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Bookstores

"I created this bookstore like a man would write a novel, building each room like a chapter, and I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations." —George Whitman


In the age of Amazon and Netflix

Where you can get everything in just one click

One swipe of a finger

You can get your dinner

Immediate gratification is the name of the game

In our modern times

Who likes to take time?

Who walks into vintage stores and artisan shops

When with 1 click of a button

Your order is at the door?

Why walk 500 miles when you can drive

and reach your destination in just hours?


In one click of a button

They tell you who you are

You took an uber,

They say you do not own a car

If you ride a bus or train

You must be drained

It does not matter if you like to drive

or already own one

They sell you more cars to ride


In one click of a button

You donate books and clothes

Buy and sell collectibles


In one click of a button

Or swipe of a finger

They sell you houses with white picket fences

and three car garages

As if that is what you truly wanted

Never mind if you are completely happy and content

With the company you keep

Who treated you with love and respect

It does not matter if you lay

on the most comfortable bed

They tell you cannot sleep

Unless you buy their bed.













In one click of a button

They sell you Superbaby apps

Created by people

Who are always in competition

Instead of celebrating the individual's identity

You listen to the fools' aim for conformity.

For it gives you satisfaction

With just a click of a button

You get immediate gratification


In the age of Netflix and Amazon

Where you get anything you want

With one swipe of a finger

or a click of a button

I still go to bookstores

with my favorite companions







World's oldest bookstores :

1. Livraria Bertrand - oldest bookstore in the world founded in 1732 in Lisbon, Portugal. Holds the Guinness book of world record of World's oldest operating bookstore. Opened in 1732 by Peter Faure who turned over decades later the bookstore to the Bertrand Brothers. It is located in Lisbon's bohemian Chiado neighborhood.


2. Moravian Bookshop- oldest and first bookstore in America founded in 1745 located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Here is an article on Literary Hub about how America's oldest bookstore has survived across the centuries


3. Hatchards- the oldest bookstore in London, UK was established in 1797 by John Hatchard located in the famous Picadilly St.


4. Libarairi Galignani- located in Rue de Rivoli right in between Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde in Paris, France was established in 1801.It is the oldest English language bookstore outside UK making it a hangout for the American, English expats and Paris artists and intellectuals.


5. Argosy Books- This 3rd generation family run antiquarian book store specializing in out of print rare books is located in New York city with it's warehouse in Brooklyn. It was founded in 1925. The likes of Jackie O and Bill Clinton frequented this iconic book store. This is where you go if you are an avid first edition collector or just like things that are old.


6. Shakespeare and Company- definitely not one of the oldest but I cannot write about bookstores and not include this personal favorite. I just cannot go to Paris without a "pilgrimage" to Shakespeare and Company. It opened in Paris's left bank right on the river Seine across Notre Dame in 1951. If you read Hemingway's A Moveable feast, this is not Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Co. established in 1919 were James Joyce, Earnest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T. S. Elliot, Ezra Pound, etc. gathered. The founder of the current Shakespeare and Co., George Whitman named it in honor of Shakespeare and the famous bookseller but continued to carry on the spirit of the original Shakespeare and Co. Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Anaïs Nin, Richard Wright, William Styron, Julio Cortázar, Henry Miller, William Saroyan, Lawrence Durrell, James Jones, and James Baldwin were among early visitors to this iconic bookshop.


Credit to the following sources: Shakespeare and Co., Argosy Books, Moravian bookshop, Hatchards, Librairi Galignani, oldest.org, lithub.com, https://lithub.com/to-john-lewis-whose-strength-and-sweetness-never-faltered/

Photographs: all photos were taken by the blogger



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