Fri, Feb 03, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Bookstore makes Top 20 list

Staff Writer, with CNA, LOS ANGELES

The VVG Something bookstore in eastern Taipei is shown yesterday. The bookstore has been named as one of the world’s 20 most beautiful bookstores.

Photo: Sean Chao, Taipei Times

Taiwan’s VVG Something is one of the 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world, according to a US entertainment Web site.

The bookstore in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) is “almost utilitarian but filled with simple old world grace,” according to Flavorwire.com.

“This store is a little like what we might imagine our ideal ship’s main cabin to look like,” it added.

Flavorwire did not give a specific ranking to each bookstore on its list. Only four Asian bookstores — VVG Something, Daikanyama T-site in Tokyo and Bookworm and Poplar Kid’s Republic, both in Beijing — made the list.

With online bookstores such as Amazon having taken over the bookselling world and bookstores closing one after another, things can sometimes seem a little grim for the brick-and-mortar bookshops.

However, Flavorwire said there are bookstores so beautiful that they are worth getting out of the house or even the country to visit “whether you need a new hardcover or not.”

“We can’t overestimate the importance of bookstores — they’re community centers, places to browse and discover, and monuments to literature all at once — so we’ve put together a list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, from Belgium to Japan to Slovakia,” the Web site said.

The top 20, which were listed in no particular order, also included the Libereria El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina — a majestic converted 1920s movie palace that uses theater boxes for reading rooms and draws thousands of tourists every year — the Selexyz Bookstore in Maastricht, the Netherlands, which is inside a converted Dominican church; the Plural Bookshop in Bratislava, Slovakia; Shakespeare & Company in Paris; Cook and Book in Brussels; the Bookabar Bookshop in Rome and two bookstores in California — The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles and Bart’s Books in Ojai.

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