Shakespeare and Company, Paris

Shakespeare and Company, Paris

The current Shakespeare and Co bookshop was established in 1951 by George Whitman, an American in Paris, but to fully appreciate the history of this fabled bookstore, we must first rewind to 1919, when a young female entrepreneur, bookseller, and publisher opened a bookshop in St.-Germain-des-Prés.

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The Jane Austen Centre, Bath

The Jane Austen Centre, Bath

The first stop on my little Jane Austen road trip was the Georgian city of Bath, where Jane lived between 1801 and 1806 and set two novels, Northanger Abbey & Persuasion. Bath was an important chapter in Jane's life and her experiences there shaped her life irrevocably. It was noisy and chaotic, certainly not the ideal place for her writing to flourish.

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Jane Austen’s House Museum

Jane Austen’s House Museum

Chawton Cottage in Hampshire, now known as Jane Austen’s House Museum, is the most significant Jane Austen site in the world, but the symbolic value of this house goes far beyond bricks and mortar. This modest little red brick cottage undoubtedly changed the course of literary history.

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Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

In the pretty riverside town of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, the most northerly city in the United Kingdom, you will find the iconic Leakey’s Bookshop. This one of a kind shop is literally an old Gaelic church filled floor to ceiling with beautiful books.

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John Sandoe Books, Chelsea

John Sandoe Books, Chelsea

Tucked away on a quiet street off Chelsea’s bustling Kings Road, is a wonderful independent bookshop, John Sandoe Books. The bookshop remains in the original location on Blacklands Terrace where John Sandoe first set up shop, now spanning three side by side stores acquired over fifty years.

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State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne

Once upon a chilly Sunday morning, the call of a million books drew me out of bed to the State Library of Victoria. The middle of autumn is my favourite time in Melbourne, crisp air fills your lungs, the parks are a glittering shade of gold, and the aroma of freshly ground coffee floats through the air.

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Word on the Water, London Book Barge

Word on the Water, London Book Barge

A once wandering 1920’s barge has taken up permanent residence along York Way on London’s Granary Square, just a short walk from Kings Cross and the British Library. Yet, this is no ordinary passenger barge, it’s a floating bookshop called Word on the Water – a trove of new and pre-loved books stacked amidst a funky bohemian ambience.

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Armchair Books, Edinburgh

Armchair Books, Edinburgh

There are a multitude of reasons why Edinburgh was crowned the first UNESCO City of Literature, from the exceptional libraries, quirky independent bookshops, and illustrious literary history, the Scottish capital is a wonderland for bibliophiles. Edinburgh has inspired the backdrop of many stories, so it’s no surprise that this city is also teeming with top notch literary haunts.

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State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

Who knew that the pretty South Australian city of Adelaide was hiding such a gorgeous library? I had no idea, and what a very special discovery it was. I just happened to be perusing one of those Top 20 Most Beautiful Libraries articles and the State Library of South Australia was there on the list.

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