in 1964, on which he showcased his collection of books so that people could have a look while passing by the California sidewalk. Now, this is the biggest open boostore, and has some of the rarest books present. And of course, it's beautiful.

Source: StaticFlicker

7. Ler Devagar - Lisbon, Portugal

The name of the library translated to English means, 'read slowly', and it's the ambience of leisure that will prompt you into losing the mundane hurries of everyday life. This place used to manufacture thread and fabric in 1864, and when the machinery was moved out, this bookstore happened. Just two floors full of amazing. That's all. 

Source: Blogspot
Source: Blogspot

8. Librería Acqua Alta - Venice, Italy

This one overlooks a canal and has a rowing boat inside filled with books, and Venice is the only place that can have it! Luis Frizzio is a 70-year-old man who owns a lot of cats that can be seen perusing the place. It almost overflows with books and is a wonderful place to sit sipping on tea, with a book in hand.

Source: Livelib
Source: Trover

9. Livraria Lello e Irmao - Porto, Portugal

This bookstore is one that's familiar with Potterheads, because of all the times it has featured in Harry Potter movies. This bookstore gives you the feeling of an ancient palace, renovated and restocked with books. It's beautiful, with all it's ornate pillars and Gothic decor, and it will hold a special place in a Potterhead's heart, 'Always'.

Source: DeviantArt

10. Plural Bookshop - Bratislava, Slovakia

If you like quirk then this is the bookstore you need to visit. The floors are sandwiched between bookshelves and used by readers to sit and browse, and then manifests into an auditorium for talk shows and events. It also offers coffee, you guys!

Source: ArchDaily

11. Librairie des Colonnes - Tangier, Morocco

This historic bookshop has also been home to many famous authors. Famous for its brilliant architecture and design, it's a haven for booklovers.

Source: Hotspot

12. Books Actually - Singapore

If ancient artifacts (I might be exaggerating) interest you as much as books do, then this is the place you need to get to. It offers a large number of books and also sells items like the typewriter. So go here, and you'll go back in time. 

Source: SGAsia

13. Librairie Avant-Garde - Nanjing, China

Once a bomb shelter, this bookstore has been awarded the most beautiful one in China, by CNN. Spread over a massive area of 4000 square feet, this is the paradise from which you can pick your favourite flowers.

Source: CNN

14. Livraria da Vila - São Paulo, Brazil

This bookstore not just sells but also uses the merchandise to decorate the place. That's right. Even the atriums are decorated with books, something you can see when you look at the ground floor.

Source: ArchDaily
Source: Twitter

15. Bookabar Bookshop - Rome, Italy

One of the largest inter-disciplinary exhibition areas, it has dedicated two of its three floors to books. The third floor is a museum, and the cafe next to it has a menu that renames itself according to the items on display at the museum, and we cannot vouch for how appetising that would be.

Source: Taringa

16. John K. King Used And Rare Books - Detroit, Michigan

If the smell of old books entices you, then this bookstore will be everything you ever prayed for. Once a glove factory, this now sells old books. It's rustic, and beautiful.

Source: AdriaDaily

17. Cook & Book - Brussels, Belgium

You're mistaken if you think they sell cook books. But located in the bustling city, this place offers good food, with good books, in a restaurant inside the store. So yeah, don't waste time and read while you eat. Also, it has books everywhere, even on the ceilings!

Source: MitInnovation

18. Barter Books - Alnwick, UK

This is the place where all the 'Keep Calm' slogans come from. Mary Manley opened this bookstore in an old train station and followed the barter system, where you could swap books. It made the headlines in 2001, when she found an old World War 2 poster that read, 'Keep Calm and Carry On', which has now turned into an international phenomenon. 

Source: VisitNorthumberland
Source: Arewenearlythereyetagain

19. Atlantis Books - Santorini, Greece

Nothing great ever happened over salad has been proved true once again. Two friends got together over wine, and decided to turn an old village house into magic. It hosts festivals and readings on the terrace, with the setting sun for a view on a Mediterranean island. 

Source: Goodreads

20. Brazenhead Books - New York, USA

When he could no longer afford the rent of his store, he moved it to his Upper East Side house. Most of his neighbours are unaware of it too. All you need to do to visit, is call him and set an appointment. If you ever find his number.

Source: NYOObserver

21. Le Bal Des Ardents - Lyon, France

You can call this place a voice for the voiceless, as it supports and promotes unknown writers, publishing houses and independent themes. The name means 'The burning ball' look at the entrance, and you'll know why.

Source: Pinterest

22. Librairie Ptyx - Brussels, Belgium

If there's a building that screams 'Bookstore!' it's this. The wall carries a façade of a dictionary, with the name of famous authors and their bios. 

Source: BookRiot

23. Book Now - Bendigo, Australia

Once again, if you love the smell of pages that have crossed hands, this place offers it in plenty. It's difficult to come out with nothing, when it offers more than 60,000 hand me downs to choose from. Also, the old house feels.

Source: Pinterest
Source: Tumblr

24. Livraria Cultura - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Eva Herz had escaped the Nazis in Berlin, and arrived in Brazil, wher she started a bookstore in the spare room of her rented apartment in 1928. Today, it's a sprawling place that offers a dragon to play on, spacious areas to lounge and a four-floor dream stacked with books. Wow!

Source: Mundodas

25. Powell’s Books - Portland, USA

It's so huge that you need a map to go through it, which is provided by the store, of course. Previously a car dealership, it now sells books old and new. 

Source: Powells
Source: CNTraveler

*All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go*