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    The 15 Most Memorable On-Screen Bookstores

    With books and comics drumming up big business on both the small and silver screens, it's no surprise that Hollywood execs find themselves spending a lot of time in bookstores. And when those bookstores find their way onto celluloid? Pure bibliophile perfection.

    BookNet Canada / Via magic.piktochart.com

    Let's take a world tour of some truly unforgettable television shows and films that showcased the beloved bookstore.

    15. Manhattan bookstore recognized as prime location for Falling in Love

    Sound Turned Low / Via i141.photobucket.com

    Falling in Love ain't easy in Manhattan.

    (OK, I'll stop.)

    In honour of their recent announcement that they will be re-opening in Spring 2015, I'll let the bookstore tell the next chapter of its story. Universally recognized as one of the most beautiful bookstores in New York City, publisher Rizzoli New York operated a grand commercial cathedral for books at 31 W 57th Street in Manhattan until its lease expired in April 2014, when the building was demolished. The store was featured in a number of productions, with notable appearances in the Meryl Streep & Robert DeNiro affair flick Falling in Love, the classic Woody Allen film Manhattan, and the forthcoming True Story (North American release scheduled for April 30th!).

    Notable for: cast-iron chandeliers, vaulted ceilings, mistake-driven meet-cutes

    Want to go to there?: Don't fret, bibliophiles! Rizzoli just announced that it has found a new home at 1133 Broadway in the NoMad neighborhood. In what is sure to be a new temple in the embarassment of riches that is New York's indie bookselling scene, book lovers will soon worship at the altar of Rizzoli once more.

    14. Gone Girl's scintillating stacks

    Photo: Merrick Morton / Via imdb.com

    Before Gone Girl made audiences question everything they know about their loved ones, David Fincher's twisty thriller featured a hot hook-up scene between Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) in the back room of a dimly-lit bookstore. No, not THAT scene.

    Notable for: sexy times, stockroom shenanigans

    Want to go to there?: Sunny SoCal's The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles subs-in for a New York City bookshop. Just save the scavenger hunt for the library.

    13. Afraid of no ghost or not, don't delay, head to Ray's!

    Spook Central / Via theraffon.net

    Not one to rest on his laurels after the collapse of the Ghostbusters, Dr. Raymond Stantz set up shop (literally) and opened up Ray's Occult Books, a bookstore specializing in rare, hard-to-find, and notably bizarre titles (and clientele). Never fear, Ghostheads, in standard bookstore tradition, Ray's becomes a de-facto meeting place for the other Ghostbusters: Dr. Stantz counts Dr. Egon Spengler and Dr. Peter Venkman among his customers.

    Notable for: midlife career shifts, A+ neon signage, no chance for a trilogy

    Want to go to there?: In the film, Ray's Occult Books can be found at 33 St. Mark's Place in New York City's East Village neighbourhood. New York-bound bookstore travelers who venture to that address will find burger joint Mark. Raise a glass and toast to the trio that never made it to a trilogy (looking at you, Bill Murray). If you prefer to explore Ghostbusters' New York via Second Life sims, they have popped up on occasion.

    12. No need to fear in Vertigo's classic bookshop

    All Shook Up / Via allisonshook.com

    Even the boys (formerly) in blue need a hand, now and then. Retired policeman John "Scottie" Ferguson (James Stewart) is brought back into the game when he is hired as a private detective, tasked with following his client's wife, whose strange behaviour has not gone unnoticed. In the course of his investigation, he is referred to the Argosy Book Shop, where the proprietor is known for his mastery of California history, and is able to provide Ferguson with intel that shines light on the case. Just another friendly neighbourhood bookseller saving the day.

    Notable for: non-book inventory, table display mastery, insider info

    Want to go to there?: The Argosy lives! While much of Vertigo was shot on-location in San Francisco, the bookstore was filmed on the Paramount lot in Hollywood. You can, however, seek out the shop it was based on, San Francisco's Argonaut Book Shop. The antiquarian and second-hand shop specializes in American history & geography (with a delightful interest in "railroadiana"). Or: shop online!

    11. Be sure to wander by Paris' famed bookshop Before Sunset

    1996-98 Accusoft Inc., All Right / Emilie De La Hosseraye / Via ca.ign.com

    The second film in Richard Linklater's trilogy, Celine and Jesse (Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, respectively), lovers who first met nine years earlier in Before Sunrise, Before Sunset opens on author Jesse giving a reading to a rapt audience in a Parisian bookstore. All the classic bookstore fixtures are in place: champagne, poor lighting, overstuffed shelves lining the background... a bookstore lover's paradise.

