Friday, July 01, 2011

Lights, Camera, Bookstore!

It's no secret that I love books.

I'm obsessed with books. I could easily spend an entire day in a bookstore. They don't have to be fancy chain bookstores like Borders (slowly R.I.P.) or Barnes and Nobles. They can be a little "Mom and Pop" bookstore. As long as I'm in a place that sells books I'm absolutely content.

So imagine my surprise as I was walking home I came across Libreria Beta, a bookstore, on Calle Sierpes. I casually asked Ashley if we could stop in and then it happened.

I entered book heaven.

Sevilla has numerous locations of Libreria Beta. There's even a Libreria Beta located five minutes from my apartment, but this one was different.

This one was a former movie theater!

Libreria Beta on Calle Sierpes

Bird's eye view from the top floor
Books of every language surrounded me and I could hardly keep it together! I'm sure Ashley thought I was going a little bit overboard but I couldn't help it!

I rushed home still in a daze and immediately looked up the store and some background information on it. Unfortunately, there was no other information about it, but I did find other movie theaters (and other interesting places) turned bookstores.
image courtesy of Buenos Aires for 91 Days

Then I came across something worth putting on my bucket list.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid.

Located in Buenos Aires, Argentina it holds over 100,000 authors  in all languages.

The theatre was built in May1919 by PerĂ³ and Torres Armengol under the name Teatro Gran Splendid in May 1919. It entertained Buenos Aires for about a decade with top-tier tango concerts.

In the late 1920's it was converted into a popular cinema  and in 2000, the building was leased by a publishing house and became this wonderful monstrosity of a bookstore.

image courtesy of Buenos Aires for 91 Days
In 2008, The Guardian, named El Ateneo second in its list of the World's Ten Best Bookshops.

I personally would like to give adulation to the person who thought that leasing out a theatre would be a good idea.

Alas, until I can get  to Buenos Aires, I shall give Libreria Beta too much of my money and spend an unnecessary amount of my time sating myself in the confined comfort of their books.

P.S. Here's a video of me having a "bookgasm" after my discovery of Libreria Beta. Book nerd? Sure. Do I care? No.

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