Buenos Aires, Argentina: The Grand Splendid
It's possible there are more beautiful bookstores in the world than El Ateneo, but probably not many. And there can't be any that are more dramatic.
The Buenos Aires store is located in a theater first put into service in the 1920s. Called The Grand Splendid, it's true to its name – a jewel box of a space that has housed over the years live performances, movies, and now books. You can sit in one of the boxes and get some reading done, or on the stage where the cafe is located and have a coffee. No Barnes & Noble or Borders can match it for atmosphere.