Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare and Company 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 named Sylvia Beach opened a bookshop in St. Germain-des-Prés.

View Post

The Jane Austen Centre

The Jane Austen Centre

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, almost ruining her writing career. It was noisy, chaotic, and stifled her capacity to write. Here, she also came to terms with the true quandary of being an unwed woman in Regency England without means or the ability to earn an income.

View Post

John Sandoe Books

John Sandoe Books

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

View Post

Leakey’s Bookshop

Leakey’s Bookshop

Inverness is the most northerly city in Britain and the capital of the Scottish Highlands. Here in this pretty city nestled on the banks of the Ness, you’ll find the iconic Leakey’s Bookshop, an old Gaelic church filled floor to ceiling with books. Hallelujah, I have finally found a religion worth waking up early for on Sundays!

View Post

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.

View Post

Rijksmuseum Library

Rijksmuseum Library

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is home to over 8,000 pieces of priceless art, including the masterpieces of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals and Steen… but did you know about the secret library? There is a magnificent art history library inside one of the galleries that is easy to miss unless you know where to look!

View Post

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.

View Post

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.

View Post

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.

View Post

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.

View Post