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17 extraordinary bookstores

The cluttered, cozy interior of Shakespeare and Company

Photo: tehgeekmeister/Flickr

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Shakespeare & Company

The history of Shakespeare & Company clearly shows that this is more than just a bookstore. George Whitman founded the Paris bookstore in 1951, changing its name after becoming inspired by bookseller Sylvia Beach. Whitman had traveled the world, at times facing hunger and thirst for days on end, finally finding hospitality in the arms of local peoples. His experiences shaped his store's philosophy, and for decades it has been, as the store’s website puts it, "a home-away-from-home for many thousands of writers and visitors from around the world."