    Notable for: outdoor browsing, second chances

    Want to go to there?: The bookstore portrayed in the film, Shakespeare and Company, is alive and kicking in its Left Bank home in Paris. The store plays a prominent role in the literary imagination, having played host to more than 30,000 so-called "Tumbleweeds," aka "all sorts of writers, artists, and intellectuals who sought refuge" since the shop opened in 1951. If you can't visit, the store's online shop recently launched an ambitious worldwide shipping program and will send books to your doorstep, no matter your location.

    10. Canadian comic book shop proprietors are Almost Heroes in their brief moment in the sun

    IMDB / Via imdb.com

    There was much to love about short-lived comedy series Almost Heroes. Set in a family-run comic book store, its mere eight episodes featured battling brothers, geek humour, and a little bookstore that could. Mix in that unextractable "Canadian comedy" feel, and you have one of the strangest blips in on-screen bookstore history (and a killer episode 1 scene where the brothers resolve an argument as only geeks can: by playing, and voicing, action figures).

    Notable for: Harvard alumni, Colin Mochrie, sporting goods salesmen

    Want to go to there?: Almost Heroes was shot on an abandoned lot in Toronto's west-end, specifically in the suburb of Mississauga, where a complete strip mall (and fake comic books!) was constructed for the shoot. Don't go to there. Pay homage to Canadian comics institution (and Silver Salmon name inspiration) with a visit to downtown Toronto's Silver Snail.

    *Bookstore Bonus: If your need for comic book store humour has not been met after Almost Heroes' brief run, check out AMC's Comic Book Men, a humorous docu-series profiling the goings-on at multi-threat pop culture icon Kevin Smith's real New Jersey shop, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash.

    9. Pick up your next travel guide at Hugh Grant's Notting Hill shop

    Hooked on Houses / Via hookedonhouses.net

    From screenwriter Richard Curtis, Notting Hill maintains its position as a quintessential romantic comedy, and certainly one of the best set in a bookstore. American film goddess Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) meets bookstore proprietor William Thacker (Hugh Grant) and falls in love with him, his twee British life, and even his quirky Welsh roommate Spike (Rhys Ifans). Booksellers will do that to you. And William appears to be a good one, maintaining stock levels (few hard-to-find "last copies" on his shelves), offering no-BS assessments of titles, and top-notch bagging skills.

    Notable for: wooden ladders, bumbling owners, customers with black berets and shades

    Want to go to there?: If seeking out a world-class indie bookshop isn't enough temptation, fantasies of stumbling into a shop owned by Hugh Grant are sufficient motivation to seek out Notting Hill's high street. Alas, the fictional Travel Book Company's address at 142 Portobello Road has seen a number of different shops since the film's release, most recently switching from shoes, to an "I heart London" store. But never fear, bookstore lover, indies abound in London. While the film's Travel Book Company is based on real-life Notting Hill shop The Travel Bookshop at 13 Blenheim Crescent, it, too, has closed, with a series of bookshops rising from its ashes. The address now hosts the aptly named The Notting Hill Bookshop.

    8. Beauty and the Beast's quaint provincial French bookshop

    Fanpop / Via fanpop.com

    The second film of what has been heralded as "Disney's Renaissance" (following 1989's The Little Mermaid), 1991's Beauty and the Beast features bookworm Belle as the titular Beauty, a headstrong girl who just wants to find her next great book. Our first introduction to Belle is an all-singing, all-dancing romp through her quaint French hometown, depositing her at the front stoop of her friendly neighbourhood bookshop. Watch the scene here.

    Notable for: kindly proprietor, natural lighting, ladders on wheels

    Want to go to there?: Nice try, hustler. Unless you're a charcoal stick, you're not going to find your way into Belle's illustrated world anytime soon. Intrepid comic-book hunters could scour the racks for a copy of Dove Tales if they want a glimpse of the bookshop's role in the townfolks' ongoing soap opera. Catching up on DVD is going to be tricky, too. One of the last films to be locked away in the "Disney Vault", Beauty and the Beast is not widely available in the open market, thanks to Disney's longstanding policy of holding childhood hostage. Watch this space to catch word of when the Vault re-opens to share Belle with a new generation. (And, yes, the lesser films Enchanted Christmas and Belle's Magical World are also locked in the Vault.)

    7. Audrey's Funny & "movingly dismal" shop

    Pixshark / Via pixshark.com

    If it wasn't for Jo Stockton's complete and utter disdain for fashion, it wouldn't be too far off to assume 1957's Funny Face is the story of just another English grad killing time working at a bookstore while she dreams of a "real job" at a fashion magazine. Nope, all she wants to do is dance sing in the stacks travel to Paris and attend an empathicalism lecture by philosopher Emile Flostre. Audrey Hepburn's turn as a newly discovered model, plucked from her job at an "intellectual" bookstore, is chronicled in this wonderful musical romp through Paris and the fashion world, starting in the stacks of the awesomely named "Embryo Concepts" bookshop in New York City's Greenwich Village. You may fault them for their poor lighting choices, but the shop's ownership certainly knows how to make strategic staffing decisions (surely singing/dancing staff = happy staff, no?).

