The 10 Most Magical Bookshops and Libraries in Pop Culture History

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” -Stephen King

You want to hear something heartbreaking? The book is dying, really and truly. Or more specifically, we as a culture are reading less and less. Tons of recent studies have confirmed that, although we all love the idea of books, fewer and fewer of us are actually reading them. This got us all nostalgic for the book’s golden era, when libraries were magical and mysterious, and bookstores were the perfect places to spend a rainy afternoon. Remember that glorious library in Beauty and the Beast? And the magical bookshop that launched the most incredible adventure in The Never Ending Story? Though one day not too long from now they will surely (and sadly) become obsolete, for the moment Pop culture is full of books. Whole stories, ranging from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Harry Potter have started in the company of beautifully stacked books. Now it’s time to highlight some of the best bookstores and libraries found in TV-Movie land.

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The Beast’s Library, “Beauty and The Beast”
Shelves of books and layers of depth are revealed when The Beast shared his wondrous library with Belle. This library is any book-lover’s dream, filled with spiraling staircases leading the way to millions of volumes of great literature. It was one the defining moments in the film that allowed Belle to see the humanity in The Beast.

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Monsieur Labisse’s Bookshop, “Hugo”

Never did a bookstore encompass friendship and comfort more than Monsieur Labisse’s did for young Hugo. Filled with 40,000 volumes, the bookstore allowed for a literary playground for Hugo and his good friend, Isabelle.

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Flourish & Blotts, “Harry Potter Series”

As if there needed to be another reason to drop out of real life and pursue a degree at Hogwarts. Flourish & Blotts is everything a bookshop should be. Beautifully bound volumes, multiple stories, and magic steeping from the pages. This bookstore is the epitome of the wonder and awe of the Wizarding World.

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The Shop Around the Corner, “You’ve got mail”

you've got mail
Hate going into Barnes and Noble? All about supporting those small, independent bookstores? Find some solace in RomCom classic, “You’ve Got Mail”, where Kathleen (Meg Ryan) runs The Shop Around the Corner and must deal with the heir(Tom Hanks) to Fox Books, a chain of “mega” bookstores.

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Embyro Concepts, “Funny Face”

funny face
Fashion meets intellect in the Embryo Concepts bookstore run by Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn). Located in Greenwich Village, the bookstore is the perfect mix of quirk and academics.

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Sunnydale High School Library, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

buffy the vampire slayer
All the information you ever wanted on battling vampires, spirits, and demons (oh, my!) can be found at the Sunnydale High School Library. Normal high school library by day, and invaluable aid to the kickass vampire slayer by night!

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Koreander’s Bookstore, “The Neverending Story”

koreander never ending story
Trying to avoid those pesky school bullies? Koreander’s bookstore is the perfect hideout! And who knows, you may just find out about a magical, thought to be fictional, land that is in desperate need of your help, while you’re there. Wouldn’t be the first time.

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The Travel Book Company, “Notting Hill”

notting hill
All great, highly unlikely, love stories start in quaint travel bookshops in London. Or at least this one does. Will (Hugh Grant), owner of said travel bookstore, charms Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), a Hollywood superstar, with a book in one hand and a map in the other.

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The Library, “Doctor Who”

dr who
If only one could read forever. The planet-sized library was commissioned by Felman Lux for his dying daughter, Charlotte, who loved to read. He then programmed the library’s hard drive to contain Charlotte’s mind, so she could read forever, taking Daddy Dearest to a whole new level.

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Women & Women First Bookstore, “Portlandia”

What this bookstore may lack in options, it makes up for in vagina pillows and jokes. Part of Portlandia’s sketch parody of Portland’s hipster crowd, Women & Women First is the place to go for all your feminist reading needs.

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