Beautiful Vintage Photos of Bygone Bookstores


In this age of online ordering, physical bookstores aren’t getting all the love and attention they deserve. But you know that already. So before you head out to your local bookseller to pick up the latest new thing, perhaps you would like to indulge in some literary nostalgia and appease your book-beauty tooth (you know you’ve got one) with these lovely old photos of old bookstores (in some of which you could, at one time, find old books). And all right, not all are complete bygones — some, improbably, wonderfully, are still standing — but they don’t look quite like this anymore, and so the vintage-photo-ogling endures. After the jump, check out a selection of lovely vintage photos of old bookstores, and be sure to link to any of your favorites that are missing here in the comments.

Yesterday’s Books, East Hollywood, circa 1975. Image via.

Old Corner Bookstore, first brick building in Boston, circa 1900. Image via.

Bookstore in Jewish quarter, Paris, circa 1920. Image via.

Foyle’s “Novel” Bookstore, London, 1920. Image via.

Leary’s Books, Philadelphia, circa 1910. Image via.

Vroman’s Books + Vroman’s Book Bus, Pasadena, CA. Image via.

Sylvia Beach in the window of the famous Shakespeare and Company, Paris, 1939. Image by Gisèle Freund via.

Pickwick Books, circa 1965. Image via.

Long’s Bookstore, Columbus, Ohio, circa 1902. Image via.

Either/Or Bookstore, Hermosa Beach. Image via.

Italian-language bookstore in San Francisco, 1910. Image via.

The Burhnam Antique Bookstore, Boston, 1930. Image by Leslie Jones via.

City Lights, San Francisco, circa 1970. Image via.

Brattle Bookstore, Boston, late 1950s. Image via.

Dawson’s Bookstore in Los Angeles, 1940. Image via.

Bookstore sign, Boston, ca. 1917–1934. Image by Leslie Jones via.