One of the newest recruits to the global shortlist of world’s most striking/awe-inspiring bookstores must be Waanders In de Broeren in the historic city of Zwolle in the Netherlands, which recently relocated to the Broerenkerk, a former Dominican monastery dating from 1466. Deconsecrated since 1983, the church has retained its monumental character, and has now been completely converted as a bookshop.

As well as stained-glass windows and grand arches, other survivals of the building’s ecclesiastical past include its huge organ. One of the most remarkable things about the whole project is how well the church interior seems to suit a bookstore – perhaps there really is something to the old cliche of temples to literature. On the more secular side, though, the bookstore has a fully licensed restaurant and bar – another lesson bookshops elsewhere could learn from.

Source: BK Architecten

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Paul St John Mackintosh is a British poet, writer of dark fiction, and media pro with a love of e-reading. His gadgets range from a $50 Kindle Fire to his trusty Vodafone Smart Grand 6. Paul was educated at public school and Trinity College, Cambridge, but modern technology saved him from the Hugh Grant trap. His acclaimed first poetry collection, The Golden Age, was published in 1997, and reissued on Kindle in 2013, and his second poetry collection, The Musical Box of Wonders, was published in 2011.


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