Inside The Six Coolest Bookstores In The World

Published November 18, 2015
Updated February 1, 2018

From an opulent former cathedral in the Netherlands to a converted palatial theater in Argentina, these are the world's coolest bookstores.

Cool Bookstores

For bibliophiles the world over, great bookstores–which are becoming increasingly rare–are like cathedrals. And then, sometimes, a great bookstore actually is a former medieval cathedral. Or sometimes it’s a converted palatial theater, or an entire urban neighborhood. Whichever the case, these six coolest bookstores from around the world will inspire awe, reverence, and wonder among book lovers and neophytes alike…

The World’s Coolest Bookstores: Selexyz Dominicanen (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Coolest Bookstores Dominicanen Interior
Coolest Bookstores Dominicanen Selexyz Ceiling
Coolest Bookstores Dominicanen Selexyz Columns
Coolest Bookstores Dominicanen Cross
Inside The Six Coolest Bookstores In The World
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Beneath the vivid medieval frescos and numerous spanning arches, customers at Selexyz Dominacanen are able to seek out books within genuine 13th century architecture. Originally consecrated as a church in 1294, this bookstore underwent numerous repurposing projects—such as being seized by Napoleon and, eventually, becoming a town archive.

The church now stands as a place where book lovers can nestle in alcoves to read among the looming, modern bookcases, or sip coffee at the café where the choir once sang hymns.

Baldwin’s Book Barn (West Chester, PA)

Coolest Bookstores Book Barn Desk
Coolest Bookstores Book Barn Colorful
Coolest Bookstores Book Barn Stacks
Coolest Bookstores Book Barn
Inside The Six Coolest Bookstores In The World
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Steeped in rustic charm, Baldwin’s Book Barn sits nestled in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley. The astounding five-story building once stood as an old milking house until it was eventually purchased by the Baldwin family in 1946 to be used as a bookshop. The old family’s homey touches are palpable as the staff welcomes all who visit to take their time reading and exploring any of the 300,000 used and antique books offered on their shelves.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.