Off the top of your head, who do you think is nerdier: Theater nerds or book nerds? This is a trick question, because let’s be real, if you’re really into one, you’re probably really into the other.
And for those of us who both love theater and books, there is no more magnificent place in the world than El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
This jaw-dropping space was, in a previous life, the Grand Splendid Theater, and it ran with this original intent from 1919 to 2000. Then the building was bought, and the new owners thought that the ornate space could serve perhaps an even larger audience as a bookstore — and now, over a million people pass through to check out the incredible interior and, well, buy a lot of books.
We seriously can’t get over how cool the space is, and of course, someplace like this has caught the attention of theater and book aficionados alike: It ranks #3 on The Guardian’s list of the best independent bookstores in the world. Uh, who else is holding themselves back from checking out Buenos Aires airfare right now? Anyone else?
Naturally, all of this sent us down a beautiful bookstore spiral. We’d be happy buying our books out of literally any establishment, but there’s something special, even sacred, about the intersection of history, architecture, and literature in these amazing spaces:
You’re welcome. Now, if you need to find me, I’ll be poring over plane tickets and muttering “So many books, so many bookstores, so little time…”