    Notable for: several classic bookstore traits, including "sinister," "intellectual," and "movingly dismal"

    Want to go to there?: Unfortunately for avid bookstore tourists, much of Funny Face was shot on the Paramount lot in Hollywood. You can, however, pay homage to many other locations featured in the film.

    6. Antiquarian's never been better than at 84 Charing Cross Road

    The Spring / Via thespring.co.uk

    Based on a play that itself is based on a memoir documenting a 20-year correspondence between writer Helene Hanff and the staff of Marks & Co. antiquarian booksellers, located at 84 Charing Cross Road in London, movies can't get more bookish than this* real-life story of an enduring love... for books. Come for the transatlantic pen pal letters and capitalistic exchange, stay for the wartime intrigue and bookstore fly-on-the-wall gossip!

    Notable for: stiff English upper lips, casual Yankee spitfires, excellent penmanship

    Want to go to there?: Though Marks & Co. closed up shop in 1970, shortly after the death of primary Hanff correspondent Frank Doel, there are many opportunities for a touring booklover to revisit its history. After its closure, neighbouring address 24 Cambridge Circus was expanded into the storefront Marks & Co. initially occupied, and the London theatre-district address has since played host to a revolving set of restaurants and bars over the years, currently Léon de Bruxelles. Present-day visitors to the site are treated to a memorial plaque honouring the shop, but literary travelers may want to may homage to the indie bookselling spirit of the neighbourhood by visiting nearby bookseller Book Ends, which once occupied nerby storefronts on Charing Cross Road and is currently a quick 15-minute tube ride from 24 Cambridge Circus.

    *Bookstore Bonus: During the war, fearful of potential damage to their shop, Marks & Co. staff sent [much of] their inventory to Dawson's Book Shop, "the oldest continuously operating book shop in the city of Los Angeles."

    5. Harry Potter's top shop: Flourish and Blotts

    Dumbledore's Army Role-Play Wiki / Via dumbledoresarmyroleplay.wikia.com

    Bookstores don't get more dreamy than Flourish and Blotts, a witch or wizard's one-stop bookshop for school texts and current releases. Warner Bros.' sensory extravaganza, which made its first appearance in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, has all of the classic bibliophile-bait: so many books that they've surpassed the shelves' capacity and are stacked in precarious piles on the floor; floor-to-ceiling bookshelves; amusing wayfinding signage; and in-person author events (where else could you go to have your entire set of Gilderoy Lockhart's books signed by the author himself?). If we weren't so afraid of it, we'd be there tomorrow to pick up our own copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in advance of its 2016 big screen adaptation.

    Notable for: Horcrux laundering, Hogwarts personnel announcements

    Want to go to there?: can't catch a train or a flying car to London? No problem! Pottermore brings the bookshop to your screens and Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter features a storefront in Diagon Alley!

    4. You've Got Mail's warring big-box & indie shops

    Warner Bros / Via imdb.com

    In what has to be the bibliophile's version of a hat trick, You've Got Mail features not one, but two bookstores as significant settings in the film (see, it's not just about AOL). Meg Ryan stars as Kathleen Kelly, whose "Shop Around the Corner" is the small, independent David to the Goliath looming in neighbouring soulless mecca mega-store "Fox and Sons Books" owned by Tom Hanks' character Joe Fox. So many books! So many beautiful people (oh hey there, Chris Messina)! How can a book lover not love this, erm, love story about authentic, personal interaction in the age of unstoppable change?

    Notable for: bookstore wars, catfishing, what happened after Harry met Sally

    Want to go to there?: New York City is a living, breathing film set: most of You've Got Mail was shot on location, taking advantage of classic NYC landmarks and neighbourhoods. Live out your technicolour dreams and visit the children's bookshop that informed the "The Shop Around the Corner" at Books of Wonder in New York City's Chelsea district. Can't make the trip to NYC? You can browse their online shop, complete with old & rare titles for collectors and sentimentalists alike. Or, if you're craving a "Fox and Sons Books"-type experience, well, you know where to go.

    3. Gilmore Girls' Stars Hollow Books

    Crispyteriyaki / Via flickriver.com

    Ah, Stars Hollow Books, the small-town bookshop where Rory Gilmore held a brief part-time job. The importance of this brief period of employment cannot be understated: this fictional bookshop was frequented by one of the most prolific readers ever to appear on television. Rory Gilmore racked up an astonishing 339 titles on her reading list over the duration of the series. Daria's got nothing on you, girl.

