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Saint James Hotel

Read While You Get Wasted in These 10 Book Bars

Drink responsibly, though. For real.

You know when you're out drinking with your friends and you suddenly wish you were home reading instead? There's a whole world of bars out there designed just around this peculiar bookworm problem. They are all around the world, so it shouldn't be too tough to find a literary bar at your nearest city. Here are ten of our favorites!


1. The Bookworm, Beijing


The Bookworm

Image Via TK Hunt


Founded in 2002 by Alexandra Pearson, The Bookworm has expanded to an admirable size since. Not only does the bookstore serve drinks, it also manages a press called the China Bookworm Press, which focuses on publishing contemporary Chinese fiction and nonfiction in translation. On top of that, the Bookworm also organizes the Bookworm Literary Festival. They’ve been organizing the festival every March since 2007, and it’s one of China’s largest bilingual festivals. It’s true what they say—big things have small beginnings!


2. The Wellesbourne, Los Angeles



Image Via LA Eater


This fancy bar is styled to look like a countryside estate found in 19th-century England. It’s lined with books, but also features a lovely games room and lounge area. All the lovely wood floors makes me want to curl up with a nice smokey whiskey and read some mid-20th century Italian magical realism. Right? Who’s with me?


3. The Fable, London


The Fable

Image Via Trip Advisor


Fill your belly with food or drinks at this London bar and restaurant. There are leather bound books for your perusal, and the walls are decorated with famous literary names. They also boast a sweet, vintage typewriter that would make the likes of Tom Hanks jealous. Their brunch menu, though, might be the best thing you’ll read during your time there.


4. Librería el Péndulo, Mexico City



Image Via Pendulo


This Mexican bookstore boasts a bar aptly called Bukowski’s Bar. Bukowski drank. This place serves alcohol. Specifically, they’ve got a killer selection of cocktails. Anybody want to try the “Red lust” with me?


5. Chaeg Bar, Seoul


Chaeg Bar

Image Via Archive - E


All the napkins have one slogan on them: “Keep calm and drink a book.” It’s definitely not a problem keeping calm here, as it’s lit low and feint jazz music plays in the background. Yep, I want to go to there.


6. Dyslexia Libros, Antigua


Dyslexia Books

Image Via abrasho


Owned by Bill McGowan, Dyslexia Libros is owned by its nextdoor neighbor Café No Sé. Dyslexia Libros’ categories are unusually laid out. You might browse Thrillers in one moment and Absurd books the next. My favorite category (in Dyslexia Libros AND in life) is Cheap but Good. If only everywhere had this option.


7. Bar & Books, NYC, Prague, and Warsaw


bar and books

Image Via Trip Advisor


With locations in Manhattan, Prague, and Warsaw, Bar & Books has been spreading its literary wings since 1990. The location closest to the Bookstr office is in the West Village, so I’ll be going there soon, hopefully on a date, and hopefully with someone who will split the bill. Because it looks expensive.


8. BookBar, Denver



Image Via American Booksellers Association


This Coloradan indie bookstore doubles as a sophisticated wine bar (is there any other kind of wine bar—oh, I just had another idea for a bar!) Best of all, you know what else is legal in Colorado? Food. Food is legal. And BookBar serves it! Enjoy some classy sandwiches named after famous authors, such as the Melville Melt and Salman Rushdie. By the way, did you catch the weed joke I just made? Ha. Marijuana makes you interesting.


9. Sappho Books, Cafe & Bar, Sydney


Sappho Books

Image Via Trip Advisor


This second-hand bookstore is the Batman of book shops. By day it is a mild-mannered cafe in a lovely courtyard. By night, though, it becomes a bar! So read whatever you like at this Aussie paradise. You might want to read some international Batman literature, such as Grant Morrison’s Batman Inc. By the way, meet the Australian Batman, called The Dark Ranger...


The Dark Ranger Batman Inc. Grant Morrison Australian

Image Via Comic Vine


10. Saint James Hotel Library-Bar, Paris


Saint James Hotel Library-Bar

Image Via Olielo


Okay so the Library-Bar at the Saint James Hotel is astonishing. It was built on the site of Paris’ first aerodrome (airport) in the 19th century, and is today a hotel that’s basically a beautiful chateau. Best of all, it houses a Library-Bar that was once the study. There are 12,000 books in there. You could drink there your whole life and not finish all those books! Not that I recommend that.


Feature Image Via Saint James Paris