A bookstore Instagram account is a fabulous way to visit a shop that exists hundreds or thousands of miles away.
Although many of us may never get the opportunity to peruse the shelves of the impressive city bookstores or intimate independent stores around the world, Instagram is the next best thing.
Every good Reading Addict follows more bookish accounts on Instagram than anything else, and we are happy to add a few more to your feed.
Let us take you on a bookstore journey!
When Books of Wonder first opened its doors in 1980 it barely covered 200 sq ft and was at first dedicated to antique children’s books until the owner, Peter Glassman, realised they needed to add modern children’s literature to help fill space on the hand-built shelves.
The following few decades saw Books of Wonder grow and spread its literary wings into publishing and online ordering, even inspiring the bookstore featured in the Meg Ryan movie You’ve Got Mail. The store is now one of the largest independent children’s bookstores in New York City.
The Raven Bookshop recently took over from More Books in Shrewsbury’s Market Hall and is run by Lesley Bottomley with the help of daughters Laura and Hannah, and son-in-law Harry.
They deal with predominantly pre-loved books, with paperbacks priced from only £2, and boast a vast array of fiction and non-fiction titles. Their Insta account is a wonderful collection of books (of course), stunning local scenery, and made complete with the sweetest Spaniel, Mackintosh. A small store but well worth a follow!
Artwords Bookshop is a contemporary visual arts bookstore based in London. Established in 2001, they specialise in books on fashion, graphic design, architecture, photography, fine art and visual & critical theory.
The store’s Instagram account shows the amazing array of arty books and titles you may never have imagined you needed before today.
The original Shakespeare and Company Bookstore was founded in 1919 by American book lover Sylvia Beach. Sylvia was held in high regard in Paris, and ran her half-bookstore half-lending-library until 1941, when the Nazis occupied Paris. French author André Chamson said that Sylvia Beach “did more to link England, the United States, Ireland, and France than four great ambassadors combined.”
George Whitman used Sylvia’s store as inspiration for his own, and in 1964 he named the store in honour of hers. George dedicated his life to keeping the bookstore independent and a cultural institution and was awarded the Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 2006 by France’s Ministry of Culture.
Acqua Alta (meaning high water) is a stunning bookshop in a precariously damp situation.
In a shop that has been called “glorious chaos”, most books are safely gathered together away from potential high waters in gondolas and canoes: “A mix of new and second-hand books jumbled over every surface and up every wall, and occasionally turned into part of the furniture, including a staircase of ancient encyclopaedias that provides views over the canal at the rear. And when that rises and floods the shop, at least the books in the retired gondola will be saved,” shared one Twitter user.
Follow them on Instagram to see some shocking pictures of when the Venetian waters came to visit the store.
Wild Rumpus is a unique bookstore where you can choose a book and pet a tarantula!
The store was inspired by The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer, using the natural world to shape the experience of the customer.
“Our store’s front doors open into a fairly conventional interior with carpet, a comfortable reading chair and floor lamp. Midway, things begin to change, there’s a tree-trimmer sheet-rocked in the ceiling on a ladder, and the ceiling itself at this point starts to crack open to the sky. At the back, with birds above and rats beneath a garden shed, the store wants you to feel like you’re outside.”
Check out their Instagram accounts for books, cats, rats, chinchillas, birds, a tarantula, and more cats!
Word On The Water is a bookshop that floats on Regent’s canal.
The barge bookshop has recently been granted a permanent residence in Granary Square after travelling up and down the water since 2011. Owner Paddy Screech spoke about the struggle of small businesses, especially bookshops:
“It’s a symbol of independence. Bookshops are culture, and independent bookshops aren’t struggling because people don’t want them – it’s because of this mad property market. Beyond that, living on the water, below the city, is sane-making.”
Follow them on Insta for ‘great books, lovely dog, and occasional jazz’.
The Strand Bookstore boasts 18 miles of new, used, and rare books.
Possibly the most famous indie bookstore in America, The Strand is a wall-to-wall book lover’s dream. Fred Bass made The Strand what it is today with his passion for books, and the love of sharing them with others. Customers would tell him how much they loved getting lost in his shelves of books.
The Strand is a community bookstore first and foremost, and their Instagram reflects their personable, customer-driven, and fun approach.
The National Book Store in the Philippines has 75 years of not only selling books but also supporting education, literacy, art, and culture.
Starting as a small stall in Escolta, the Ramos family-run business had a troubled start but through resilience and an enduring love for sharing books, the company persevered. Today The National Book Store is considered by many a big part of Filipino life as not only a bookstore, but also publishing, for school supplies, and for higher education.
Their Insta is perfect for book recommendations and chic, colourful pictures of the cute stationery they offer.
Brazos Bookstore was opened in 1974 by Karl Kilian with the view to support Houston’s emerging literary scene.
Brazos’ shelves are dedicated to contemporary and classic literature, non-fiction, art and architecture monographs, and books for children. Both emerging and established authors visit for free book signing events, and the store supports writers and readers through long partnerships with various accessible programs.
Aside from the impressive work behind the scenes, the store’s Instagram shows us the fun the staff seem to be having in store. It looks like a great place to work!