Most beautiful bookstore - Buenos Aires's Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid


33 Responses to “Most beautiful bookstore - Buenos Aires's Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid”

  1. Marilyn Terrell says:

    @ nickname 15: I agree, Borges would be a better choice than Neruda.

  2. Erik Harrison says:

    To add some circularity, as gorgeous as this place is, I still adore the bookstore linked to last year

  3. TuesdayWeld says:

    Beautiful. Would that I had money to travel and relax with a book in these serene places.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This one is a must for bookshop lovers:

    When, not if, you visit Portugal, please make sure to spend some time there.

    Happy readings!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Check out this theatre/bookstore in Houston.

  6. elondaits says:

    The building it’s certainly impressive, but the quality of the bookstore itself is nothing to write home about. It belongs to one of Argentina’s largest book retailers (Yenny/El Ateneo) which in the last few years seems to be more interested in selling anything but books (be it DVDs, puzzles, calendars, etc). It has one of the widest selection of argentine books, but it’s seriously lacking in imported books, when compared to other bookstores (Kel, Capitulo 2 and Cuspide for technical books).

  7. pato pal ur says:


    Although I must point out that here in Budapest we have what must be the world’s most beautiful bookstore coffeeshop, a branch of the Alexandra bookstore chain located in the recently-renovated former Párizsi Department Store.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Buenos Dias! your books are so amazing. You can learn many things on all topics.

    there are a lot of books you can choose from. spice up your cravings with information from Buenos Libreria el grande.

  9. Anonymous says:


    long live the paper book.

  10. Machinehead says:

    I just had a nerdgasm.

  11. Melanie says:

    Absolutely lovely. It’s great when fabulous spaces like this are re-purposed rather then demolished.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh Cory, why do you spoil us so?

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is on-par with the most beautiful Duane Reade which used to be a roller rink – ha!

  14. Felton says:

    where Carlos Gardel once performed

    Now you’re speaking my language. I’ll bet there’s still some leftover tango in those book aisles. :-)


  15. Anonymous says:

    Of all architecture that meets the wrecking ball, or at the very least does not receive its proper respect, the ones that pain me the most are old movie houses. These were palaces built for the common man, when movies were more than blockbuster bottom-line and theater and vaudeville defined entertainment. Now they fight for the lives, and dwindle one-by-one. It makes me so happy when people even maintain the space to still be usable, and ecstatic when they are renovated to their former glory.

    I think of decrepit downtowns like Detroit or Los Angeles, once filled with bustling movie houses now left to deteriorate and be picked over by looters. And the fact that one can get so close to them, even stand under the marquees or lobbies, and hear them call out in neglect, it really makes me sad.

    This theater come library gives me much hope.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been to this bookstore, had coffee in the little cafe that is the part at the back behind the stage curtains, and just was blissed out the whole time. If you are a book worshipper, it’s worth a trip to Buenos Aires just to go here. (The rest of the city is pretty amazing, too!) I’ve been to Budapest too, but this place wins (the store AND coffee shop are the same place…)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Were those angels singing?

  18. slaphippo says:

    this reminds me of a chapters we have here in toronto

    chain bookstore though it is, it is quite lovely

  19. hershmire says:

    It’ll never come close to Community Bookstore in Brooklyn.

  20. technogeek says:

    Now that’s my idea of suitably respectful library space. WANT!

  21. schr0559 says:

    I was just here yesterday, fantastic place. Expected to whip through for half an hour on the way out of town and wound up killing 3 hours there… despite linguistic gaps on my part keeping me from enjoying any of the more word-heavy books.

  22. Fred H says:

    “Welcome to heaven, Fred.” [cue angelic choir]

  23. Anonymous says:

    Ouch. I always hated that bookstore because they ruined the most beautiful cinema I have ever been. I just could go there twice before they ruined it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This gem of a store was our little oasis from the noise and pollution of Buenos Aires, the city my wife and I explored for our tenth anniversary. Porteños are surprisingly generous about WiFi, and this place was no exception.

  25. redelephantlabel says:

    Reminds me a lot of the George Peabody Library in Baltimore. The entire building is made of cast iron.

  26. tuckels says:

    The most amazing bookstore I have ever been to was one in Newtown, Sydney. We were on a school excursion for art, and we were wandering around the streets, looking at op-shops and we found this place. Every available space was lined with books. The shelves weren’t arranged in any manner whatsoever, in fact, many of the books were just stacked in piles between the aisles. A thin layer of dust covered everything. A strange man with a long beard and crazy white hair watched us from behind a desk on a raised platform, with a large, lurid mural behind it.
    The best part of the store though, was a sign at a window at the far of the store, telling people to leave the area around the window vacant, as the resident cat used it to enter and exit through. Another sign next to it, entitled “CAT INTRUDER” warned of an a similar looking impostor cat who snuck in through the same “cat pathway” to take advantage of customers hospitality. The sign had a list of ways to identify which was the real cat, and warned us to pay no heed to the false cat.

  27. nickname says:

    Let it be Borges instead of Neruda, please.

  28. Anonymous says:

    A lovely place to hold all those relics! Welcome to the main stream, digital books!

  29. Ariel Maidana says:

    Hey, that’s 25 blocks away from my home. Been inside that library many times. It’s really gorgeous!

  30. divadownunder says:

    Wow… absolutely gorgeous… a truly novel destination!

    @ Tuckels… the bookshop you’re referring to is Gould’s. This marvellous eccentric has been a part of Sydney’s cultural landscape for decades, and his bookshops (emporiums really) regularly yield up fantastic finds – you need time and a love of a rummage, but well worth it. A totally different kind of wonderful to Buenos Aires, but wonderful nevertheless :-)

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