8 Beautiful Bookstores in Residential Spaces


This morning, we discovered the way we’d like to spend our golden years — turning our home into a neighborhood bookstore and café, and bringing the culture to us. Inspired by the Japanese couple that did just that, we’ve collected a few beautiful, quirky bookstores built in people’s homes. Some of these are still functioning as domiciles, the owners sleeping above (or among!) the books; some are tiny hotels; and others are simply repurposed residences, but all of them are places we’d like to visit. After the jump, browse through a few beautiful bookstores built in residential spaces, and clue us in to any we’ve missed in the comments.

Izu Book Cafe, A bookstore and café built into the home of a retired couple in Izu, Japan. Designed by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima of Atelier Bow-Wow. [via]

Brazenhead Books, the secret, speakeasy-style bookshop located in Michael Seidenberg’s apartment on NYC’s Upper East Side where Jonathan Lethem used to work. [via]

Jumel Terrace Books is an antiquarian bookshop specializing in Harlem Heights’ history, on the bottom floor of Kurt Thometz and Camilla Huey’s brownstone on West 160th street in Sugar Hill. True book lovers from out of town can also check in at their B&B upstairs. [via]

Photo Credit: Gisela Telis

Photo Credit: Kent Duryee

Winifred Bundy has been living in a secluded ranch house outside Benson, Arizona for 57 years — and for some 38 of those years, she has also been living in a bookstore of her own devising, the Singing Wind Bookshop, which boasts a wide selection with focus on Southwestern literature, and to which she is likely to welcome you in sock feet. [via and via]

Photo Credit: Ben Garcia

Lawn Gnome Books is a multifaceted space: part used bookstore, part community meeting place, part performance space that makes its home in and around a repurposed house in downtown Phoenix. [via]

The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop & Guest House in Fort Atkinson, WI is an independent bookstore with — surprise, surprise — a strong kiddie focus. The bookstore is housed in an adorable pink Victorian, the upper floors of which were turned into a guest house of sorts in 2007.

Alas, Kate’s Mystery Books is no more, but what a delightful way to turn an old Cambridge Victorian into a place of reading.

The Henry Miller Memorial Library, located in Big Sur in the onetime home of Miller’s close friend Emil White. Now it functions as a non-profit bookstore, arts center, and perfect place for channeling literary ghosts. [via]