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The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World
[Editor’s note: In celebration of the holidays, we’re counting down the top 12 Flavorwire features of 2012. This post, at #1, was originally published January 31.] With Amazon slowly taking over the publishing world and bookstores closing left and right, things can sometimes seem a little grim for the brick and mortar booksellers of the world. After all, why would anyone leave the comfort of their couch to buy a book when with just a click of a button, they could have it delivered to their door? Well, here’s why: bookstores so beautiful they’re worth getting out of the house (or the country) to visit whether you need a new hardcover or not. We can’t overestimate the importance of bookstores — they’re community centers, places to browse and discover, and monuments to literature all at once — so we’ve put together a list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, from Belgium to Japan to Slovakia. A gorgeous converted Dominican church gives the power of reading its due diligence.

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Library of Miniature Books Has Its Own Story Joshua Bright for The New York TimesNeale Albert in his study on the Upper East Side curling up with one of his favorite miniature books, “La Patria,” bound in 1937. He browsed the books like a giant looking for something to read. Some were small enough to fit into a fold of his hand. Many of the books were illegibly small, and he didn’t know what they were all about. But reading them was never the point.

It's Time To Use the B(isexual) Word I’ve been involved on the GLBTQ book internet for many years now, and what I’ve enjoyed most about watching it mature over that time is seeing the growing presence of the latter letters of the acronym. I started The Lesbrary (and later Fuck Yeah Lesbian Literature on tumblr) because the “GLBT/LGBT” or “Gay and Lesbian” book blogs I found at the time were almost entirely M/M books, with the occasional F/F content, and no bi or trans stories to be found. Luckily, this has begun to change, and one of the blogs that’s been leading the charge is Bisexual Books on tumblr. Before following Bisexual Books, I had included bi content on my blogs and read bi women books, but I hadn’t been very familiar with bisexual politics, or bisexual books as their own category. I was happy to absorb knowledge about bisexual lit and politics, as well to learn about stereotypes to avoid.

Junkitecture and the Jellyfish theatre 'One man's trash is another's man treasure," says Martin Kaltwasser, screwdriver and saw in hand. The German architect and conceptual artist is rushing to complete the Jellyfish theatre, which stands in a south London playground, 10 minutes' walk from the Globe theatre on the banks of the Thames. To say that this building is junk would be disparaging. And yet junk, of a sort, it is. Eye Candy: The World In A Drop Of Water (Plus Bonus Spider Man & Batman!) German Photographer Marcus Reugels takes pictures of water droplets refracting an image of a planet behind them, making them each appear to contain a lil world (prior: MC Escher droplet). Aaaaaaah, we're all gonna drown! Just kidding, but this does remind me of that cat in Men In Black that carries a whole galaxy around on its collar. Marcus sells prints of his work on his website and also takes requests in case you've got something special in mind.

For Those Who Want to Lead, Read - John Coleman by John Coleman | 10:00 AM August 15, 2012 When David Petraeus visited the Harvard Kennedy School in 2009, one of the meetings he requested was with author Doris Kearns Goodwin. Petraeus, who holds a PhD in International Relations from Princeton, is a fan of Team of Rivals and wanted time to speak to the famed historian about her work. Libraries are Forever: E-Books & Print Books Can Coexist Hello lovely peeps! I hope that I catch you at a happy time in your week. WOO FOOTBALL!!! This week’s infographic has a little piece of me in it (like all of them), which is appropriate because it’s my last one *tear*. It’s also kind of a metaphor for the way I hope to go forth in the world and the way in which I long for more individuals to act towards each other. If we could embrace each other’s differences (like the e-book and print book), then the world would be SUCH a better place.

8 Times Tumblr's Wizarding World Was Better Than Pottermore's There’s no need for me to rehash the disaster that was JK Rowling’s recent attempt to describe the international wizarding world of Harry Potter. (NK Jemisin also has a great take on what’s so disappointing about it.) Even before “History of Magic In North America”, her assertion that there are only 11 wizarding schools in the entire world had a lot of fans side-eyeing. Luckily, before and after Pottermore’s weak worldbuilding, Harry Potter fans have been painting much more detailed and respectful portraits of a global wizarding community. They’ve been asking the difficult questions about magic and colonialism: And they’ve been imagining wizarding schools and communities that are as vibrant as the UK’s all over the world:

Flatpack or flexible? Oscar Niemeyer's schools could have lessons for the UK From now on, our children will be taught in flatpack sheds and converted kebab shops. That's the message education secretary Michael Gove has been sending out since he launched his two-pronged vision for schools: to be built from standardised kits, or else to "pop up" in whatever redundant high street unit might be to hand. Triumphantly axing Labour's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, accusing architects of "creaming off cash" and declaring that "we won't be getting any award-winning architects to design your school", Gove seemed to take on the appearance of a surreal pantomime baddie, continually bashing the profession. Issuing Dickensian diktats about the future of education, his no-frills approach to school building almost descended into farce with the James Review, in which he commissioned an expert in cheap, mass-produced retail sheds to advise on the kinds of spaces that might be good for teaching and learning: big cheap sheds was the inevitable conclusion.

Saving Food From The Fridge: It Will Taste Better, May Even Last Longer And Reduce Your Energy Bills © jihyun ryou Fridges are a recent invention; for thousands of years, people lived without them, but had many low-tech ways of making food last. Today most fridges are filled with stuff that would last just as long and probably would taste a lot better if it was never lost in the back of the fridge.

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