    Notable for: inventory madness, Andrew

    Want to go to there?: While you can't visit Stars Hollow Books in-person (Gilmore Girls was shot on the Warner Brothers' backlot) you can visit it, on your screens, immediately. Stop everything, we'll wait. You're back? Great. If that wasn't enough to blow your mind, you can plan a visit the small New England town that inspired Gilmore Girls showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino: Washington, Connecticut. Heck, take the Girls with you.

    *Bookstore Bonus: Yes, there were actually two bookstores in Stars Hollow. Black, White, and Read Bookshop doubled as a vintage movie house in the evenings, hosting a number of memorable nights out.

    2. Portlandia's Women and Women First

    IFC / Via images.amcnetworks.com

    In the Portland, Oregon-inspired Portlandia, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein star as Toni and Candace, two bookstore staffers at Women and Women First, a feminist bookstore inspired by an amalgam of real-life shops. When not passive-aggressively refusing to serve customers adequately (you know, without judgement), or exploiting capitalism to improve their bottom line, Toni and Candace are building on a friendship forged as competing executives in the bookstore wars of the early '90s.

    Notable for: bathroom bogarting, #longhairdontcare

    Want to go to there?: Portlandia's Toni and Candace sketches are shot on-location at the In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, Oregon. Despite its burgeoning celebrity status, In Other Words is not immune to the trials and tribulations facing many of their peers at other independent bookshops. Having launched a successful IndieGoGo campaign in late 2014, the co-operative's Board of Directors announced that the Center would stay open until, at least, December 2015 and are asking their patrons for additional support.

    1. Black Books' titular high street shop

    IMDB / Via imdb.com

    Independent bookstores are known to take on the character of their proprietor. In the case of Black Books, Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan's absurdist sitcom, this is a recipe for hilarity. Dylan Moran stars as the eponymous shop owner Bernard Black, a curmudgeon with great disdain for customers, retail, and, well, pretty much everything that doesn't involve reading, smoking, or drinking. Joining him in the shop are Bill Bailey as his long-suffering assistant Manny Bianco and Tamsin Greig as his friend (and fellow lush) Fran Katzenjammer. While Bernard would rather not have to deal with people at all, Manny takes his role in the store quite seriously, organizing transformative in-store author appearances, children's books promotions, and encouraging self-published consignment pick-ups. Whether or not you've worked in the trenches, Black Books is a comedy classic that's not to be missed.

    Notable for: cat/bad landlords, case of the Mondays, Simon Pegg

    Want to go to there?: While much of Black Books was filmed at Teddington Studios in London, the exterior shots were filmed on and around the Bloomsbury neighbourhood's high street, Leigh Street. Eagle-eye viewers will remember that the store's address on the show is 13 Little Bevan Street in Bloomsbury. Don't go to there. The "real" Black Books (or: the real-life storefront), called Collinge & Clark, can be found at 13 Leigh Street, in Bloomsbury.

    *Bookstore Bonus: At the beginning of season 3, a mega-bookstore with the apt name of "Goliath Books" moves in next door. This is literally the most fun episode, ever.

    Honourable mention: the bookstores of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Emmie Mears / Via emmiemears.wordpress.com

    Buffy was a show by nerds, for nerds. And we wouldn't have it any other way. Books (and the places they live) are of major importance to Buffy and her fellow Sunnydale denizens. Not only was their high school library perched atop a hellmouth (just think about the fire hazard and all that kindling...), but Buffy's Watcher, Rupert Giles, doubled as the school's librarian, eventually transitioning to a life as an indie shop proprietor, taking over The Magic Box, an emporium for magical books and wares. The Magic Box becomes the Scooby Gang's default meeting place, housing the reference texts needed to destroy any Big Bad who decided to mess with them. Above, freshman Buffy, unsure if a life at University of California, Sunnydale is right for her, finds her way to the university bookstore to buy her books. While picking up the texts that should lead her to a right proper education, she drops some on the head of Riley Finn, the unnecessary distraction upperclassman who sidelines her from her studies becomes her boyfriend. A perfect bookstore meet-cute, amiright?

    Notable for: powerful nerds, knowledge as power, hot guybrarians

    Want to go to there?: Unfortunately for fans, The Magic Box exists exclusively in the Buffyverse. You may, however, be able to evoke the spot where Riley and Buffy meet. Following its characters to university, Buffy's filming locations shifted in season 4, when "The Freshman" episode premiered. The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and California State University were used for exterior shots, subbing in for the fictional University of California at Sunnydale.

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