BBC CultureのTen of the world’s most beautiful bookshopsよりの抜粋と試訳です。

Polare, Maastricht


As a start-up that aims to sell fiction through online subscription is hailed as the future of books, what place is there for the humble bookstore? The future of one iconic seller is currently uncertain. The Polare bookstore in Maastricht came under threat when Polare declared bankruptcy in February. It remains open for the time being under the name ‘Boekhandel Dominicanen’ but staff have launched a crowdfunding campaign to save it from closure. Converted from a 13th Century Dominican church in 2006 by architects Merkx+Girod (now Merk X), Polare is a temple of books that raises reading to a religious experience.

インターネットでフィクションの販売をめざすスタートアップが、書籍の未来として脚光を浴びている中、慎ましい書店はどこを目指せばいいのだろう。オランダ・マーストリヒトにあるポラーレ書店は、2月に破産宣告をして、存亡の危機に瀕している。しばらくは、「Boekhandel Dominicanen(ドミニコ会書店)」の名で営業しているが、スタッフは閉鎖から書店を救うため、クラウドファンディング運動を始めた。ポラーレ書店は、2006年に建築会社Merkx+Girod(現Merk X)が13世紀のドミニコ会の教会を改築した建築で、読書を宗教的体験にまで高めた書籍の神殿となっている。


Image: (Carlos Toledo/catoledo)

Visitors can go from stage to page at this Argentinian icon. First built as the Teatro Grand Splendid in 1919, before becoming a cinema in 1929, El Ateneo appeals to the dramatic reader. With frescoed ceilings, ornate carvings and plush red stage curtains, it has retained its original splendour: customers can sit in the theatre boxes to browse in comfort.




Hidden behind an unassuming facade, Corso Como was founded in 1991 by former editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue Carla Sozzani. She brought her fashion nous to the complex that combines book and design stores with a cafe, hotel and roof garden. The bookstore mixes art, architecture and fashion titles with designer furniture to create a flea market with its own high-end Milanese twist.