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Executive InsiderSuccess and Leadership

Top Oldest Bookstores In The World

Reading about old bookstores worldwide with a long history is very interesting. The bookstores presented in this article are of great interest and worth visiting. 

Galignani (Paris)

This bookstore has run in Paris since 1801. You can visit it in 224 Rue de Rivoli. It is said to be the oldest English bookstore in the world. Also, many people consider it the most stylish bookstore in Paris. In its corridors, you will find many books. If you can’t find a book in the bookstore in your neighborhood, that’s not a problem because anything you need is at Galignani. The Galignani family holds a great history in the book, and the publishing business started in Venice, moved for a while to London, and then settled in Paris. The bookstore also has a reading room. The bookstore gained famous customers such as Ernest Hemingway, André Malraux, Orson Welles, and Marlene Dietrich through time.

Buchhandlung Weyhe (Germany- Salzwedel)

Its history began in 1840. Unfortunately, the bookstore closed after the death of its owner in December 2020. Every night Helga Weyhe used to close her bookstore and go to her apartment upstairs. She used to do the same thing every day since World War II, as her father and her grandfather did before her. The bookstore opened in 1840. Helga Weyhe’s grandfather bought it 31 years later. It withstood the Nazi regime in World War I and the Weimar Republic. Helga Weyhe took over the store from her father in 1965, four years after East Germany built the Berlin Wall. One night in December 2020, she locked her bookstore for the last time. He died at the age of 98. Her body was found in her apartment in early January 2021, and her death probably occurred around the end of December 2020. 

Livraria Lello (Porto):

The bookstore’s history goes back to the second half of the 19th century. However, it was in 1894 when it was bought from José de Sousa Lello, who named it Livraria Chardron De Lello & Irmão. The bookstore was at 18/20 Almada Street, Oporto, but then, in 1906, it relocated to its current location in Carmelitas Street. Francisco Xavier Esteves, a famous Portuguese architect, undertook to shape the bookstore’s space. Due to the style of the building (neo-gothic design), it is known worldwide.

Eleftheroudakis (Athens):

Greece holds a position in this list with Eleftheroudakis bookstore in Athens. The Eleftheroudakis bookstore has a long history which started in 1898. The whole project was an inspiration for Costas Eleftheroudakis, a book lover. By the 1980s, the bookstore obtained several branches in different locations in Athens. Nowadays, you can find Eleftheroudakis bookstores and many other regions in Greece, except Athens. All the bookstores remain under the ownership of the family business.

Dom Knigi (St. Petersburg)

It opened in 1919 in the former building of the Singer company. When the communists took complete control of the country, Dom Knigi was put under state control. During this period, many famous people started visiting the bookstore. Some of its famous visitors were the writers Alexey Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Olga Forsh, and Samuil Marshak. The bookstore continued its operation during the Second World War, but this lasted for a short time since it was forcibly closed in November 1942 due to the shortage of electrical energy. Of course, the bookstore reopened after the war, specifically in 1948. Since then remained one of Russia’s most famous bookstores. It is worth mentioning that the building is known for its large ground-floor windows and an elongated dome and glass sphere at the top held aloft by him and her pair of monumental statues.

Marga Schoeller Bücherstube (Berlin)

In 1929 Marga Schoeller opened this bookstore at the age of 24. When Adolf Hitler was in power, the owner of the bookstore resisted the ideological policies of the Nazi regime and refused to sell propagandist literature. After the Allies conquered Berlin, this bookstore was one of the first to receive the license to continue its business and the permission to sell English books. Since then, the bookstore has become the central meeting point of book lovers in West Berlin. Marga Schoeller passed away in 1978, but fortunately, her son undertook the business, which is still in full operation.


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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Success and Leadership - Top Oldest Bookstores In The World
Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at